Obesity is nationwide health concern today. Statistics show that over one-third of Americans are obese, and the numbers are increasing each year. Affecting much more than just body image, obesity increases your risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and hypertension. Recent studies indicate that being overweight could even impact your eye health.
According to the Beaver Dam Eye Study, obesity is linked to elevated pressure inside the eyes known as intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a family of eye diseases that is characterized by increased intraocular pressure, but studies do not necessarily indicate that glaucoma is related to obesity. However, increased eye pressure could increase your risk of developing glaucoma in the future.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and 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.
Other eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, floppy eyelid syndrome, and thyroid eye disease have varying degrees of correlation to obesity. Many of these eye conditions cause irreversible eye damage and can result in permanent vision loss.
If you have consistently struggled with getting your weight under control, now is a perfect time to create some goals and take action. Your vision depends on it! Make an appointment with your ophthalmologist to have a comprehensive eye exam. In just one hour, your specialist can detect and diagnose eye conditions, as well as provide an overall analysis of your health (Source: Healio).