Common Risks to Eye Health for Women
A seldom known fact is that women suffer worse from eye health issues than men do. There are many different types of eye ailments that pose a high risk for women, but luckily there are solutions that can lower your risk.
The Main Culprits
There is a spectrum of eye-related diseases that women encounter in life, but the following are more common and severe.
- Cataracts – Cataracts cloud your lens. As a result, vision can become impaired.
- Glaucoma – Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve. This is dangerous because it can lead to blindness.
- Macular Degeneration – Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) affects people 50 or older, and is quite common. It damages the macula, which controls central vision and sharpness.
- Dry Eye Syndrome – Dry Eye Syndrome is an uncomfortable sensation causing irritated, stinging, and burning eyes. It occurs when your eyes are not able to produce enough tears, or the quality of these tears is too poor to develop proper eye function.
Why Women Suffer More from Eye Health Problems
Women differ from men in multiple ways, and for this reason, they are more prone to eye diseases. Some of these factors can include a previous disposition to certain diseases, and the kind of lifestyle that women can lead. Here are some specific reasons why women are geared towards eye diseases more than men:
- Women live longer – According to statistics, it is well-known that women live longer than men. Since eye disease is often related to age, the chances of a woman developing eye issues are much higher.
- Hormones – Women deal with hormones in various ways. Whether it’s pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or menopause, this exposure to greater hormonal changes can cause eye-related issues.
- Diabetes – The statistics for diabetes are staggering. About 1/10 women over the age of 20 have developed diabetes. With diabetes comes a higher risk for eye-related issues such as diabetic retinopathy.
- Medications – Statistically, more women take a higher amount of prescription and non-prescription medications than men do. With any drug comes side effects, and some of them affect eye health.
- Lifestyle – An unhealthy lifestyle has a detrimental effect on overall health. If you are overweight or obese, have an unhealthy diet, and/or have a sedentary lifestyle, this can have a negative impact on your eye health.
Prevention is Crucial
Age is a huge factor in eye-related diseases, but they can occur at any age. You can take the following precautions, especially if you’re a woman, to reduce your risk:
- Get a checkup – Getting in your regular eye exam is important in monitoring your eye health. It is recommended to see your eye doctor every two years. It’s also necessary to book an appointment with your physician to get a physical exam and to rule out other diseases that may be impacting your vision.
- Be mindful of your diet – A diet high in nutritious vitamins like Vitamins C, E, and beta carotene, among many others, can reduce the risk for poor eye health. Exercise is always a great idea, as well, to maintain a healthy weight and prevent diseases that can impact your eye health.
- Avoid smoking – Smoking is a contributor to poor eye health. Smoking even doubles the risk for developing dangerous eye diseases. It may be a good idea to seek help and quit your smoking habit.
- Always sport your shades – Wearing the right sunglasses will help protect your eyesight. Ensure that your sunglasses have 100% UV protection. It may also be a good idea to invest in a hat that will shade you from the sun. If you use birth control, your eyes will be more sensitive to light; so it is especially important to wear the right type of eyewear to block harmful UV rays.
We hope that all our female patients will find these tips beneficial. If you have any concerns about your current eye health or think it’s time for a checkup, be sure to get in contact with us at Advanced Eye Medical.