Being Overweight Could Affect Your Eyes

Obesity is a nationwide epidemic. Being overweight is a danger to our health because it increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. This favorite topic in newspapers, magazines, online journals, and morning talk shows has become so pervasive that it does not even catch our attention anymore. But what if you heard that obesity could rob you of clear vision? You might stop and listen, wouldn’t you?

Recent research suggests that being overweight could increase the pressure inside of your eyes. Inner eye pressure is a delicate matter. The optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images from the eye to the brain, can be permanently damaged when eye pressure reaches a dangerous level. These levels vary from individual to individual, but spikes in eye pressure can make you more prone to glaucoma.

Glaucoma actually refers to an entire family of diseases that damage the optic nerve. One of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, glaucoma threatens 3 million Americans. Unfortunately, only about half are aware that they have it. Known as “the sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma can diminish a significant portion of the visual field without symptoms or pain.

There are several other eye conditions that are influenced by obesity or being overweight. Some of them include diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, floppy eyelid syndrome, and thyroid eye disease. These conditions can also cause vision loss and because of a lack of early symptoms, can be fairly advanced at the time of diagnosis.

If you are seeking to lose weight, there are many resources available to help you succeed. Your primary care physician can help you formulate a plan centered on nutritional eating and physical exercise. It is also important to visit your ophthalmologist for comprehensive eye exams to check your eye pressure so you can maintain healthy vision. In just one hour, your eye care specialist can test the clarity of your vision and diagnose any eye problems (Source: Healio).