We all know how important it is to take care of our eyes; but for women it is even more important. Surprisingly, women are more susceptible to vision loss than men. The Women’s Eye Health website reports that nearly two-thirds of all visually impaired and blind people in the world are women. Eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration are diagnosed more in women than in men. As we end the observation of Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month and as a woman who is visually impaired, I want to encourage any woman who is reading this blog post to take good care of her eyes.
The first step to healthy eye care is to educate yourself and know the facts. To assist women in this, Prevent Blindness has a program called See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now to inform women on their unique eye health needs. In addition, I have listed below some reasons specifically as to why women lose their vision.
Women typically live longer than men. There are eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration that are specific to the aging process.
Additionally, there are eye conditions that are more prevalent in women such as dry eye syndrome which can be caused by hormonal changes. Since women go through various hormonal ups and downs throughout their lives, from menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, their vision can be impacted. Also, women are diagnosed more often with autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis which can greatly affect vision.
Lastly, social and economic situations can impact women more than men. Getting access to affordable healthcare and taking time to go to the doctor can sometimes be more difficult for women than men. Women are typically the caregivers in families and can neglect their own health while caring for others.
Now that you know some of the reasons why women are more prone to have vision problems than men, let’s look at some things that women can do to take care of their eyes. First, get a comprehensive eye exam from your eye doctor. An eye exam cannot only determine the health of your eyes, but can quickly track any changes especially if you have family history of eye disease. Next, watch your weight and your diet. Being overweight or obese and not eating healthy foods can affect vision and cause medical conditions such as diabetes, strokes and high blood pressure. All of these conditions can greatly impact vision. Specifically for women, monitor eye makeup usage. Replace old makeup every three months or so. Also, do not share cosmetics with other women as bacteria and germs can be easily spread. Wear sunglasses when outside. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and also from air-born pollutants that can blow into your eyes such as dust and pollen.
For additional information on women’s eye health check out these resources:
Now that you got the facts on women’s eye health let's talk about it. If you are a woman have you had an eye exam recently? Are you practicing good self-care? What things have you put into place to take care of your eyes? If you are a guy, have you encouraged the women in your life to take care of their eyes? Share your thoughts and comments in the section below.