Women have higher rates of eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Women have a higher prevalence of Dry Eye and may also experience changes in vision related to pregnancy and menopause.
Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate women about these issues as well as provide recommendations on the best ways to take care of vision.
According to the National Eye Institute, 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. Additionally, the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that in general, women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and hyperthyroiditis.
Prevent Blindness recommends steps that should be taken to protect vision and eye health, including:
- Getting regular eye exams
- Quitting smoking.
- Consulting a doctor about taking nutritional supplements
- Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors
- Learn of any family history of eye disease
- Using eye cosmetics safely
- Using contact lenses safely
Expectant mothers and those going through menopause should be aware of possible vision changes. If cost is an issue, Prevent Blindness offers a free listing of financial assistance services in English and Spanish at: https://www.advocacy.preventblindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information.
Long-time Prevent Blindness partner, OCuSOFT ® Inc., a privately-held eye and skin care company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, will support April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month with a donation to Prevent Blindness.
“More women than men have eye disease and vision loss. But there are steps they can take today to help prevent significant vision loss in the future,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “In addition to getting a regular eye exam, we encourage everyone to talk to their eyecare professional about family medical history as well as ask for recommendations about proper eye protection in order to keep eyes as healthy as possible for years to come.”
For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases, and eye protection, please visit https://www.advocacy.preventblindness.org/see-jane-see or call (800) 331-2020.