Reducing the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression with Physical Activity
It seems that patients with retinopathy often think that they cannot engage in physical activity.
If your eye examination reveals proliferative diabetic retinopathy or severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, vigorous aerobic or resistance exercise is contraindicated because it may cause vitreous hemorrhage or retinal detachment. Notice the word “vigorous”. As long as your doctor agrees, it is safe to engage in moderate activity. What’s most important to avoid is powerlifting, valsalva maneuvers, and active jarring exercises.
A recent study actually revealed that physical activity can decrease the amount of treatments needed for retinopathy and lower the risk of progression.
This study was done to examine the association of physical activity (PA) with diabetic retinopathy progression based on a 10-year follow-up of working-aged people with diabetes in Australia. 9,018 people with diabetes were enrolled(age 45+). Self-reported PA was collected by questionnaire at baseline and was graded into categories of low (<5 sessions/week), medium (?5–14), and high (?14) levels. Retinal photocoagulation treatment(RPC) during the follow-up period was used to track retinopathy progression.
The results showed that a higher PA level was significantly associated with a lower risk of needed retinopathy treatment and that higher PA level was independently associated with a lower risk of retinopathy progression among working-aged diabetic populations in this large cohort study.
As always, if you would like assistance with starting an exercise program or with your glucose control, give us a call (USA) 877-735-3648, Outside the US: 001-610-642-6055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Gentile is a clinical exercise physiology student from Lancaster, PA who is pursuing her Master’s degree and also working towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. Additionally, she is an ACSM-CEP(clinical exercise physiologist), Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Sports Nutritionist.