Did you know that women are more at risk than men for almost all age-related vision problems?
If you didn’t, you aren’t alone. In fact, 91 percent of women in the United States don’t know they are more at risk for eye disease and permanent vision loss than their male counterparts. This April, Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we’d like to change that.
Here Are The Facts
The truth is, two-thirds of blindness and other visual impairments worldwide occur in women. They are more prone to almost all eye diseases including cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and dry eye disease.
While there could be several factors contributing to these statistics, there are two main reasons women have vision-related problems more prevalently than men. The first is simply that, on average, women live longer than men. The second reason is that the hormonal changes women experience throughout their lives due to pregnancy and menopause can increase their risk for eye disease.
Be Aware Of Pregnancy-related Vision Problems
Speaking of pregnancy, expectant mothers should be aware of the issues they may experience with their vision during those special nine months. Because of the changes your body goes through, you may experience blurry vision and dry eye during pregnancy. Don’t worry, it usually goes away after your baby is born. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call or come in to see us.
More serious vision disturbances may be a sign of preeclampsia, such as temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity, double vision, or seeing spots or flashing lights. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Women who have diabetes and are pregnant can experience a rapid onset or worsen of diabetic retinopathy. If you are diabetic and planning to conceive, talk to your doctor and eye care provider and get dilated eye exams throughout your pregnancy as recommended.
Take Your Vision Health Into Your Own Hands
It’s important to remember that many instances of vision impairment are preventable with proper education and care! Here are a few important steps you can take to protect your vision health:
- Get regular dilated eye exams as recommended by your eye doctor
- Make sure you and your optometrist are aware of your family’s history of eye disease
- Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet
- Get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke and limit your exposure to secondhand smoke
- Protect your eyes from UV damage by wearing sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats when outside
Remember, many eye diseases don’t present noticeable symptoms until they become quite advanced. That’s why we want to emphasize more than ever how important regular eye examinations by your optometrist are.
Help Us Raise Awareness
Help us spread the word about women’s eye health by sharing this post with the women in your life! Together, we can help save people’s sight and work toward a lifetime of healthy vision for the people we love.