Can Obesity Be a Factor in Poor Vision Health?

Can Obesity Be a Factor in Poor Vision Health?

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?

Can Obesity Be a Factor in Poor Vision 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.

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  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen CFJones says:

    I was 256 lbs. at 5’6″ in 2011. I came down to 236 lbs.; but my eye site was getting very poor. I once had 20/18 vision in one eye and 20/19 in the other.

    I made an effort to loose weight by changing my life style. I only eat when I am hunger and never over eat. If I am out I always get a doggie bag. I have lost 22 lbs. over the last and started getting bad room spins and headaches. I noticed that with my glasses off I could see thing clearer that with them on; so now I use them less and less and I not getting the spins and headaches. Not sure about the science but I can tell you that if you sweat easy with just walking, snore badly, breath loudly, and struggle when you tie your shoes, you may need to think about loosing some weight.

    If you feel good and can work it as you are, Please by all means you do you.

    Everyone just be happy.

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Lindsay says:

    I ‘m pretty sure when Tyler was talking about being overweight he was referring to, high percentage body fat, excess cholesterol etc.

    I know for a fact diabetes causes vision problems, and diabetes particularly type 2 is caused from bad diet and goes hand in hand with obesity!

    If you think about it, a body fuelled by a healthy diet, with regular exercise is going to freely pump vitamin rich oxygenated blood around your body and your eyes!

  3. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Jess says:

    Who decides what “extra weight” is?
    Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and what’s a healthy size for one person might be bigger or smaller than what’s healthiest for some one else.
    Body size isn’t a reliable indicator of healthiness (I’ve known thin people who ate anything and stayed that size, and fat people who exercised and paid attention to what they ate, and stayed that size as well), and the assumption in this article that
    “Those who do not stay at a healthy weight are probably lacking these nutrients [Vitamin A and Omega-3s] anyway” is pure conjecture and I wonder why it seemed appropriate to include it in an article that is ostensibly trying to come across as reliable.

    You say yourself that “there is not a lot of evidence to support the theory” and this article mostly says “there may be a link,” but correlation does not equal causation. Even if obese individuals ARE found to be more likely to have eye problems, that doesn’t mean obesity caused those problems, especially since there could be a number of other factors statistically related to body size (like class status, or size bias in the medical community) that also affect eye health.
    It may be in vogue to blame society’s ills on obesity, but that doesn’t make it right or true, and I think it’s unfair and misleading to add more stigma to how our society approaches body size.

  4. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Aaron says:

    Personally I am a little overweight and this article really motivates me and makes me realize the dangers of being obese. Thank you for sharing.

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.

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