Did you know women are more at risk for contracting certain eye diseases? In honor of Mother’s Day coming up, we wanted to highlight some eye care tips which are especially important for women.
How are women impacted by eye diseases?
According to vision studies,
- Around 66% of people who suffer from blindness are women.
- About 65% of people with age-related macular degeneration are women.
- Approximately 61% of people with glaucoma and cataracts are women.
Fortunately, up to 80% of blindness and visual impairment can be prevented or treated.
Why are women more at-risk for eye diseases?
There are several reasons that women are more likely to contract eye disease:
- Women usually live longer than men. The risk of contracting diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts increases significantly as we age.
- Women’s hormonal changes influence eye health. Estrogen contributes to the cornea’s elasticity, impacting how light enters the eye. Vision can change frequently when women experience hormone changes due to birth control, pregnancy, and menopause.
- Women are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases, which frequently affect vision.
What can women do to take better care of their eyes?
Here are some tips the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends for women:
- Once you reach the age of 40, get a comprehensive eye exam so your ophthalmologist can get a baseline for your eye health. Then have your vision tested every couple of years so you can keep track of any changes which could indicate a medical issue.
- Learn your family history of eye disease. Many vision issues are hereditary but can be prevented or treated.
- Protect your eyes at work, playing sports, cleaning your home, outdoors, or in situations where irritants and harmful objects are airborne, such as when you are standing over a smoky grill.
Be mindful about your lifestyle habits, including your diet, exercise, and smoking or vaping habits.