Women's Vision

Focusing on Women’s Vision: Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

As we celebrate Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, there is no better time to direct our gaze toward the unique visual concerns of women. During this vision awareness month, we recognize and celebrate the specific needs of women’s eye health.

Statistically, women are more likely than men to suffer from eye-related issues due to various factors, including lifespan and hormonal fluctuations. The National Eye Institute reports that women make up two-thirds of individuals suffering from blindness or vision issues.

Perimenopausal women or those who have entered menopause may notice changes in their vision. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, postmenopausal women experience dry eye at twice the rate compared to others.

Eye Conditions To Learn

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in women over the age of 50. This progressive disease affects the central part of the retina, leading to blurred or distorted vision.

  • Cataracts are clouding of the eye’s lens, which can cause vision to become cloudy, hazy, and less colorful. Women are twice as likely as men to develop cataracts.

  • Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, causing gradual, irreversible vision loss. Women over the age of 60 are at a higher risk for developing glaucoma.

  • Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that causes discomfort, irritation, and blurred vision due to insufficient tear production. As previously mentioned, postmenopausal women are particularly susceptible to dry eye syndrome.

  • Thyroid Eye Disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause inflammation and swelling around the eyes, leading to double vision, light sensitivity, and dryness.

  • Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels in the retina, potentially causing blindness. Women who have diabetes may experience more severe vision problems compared to men with diabetes.

Women are also nearly twice as likely to contract autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, which can significantly impact eye health, leading to conditions like dry eye syndrome.

5 Vital Eye Health Practices To Take

Thankfully, several lifestyle adjustments can significantly improve and maintain women’s eye health. Here are essential strategies to consider:

  1. Get a full medical eye examination at 40 years old. This is when early signs of diseases or vision changes might start appearing. An ophthalmologist or an eye doctor in Raleigh, NC, can conduct a thorough eye disease and condition screening, even if there are no early symptoms.

  2. Be aware of your family’s eye health history. Some eye conditions are hereditary. A close family member with macular degeneration increases your risk of the disease by 50 percent. Similarly, a family history of glaucoma could make you four to nine times more likely to develop it. Discussing eye health with your relatives can help you and your eye doctor assess your risks.

  3. Consume nutritious foods. A low-fat diet enriched with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is good for your entire body, including your eyes. Foods beneficial for eye health include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold water fish such as salmon and sardines.

  4. Quit smoking. Smoking heightens the risk of developing eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, as well as cardiovascular diseases, which can indirectly affect your eyes. Both direct and second-hand tobacco smoke also exacerbate dry eye.

  5. Protect your eyes from the sun. UV light exposure increases the risk of several eye diseases, including cataracts, growths in the eye, and cancer. Always wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays and a hat during outdoor activities.

Protect Your Eyes This Month and Every Month

Eye safety awareness is critical in preventing injuries, especially for women in occupations or activities that could be hazardous to their vision. For example, women who work in manual labor or sports that involve high-intensity physical activities should wear protective eyewear to avoid potential eye injuries.

Prioritizing eye health is crucial to overall well-being, especially for women who face unique risks. This Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, schedule an appointment with one of the skilled eye doctors at our eye care center in Raleigh by calling (919) 282-1102 or visiting here.

**Please note that the suggestions provided in this blog are for general informational purposes only and may not be suitable for your specific insurance plan and macular degeneration needs. Consulting a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment is important.