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8b6a8ba1 338f 4cfe 86ea c946dd7d7053Did you know that women are more at risk than men for almost all age-related vision problems?

If you didn’t, you aren’t alone. In fact, 91 percent of women in the United States don’t know they are more at risk for eye disease and permanent vision loss than their male counterparts. This April, Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we’d like to change that.

Here Are The Facts

The truth is, two-thirds of blindness and other visual impairments worldwide occur in women. They are more prone to almost all eye diseases including cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and dry eye disease.

While there could be several factors contributing to these statistics, there are two main reasons women have vision-related problems more prevalently than men. The first is simply that, on average, women live longer than men. The second reason is that the hormonal changes women experience throughout their lives due to pregnancy and menopause can increase their risk for eye disease.

Be Aware Of Pregnancy-related Vision Problems

Speaking of pregnancy, expectant mothers should be aware of the issues they may experience with their vision during those special nine months. Because of the changes your body goes through, you may experience blurry vision and dry eye during pregnancy. Don’t worry, it can go away after your baby is born. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call or come in to see us.

More serious vision disturbances may be a sign of preeclampsia, such as temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity, double vision, or seeing spots or flashing lights. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.  Even if your blood pressure measures in the normal range, we recommend following up with your eye care professional to rule out any eye-related causes for these vision disturbances including retinal detachments.

Women who have diabetes and are pregnant can experience a rapid onset or worsening of diabetic retinopathy. If you are diabetic and planning to conceive, talk to your doctor and eye care provider and get dilated eye exams throughout your pregnancy as recommended.

Take Your Vision Health Into Your Own Hands

It’s important to remember that many instances of vision impairment are preventable with proper education and care! Here are a few important steps you can take to protect your vision health:

  • Get regular dilated eye exams as recommended by your eye doctor, typically every year
  • Make sure you and your optometrist are aware of your family’s history of eye disease
  • Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke, and limit your exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Protect your eyes from UV damage by wearing sunglasses when outside

Remember, many eye diseases don’t present noticeable symptoms until they become quite advanced. That’s why we want to emphasize more than ever how important regular eye examinations by your optometrist are.

Help Us Raise Awareness

Help us spread the word about women’s eye health by sharing this post with the women in your life! Together, we can help save people’s sight and work toward a lifetime of healthy vision for the people we love.

We’re grateful for the amazing women in our lives. Let’s help them continue to see and feel their best!

Top image by Flickr user Lachlan Hardy used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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