It’s crucial to take care of your eyes at any point in life, but more so as you get older. It’s common knowledge that men and women are prone to developing common eye disorders and diseases with advancing age. However, research shows that the latter group may be at higher risk.
Let’s look at how age affects your eyes, how to maintain healthy vision for women, and why regularly visiting an ophthalmologist in Fresno (or your local area) is so important.
Women and Eye Health: What the Research Says
According to a study by Prevent Blindness, AMD or age-related macular degeneration is more common among women than men, as are glaucoma and cataracts. There are also more cases of visual impairment or blindness in American women over the age of 40 than men in the same age group.
However, women generally seem to be unaware of the threat:
- Fewer than 10% of women in America know that they are at a higher risk of developing vision loss than men.
- A whopping 86% of them believe the risk of permanent vision loss is equal for both men and women.
- In addition, 5% of women believe the risk is higher for men than it is for women.
Top 5 Reasons for Early Vision Loss in Women
Here’s why women could develop low vision earlier than men:
- Longevity – According to the statistics, women usually have a longer lifespan than men. Many eye diseases, including AMD, glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy, are related to advancing age.
- Hormones – Women experience serious hormonal fluctuations more frequently than men, especially during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Hormonal changes have been linked to dry eye and other vision problems.
- Lifestyle – Eye health is affected by lifestyle choices such as obesity, nutrition, exercise and smoking. While these factors are not limited to women, obesity and poor diets are on the rise among the adult female population.
- Socio-Economic Factors – Early detection and treatment of eye problems is often key to preventing vision loss, but various social or economic factors affect access to quality eye health care for women.
- Medication – Women generally take more prescription and non-prescription drugs than men. Many of these can lead to vision changes, e.g. birth control pills and medication for hormone replacement.
Precautions and Tips to Prevent Eye Conditions
Here are some eye care tips to help you maintain better vision and eye health:
- Eye Tests – Visit an ophthalmologist for regular checkups, especially during pregnancy. Get a full dilated eye exam if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes and are pregnant or planning a baby.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking seriously damages your health, and it can double the risk of AMD. It also makes you more prone to developing cataracts, which can only be corrected with eye surgery.
- Use Protection – Eye protection, that is. Sunglasses with 100% UV protection and wide-brimmed hats can reduce sun damage, but also use protective eyewear while swimming, using tools or playing sports.
- Cosmetic Safety – Make sure your face, hands and brushes are clean while applying eye makeup, and don’t ever share makeup or use expired products. Also ensure your hands are clean while putting in or removing contact lenses.
- Healthy Food & Exercise – Eat a balanced diet with plenty of antioxidant and Omega-3 rich foods for healthy eyes. Regular exercise will also help you maintain eye health and reduce the risk of diabetes-related vision loss.
We want you to enjoy healthy vision all your life, so follow our tips above and make an appointment with InSight Vision Center for a dilated eye exam today!