With April being Women’s Eye Health and Safety month, many are often surprised to learn the scary facts that exist between the sexes and the health of their eyes. Women’s Eye Health Task Force reported in 2014 that nearly, “2/3 of all visually impaired and blind people in the world are women.” While this statistic is staggering, research has also shown that women are more likely to suffer from vision and eye conditions and risks such as macular degeneration or cataracts. These facts are not only alarming but they are tragic, as your eyes must last you your entire life.
Vision Loss in Women
The uncanny difference in vision loss between women and men depend heavily on a few different reasons.
- Hormones- Certain eye diseases and conditions are linked heavily to hormones. For women hormones change throughout their lives based on puberty, pregnancy, to even post-menopause. These hormone changes can infuse vision changes. For example, dry eye syndrome which is believed to be linked to hormones is to three times more prevalent in women than in their counterpart.
- Life Span – Women across the world are known to live longer than men. Many eye problems are age-related for example macular degeneration or cataracts. As women continue to live longer and longer, these eye diseases are becoming more common.
- Environment and Behavior – Certain behaviors or environments can also lend to a greater risk for eye problems or vision loss. For example, diabetes and even smoking can lead to many different vision problems. Some of these problems include but are not limited to, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and macular denegation.
Prevention is Key
There are many different ways to prevent vision loss or eye problems, particlary for women. First, quit smoking, eat healthy, and exercise regualry! Smoking does damage throughout your body that can never be fixed and this includes your eyes. By maintaining a proper diet and regular exercise routine, you lower your risk of various illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and more. Certain vegetables and fruits also can provide rich nutrients and vitamins that can aid in eye health. Next, protect your eyes from the sun. No matter if it is winter, the first hints of spring, or the blazing dog day’s of summer – your eyes should be protected with polarized sunglasses. In addition to polarized sunglasses avoid long periods in the sun without eye protection and try to wear ball caps or hats that could add additional protection from harmful UV rays. Another tip for preventing eye problems and vision loss is to use contact lenses and cosmetics safely. You should always wash your hands properly before putting in your contacts or applying makeup. Wash contact cases, makeup brushes, and other applicators on a regular basis. Never share makeup or contacts. Remove contacts and clean routinely. You should also always throw away any mascaras, eye liners, or eye shadows that you have had over three months. The amount of bacteria that can breed on cosmetics is quite alarming. Finally, you should yearly have a comprehensive eye exam where your eyes are dilated. This is particularly imperative if you have a family history of certain eye disease, vision loss, or eye conditions.
To learn more about how to keep your eyes healthy and maintain your vision, contact Vision Source Specialists today. Our doctors and educated staff are here to help you prevent vision loss and help you see crystal clear every day.