How Female Health Issues Affect The Eyes

Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 03/28/2017

woman's eyes.jpgIt's always a great time to focus on women's eye health but Women's Eye Health and Safety Month (which takes place in April) helps to further educate women about their vision. The fact is, women are more likely to suffer eye-related problems than men, including blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Let's look at some of the reasons why.

1. Age

Women tend to live longer than men, making them more susceptible to issues such as age-related macular degeneration. Unlike men, women experience hormonal fluctuations over the course of their lives that affects the health of their eyes.

2. Birth Control

Birth control and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can lead to blood clots and strokes that may, in turn, lead to vision problems. They can also increase a woman's chances of developing cataracts and dry eye.

3. Pregnancy

Several changes occur in a woman's body during pregnancy, including in the eyes. These changes can lead to a variety of issues such as dry eye, prescription changes, puffiness, and light sensitivity. Pregnant women may also develop migraines, which can cause light sensitivity. Also, higher blood pressure during pregnancy can lead to blurry vision and retinal detachment.

4. Fertility drugs

Women taking fertility drugs may experience spottiness in their vision.

5. Menopause

Dry eye syndrome and eye inflammation sometimes occur in women who are going through menopause.

6. Breast cancer

Drugs that are used to treat or prevent breast cancer may increase your chances of cataracts, light sensitivity, itchy eyes, and eye bleeds.

7. Autoimmune diseases

Women are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren's syndrome (which destroys the glands in the eye and mouth that produce moisture). All of these can have a negative impact on the eyes.

Steps You Can Take

While women are more likely to have eye problems than men, there are ways to lessen and prevent vision problems in the future.

Regular eye exams

Regular eye exams in which your eyes are dilated help monitor your vision. And pregnant women should see their eye doctor regularly to discuss any vision changes or problems - or to get your prescription updated.

Eating healthy

Keep your diet low in sodium and caffeine while drinking plenty of water. Also, eat foods that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and zeaxanthin to help you maintain healthy vision.

Quit smoking

Smoking causes a myriad of health problems and increases your odds of developing eye disease.

Broome Optical in Amarillo provides expert eye care and advice to help preserve your vision in the future.

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