52 participants were split into two groups by the researchers.
One group exercised on a treadmill at least five times per week, while the other participated in just one session each week. Eye exams were carried out prior to and five minutes after each session to assess the impact of activity on tear film and secretion. All subjects experienced a significant increase in tear amount immediately following exercise, even though those who exercised more frequently saw bigger benefits.
According to study co-author Heinz Otchere, PhD(c), a vision science researcher at the University of Waterloo in Canada, when the tear film is compromised, the surface can develop dry spots where those irritants might get in and cause itching. Our tear film is produced when we blink and has three layers—oil, water, and a substance called mucin—that combine to hydrate the surface of the eye in order to block irritants like dust. He claims that in addition to other causes like aging, hormone changes, sedentary behavior, some drugs, and dehydration, these spots can also appear as a result of routine activities like using a computer. Even things like a lack of vitamin A, allergies, smoke exposure, variations in humidity, and wind exposure can be contributing causes.
Although aerobic activity mostly works out your huge muscle groups, it also has unique affects on your eyes, according to Otchere. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that the eye has a jelly-like substance called vitreous humor filling the back part of the eye and a more watery liquid, called aqueous humor, near the front. Previous studies have shown that exercise increases blood circulation and lowers intraocular pressure—a measure of fluid pressure inside the eye. A little amount of fresh aqueous humor is constantly entering a healthy eye, while an equal amount is also draining away. This equal flow corresponds to a constant pressure.
Otchere continues, "Exercise also has other benefits on the eyes, including lowering inflammation and increasing tear secretion, which both aid in reducing dry eye issues." If intraocular pressure is not properly controlled or rises too high, it can harm the optic nerve and impair vision, though some people can have higher intraocular pressure without any damage.
The next step may be to undergo an eye exam, advises Howard Krauss, MD, a neuro-ophthalmologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center in California, if you have been exercising frequently but still experience dry, itchy eyes. In other words, your eyes may be giving you a warning sign that something more serious might be going on. Not only can this assist identify a cause for potential tear film concerns, but an eye exam can really aid with detecting numerous systemic medical conditions, he claims. According to him, an eye exam can, for example, aid in the early detection of illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, autoimmune problems, and vision loss.
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