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How Good Are Exercises For Cataracts? Know more.

By Nishkak +2 more

A cataract is a condition in which you experience blurry vision. It can affect one or both eyes, develops slowly and may make it difficult for you to do the daily chores. As the cataract grows, it clouds your lens more. This may lead to more noticeable symptoms. It commonly occurs due to age, but may also be present from birth and young people may also develop a cataract. The eye disease may further happen due to trauma, eye injury, radiation exposure or eye surgery for other problems. Cataracts must be treated. Some risk factors include diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking tobacco, prolonged exposure to sunlight and use of corticosteroid medications and alcohol.  

The symptoms of cataract include:

  • Blurry or dim vision
  • Difficulty in seeing at night
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Unable to read without bright light
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Unable to see colours clearly
  • Double vision in a single eye

These symptoms may help you identify cataracts, always consult the doctor immediately instead of self-diagnosing. The disease can worsen if left untreated, even leading to blindness. The ophthalmologist will diagnose and possibly suggest surgery. There are certain exercises that the doctor may recommend to lower the chances of cataract risk. 

We know that exercise increases antioxidant enzyme activity which has all sorts of benefits, including limiting infections and inflammation in the eye. Previous studies have shown that long-term physical activity also elevates HDL (high-density lipoprotein), otherwise known as the ‘good cholesterol’, which may carry more antioxidants from plasma to the lens to prevent oxidative damage.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Is exercise good for Cataracts?

Exercises can never actually cure eye cataracts, but may greatly help you reduce the risks and recover better. It also plays a key role in reducing oxidative stress, which limits infections and inflammation in the eye. If you are suffering from cataracts, always consult the ophthalmologist and follow the treatment procedure suggested by him or her. You may perform a few easy exercises at home to ensure that your eyes are healthy and your visual ability is optimized. A person with eye problems or after surgery must not exercise or engage in strenuous activities without consulting his/her eye doctor.

5 Exercises and Yoga beneficial for your eyes-

  1. Legs Up-the-wall pose (Viparita Karani)

This exercise boosts blood circulation, helps reduce stress and is believed to improve your eye health. It must be done by sitting with your right side next to a wall, placing a bolster or a folded blanket to sit on. Exhale and put your legs up on the wall slowly while you lie back. Adjust the bolster to support your lower back and straighten your legs. Keep your arms above your head or on either side of your body. Stay in this pose for five minutes and repeat it everyday.

2. Supported headstand

This exercise may take some practice to master but proves helpful for cataracts. Start by sitting on your knees, forearms on the floor and slowly lower your head while you clasp your hands and cradle your head with them. Now start walking your feet toward your head, keeping your knees bent. You must shift your weight forward, first into your hips and torso, then into your head. Raise your right leg, then your left leg, straight up into the air. Actively press your shoulders away from your ears to help support your weight. Keep your weight evenly balanced on your forearms and head. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then release carefully.

3Downward-facing dog pose

This is also known as Adho Mukha Shvanasana, you must start yoga by keeping your hands and knees on the floor or mat. Exhale and lift your buttocks and tailbone toward the ceiling, your body should look like an upside-down “V”. Try to press your heels into the floor, straighten your legs and bring your shoulder blades together. Relax your head, neck and lengthen your spine. Keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet and your hands. Do this exercise everyday to see positive results. 

4. Halasana

To do this asana, lie down on your back, lift your middle and lower back and drop your toes on the floor behind. Be very careful and use slow movements. Make sure your palms remain flat on the floor and your chest is close to your chin. Stay in this position for a while and get back to your initial position slowly. Doing this powerful asana every day may enhance your eyesight.

5. Wide-legged forward bend

This exercise is a standing forward bend that allows your neck to stretch. Stand in front of a chair with your feet kept apart and toes pointing forward. Now extend your spine tall and align your head and neck with your spine. Inhale and slowly fold forward from your hips, bringing your forearms to rest perpendicular to your body on the seat of the chair. Rest your forehead on your forearms. Try not to arch your back and tuck your tailbone under. After holding this pose for a while, you can get back to a standing position.

You may also perform a few easy eye exercises, like palming to relax the muscles around the eyes, reducing eye fatigue. To do this, warm up your palms, close your eyes, place each hand’s palm over each eye, and breathe deeply for five minutes. You may also try blinking, which stimulates the lubricating secretions in your eyes. Performing these exercises regularly will be beneficial for your health and eyes. You must perform the following exercises after consulting the doctor. You must inform the doctor if you have any health conditions to avoid further health complications and injury.

Exercises to avoid cataracts

While some exercises are good for cataracts, you must understand that not all exercises are good for you. Avoid these exercises if you have orthopaedic issues, back pain, neck pain and others. Talk to your ophthalmologist for guidance when it comes to exercise for your eyes. Your doctor can provide tailored eye exercises for you and you may see some positive changes in your eye condition. Talk to your doctor about do’s and dont’s after cataract surgery. 

Conclusion:

It is important to note that regular eye examinations can help detect cataracts and other eye problems at their earliest stages. This makes any treatment more successful. It’s also important to see an eye care professional regularly in order to ensure that nothing more serious is causing your vision issues. You must also make certain lifestyle and diet changes and indulge in regular physical exercise to improve eye health and vision. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to do the ‘Stare at the Bridge of your Nose’ exercise?

‘Stare at the Bridge of Your Nose’ exercise must be done without straining your eyes. Bring your eyes together to focus on the bridge of your nose and then look straight ahead. Repeat this movement about five times. After a moment, look at the bridge of your nose again

Is it safe to perform these exercises for cataracts?

There are several yoga postures and exercises which may be good for a person with a risk of cataracts but contraindicated for a person with retinopathy, back pain, joint pain, hip injury, spine-related problems etc. It is always recommended to consult a certified doctor to understand the correct postures that can be practised by a person based on his health status.

Why are eye exercises recommended?

While these eye exercises may not cure any eye issues, they may prove helpful to your vision, strengthen your eye muscles and provide temporary relief from eye strain.  

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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