In recent years, obesity has been a huge problem for many developed nations. As the years go by, obesity rates seem to keep climbing, as well as the amount of certain diseases, such as heart disease. While it is clear there are obesity issues in many parts of the world, did you know that being obese can also negatively affect your vision?
Can Obesity Really Affect Ocular Health?
Obesity affects all types of people including children and the elderly. With excess weight being such a widespread problem – over one million people in the world are considered obese – it would be logical to assume most of the negative health effects would be known by now. However, while we know clearly how obesity affects other bodily systems, not much is known about how this condition affects the eyes.
Although there is not a lot of evidence to support the theory, some researchers say obesity is linked to eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.
How Can Obesity Damage Eyes?
By carrying extra weight, you can put too much pressure on the blood vessels located in your eyes. Since these vessels are really delicate, they can be damaged very easily, causing poor vision. The higher your BMI (body mass index) is, the more likely you are to develop some of the eye diseases associated with obesity.
Cataracts, in particular, are related to your nutrition and your environment. Since those who are obese do not get good nutrition, their eyes suffer. There are several vitamins that are really important to ocular health, such as Vitamin A and Omega-3s. Those who do not stay at a healthy weight are probably lacking these nutrients anyway, so their risk of eye problems is even higher.
Will Obesity Lead to Blindness?
The link between obesity and eye disease needs to be more thoroughly examined, so no one can say for sure that obese people are more likely to go blind. However, in a study conducted in Israel, researchers noticed a clear link between the level of obesity and the level of eye disease in patients. The eye diseases examined were those that often lead to blindness. So, one can conclude that it is likely obesity leads to blindness – or extremely poor vision – in many individuals.
Another risk to the vision of those who are obese is that eye diseases seem to progress more quickly in those who are overweight. Since being obese speeds up the process of losing one’s eyesight, this is a powerful motivator for losing weight.
The study conducted in Israel noted that although there is some research out there that illustrates the link between obesity and poor vision, it is not well-known to the public because there has been little attention given to this area. Even so, it is important to study the relationship between declining vision and weight gain and to publish the results so that everyone can know their own risks.
What Can I Do to Protect My Eyes?
If you are obese, there is a higher level of concern when it comes to health problems such as heart disease, but you should also be aware of the potential effects your condition can have on your eyes. Taking steps to get healthy and lose weight will help support your eye health, and you will be less likely to suffer from eye diseases that are related to obesity. This is probably the best solution for you, as it will help prevent both eye and cardiovascular diseases.
However, protecting your eyes is not as simple as losing weight. You need to get healthy, which means eating a good diet of adequate nutrients. You should especially focus on nutrients that are beneficial to eyesight.
Eat fish for Omega-3s and take supplements for vitamins you do not normally get. Better yet, change your diet to reflect better eating habits so that you get all of your nutrients naturally.
There are also extra steps you can take to protect your eyesight. First, read our list of the 17 vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements we recommend for good vision. Taking these extra supplements can give you an added boost to the health of your eyes. By getting healthy, eating right, and taking the right supplements, you can prevent the poor vision brought on by obesity.