Why should women be on the lookout for their eye health? According to a Prevent Blindness (an eye health and safety non-profit organization) study, eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration occurs at higher rates in women. Beyond eye diseases, women may also experience a higher frequency of dry eye as well as unique vision changes related to pregnancy and menopause.
The National Eye Institute writes that women have greater instances of eye disorders because they tend to live longer and are more likely to undergo certain cancer treatments that may affect their vision. Additionally, the American Academy of Ophthalmology adds that women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men. Many autoimmune diseases affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and hyperthyroiditis.
What can you do to stay on top of your eye health?
🗓️ Regularly scheduled eye exams. Schedule yourself some self-care this month with an eye exam. Eye exams should be completed at least every two years and are essential to maintaining your eye health. Plus Eye Etiquette can bill eye exams directly to some insurance agencies! Eye exams allow us to examine your eyes for diseases and conditions that may have no symptoms in their early stages. Additionally, eye exams create a baseline of your current eye health to compare future results to.
🌳 Know your family history. Certain eye diseases can be inherited and exponentially increase your risk of developing the same diseases. For example, if you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. Family history of glaucoma increases your glaucoma risk by four to nine times!
😎 Wear sunglasses. Exposure to ultraviolet UV light raises the risk of eye diseases, including cataracts, fleshy growths on the eye, and cancer. Sunglasses can also keep those wrinkles away a little longer too! Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.
🥗 Eat healthy foods. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish.
🚭 Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The risk of cardiovascular diseases increases with smoking which can indirectly influence your eye health too. Tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, also worsens dry eye.