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Obesity Linked to Poor Vision Quality

Obesity is a serious health epidemic here in the United States.  The number of overweight adults in our country has nearly doubled in the last 30 years.  Most experts attribute this to overeating and a more sedentary lifestyle. Almost every Obesity related health issue has the potential to damage your eyes or your sight.  Excess body weight predisposes a person to certain systemic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Diabetic retinopathy effects the blood vessels in the retina, which can cause vision to deteriorate.  The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain. Other eye conditions that can be caused by high blood pressure and high cholesterol due to Obesity are Hypertensive retinopathy and retinal vein occlusions, which both involve the retina.  Hypertensive Retinopathy is damage to the retina and it's circulatory system due to high blood pressure.  Retinal vein occlusion is a  blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. Although most people who develop these eye diseases do not notice symptoms until later on the the progression of the disease,  some signs to look out for are double or dim vision and sudden loss of vision.  If these symptoms do occur, see your ophthalmologist immediately. In the meantime, it is important to know your BMI (body mass index).  This number is a calculation that categorizes your obesity level based on your height and weight.  BMI calculators make it easy to determine what category you fall into.  You can check your BMI here. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html Now get off of your computer and get some exercise.  I know I am. Mary Sweetman, C.O.A. Certified Ophthalmic Assistant

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