New research shows that exercise may have a protective effect against blindness related to retinal degeneration and disease, providing a possible strategy to delay conditions like age-related macular degeneration.
Dr. Machelle Pardue, a researcher at the Atlanta VA Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation and senior author of the new study, said in a press release that the findings offer an unprecedented look at the relationship between exercise and retinal disease. Previous studies have found a similar effect on neurodegenerative disease and injury, but comparatively few have looked at how fitness influences a person’s vision. “This is the first report of simple exercise having a direct effect on retinal health and vision,” she said. “This research may one day lead to tailored exercise regimens or combination therapies in treatments of blinding diseases.”