Obviously, there are differences between men and women, but some of those differences also have to do with eye health. For example, women have unique risks with vision issues, such as:
Higher rates of eye disease
Greater risk of dry eye
Changes in vision related to pregnancy and menopause
In an effort to raise awareness of these issues, Eden Prairie Eye Care has a few recommendations on the best ways women can take care of their vision and protect their eye health.
Four Things Women Should Know About Eye Health
A recent study showed that women make up the majority of Americans, age 40 and older, who are visually impaired or blind. To help lower those numbers, here are four things women should keep in mind about their vision and eye health:
Women are at a greater risk than men are at risk for vision loss from eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Women have greater instances of eye disorders because they tend to live longer, are more likely to undergo certain cancer treatments that may affect vision, and experience normal age-related hormonal changes that may affect their eyes.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle also helps keep the eyes healthy. This includes exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, and wearing UV eye protection when outdoors.
Pregnancy can cause vision changes including refractive changes, dry eyes, and puffy eyelids. Expectant mothers may also experience vision effects from migraine headaches, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Glaucoma medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors can be harmful to the developing baby and an alternative medication should be prescribed. All pregnant women should discuss all medications and any changes in their vision immediately with their doctor.
Periodic eye exams with complete retinal examination is the best way to ensure that vision is healthy and to help keep it that way. Additionally, a retinal eye exam can also help detect other conditions that affect overall health including high blood pressure or diabetes.
Loss of vision can affect one’s ability to live independently, contribute to society, and experience life to its fullest. By taking care of their eyes today, women can ensure healthy vision in the future.
How Can Women Protect Their Vision?
In general, women are less likely than men to sustain an eye injury during their lifetime, but the unfortunate tradeoff is being more susceptible to various eye diseases. Here are a few steps women can take to protect vision and eye health:
Get regular eye exams
Consult a doctor about taking nutritional supplements
Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors
Learn about any family history of eye disease
Be aware of possible vision changes, especially during pregnancy and menopause
Use eye cosmetics safely
Handle contact lenses properly
Being a woman is a risk factor no one can control. Another is age. However, there are things women can control, such as their own health.
When making sure the rest of the family gets all the appointments they need, many women forget that their own health needs attention too. Don’t forget to schedule your own eye exams!
Your Optometrist Can Help!
Above all else, the most important way for every woman to protect their vision, no matter what age, is to get a complete eye exam by an eye care professional. At Eden Prairie Eye Care, we love helping women keep their eyes healthy.
Schedule your appointment by calling (952) 944-2792 or through our online form. Be proactive in looking after the health of your eye, and give us a call today!