April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month and we’re sharing tips on how to take good care of your eyes and lower your chances of developing these common vision problems that occur in women.
Eye Health Risks for Women, Prevention and Care
Most women understand how crucial it is to visit the doctor regularly. However, many don’t realize this means having their eyes checked as well. This is important because women are more likely to encounter the following eye-related diseases and conditions:
The top four eye diseases that can lead to vision impairments include:
- Macular Degeneration: Because women are living longer than men, they are more susceptible to developing eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration.
- Diabetic Retinopathy
As women age, specifically around menopause, they can experience hormonal imbalances which may lead to dry eye syndrome. Chronic dry eye is often left untreated in most aging adults, but women are 2-3 times more likely to be affected by it.
In addition to the four major eye diseases, women are also more likely to encounter refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Refractive errors can be treated with prescription glasses, contact lenses or LASIK.
Visual Impairments and Blindness
The leading cause of vision impairment and blindness is primarily age-related eye diseases. As of 2012, the number of Americans with age-related eye diseases is expected to double in the next three decades.
Impact of Other Health Conditions
Not only are women at greater risk for many eye diseases, they are also at risk for several health conditions that can affect vision. These include:
- Diabetes – One in 10 American women over the age of 20 has diabetes. And, women who have experienced gestational diabetes have a 40-60% chance of developing diabetes in the next 5-10 years. (CDC)
- Autoimmune Diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Sjögren’s
- MS often causes temporary burning in the eyes, and sometimes vision loss
- Sjögren’s dries out the moisture-producing glands in your body
- Some cancer treatments can lead to cataracts and dry eyes
Here are some tips for maintaining healthy eyesight.
Need to schedule your eye exam? Contact your local Specialty Eye Institute office today!