Obesity And Eye Health – What Is The Link?

Most of us are all too familiar with the list of health problems which tend to go hand in hand with obesity: elevated blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis to name a few.

What is not common knowledge, however, is the effect that obesity has on eye health.

It’s an easy thing to miss. How can my waistline affect my eyesight? We’d like to shed a little light on the subject.

The Link Between Obesity And Eye Health


Glaucoma a condition of increased pressure in the eyeball which damages the optic nerve and is listed as the leading cause of blindness in the US. Many sufferers develop this condition gradually and it can be painless and relatively symptom-free, affecting the eyesight slowly. Not all obese individuals will suffer from glaucoma, but obesity is directly linked to intraocular pressure which can, and does, result in glaucoma.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Obesity places people at risk of diabetes. In fact, says that “obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while recent research suggests that obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with a BMI of less than 22” Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes in which the tiny blood vessels in the retina are damaged

Macular Degeneration

While there are many risk factors to macular degeneration (damage to or deterioration of the retina) including age, smoking, and family history, obesity is strongly linked. High blood pressure, a poor diet and a lack of exercise are often poor health cornerstones for obese persons which all increase the risk of this eye disease.

We’ve only touched on three common eye health issues linked to obesity, yet the list is long.

Good Eye Health Starts Inside

If you are reading this article, no doubt you are interested in holistic health, and the fascinating links between the various systems in our bodies.

We believe in treating the cause, and not the symptoms. And we know that looking at your overall health will have far more benefits that clearer vision. We’d like to encourage you to come and chat to Dr Sanua and discover the long-term solutions for obesity, eye health and overall well-being.


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