Dr. Jim Martin 04/09/2018

shutterstock_281200412April is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month and now is a great time to focus on eye issues that impact women. These issues are often more serious for women in terms of frequency. For instance, women are more likely than men to suffer from diseases and conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

The statistics are even more troubling when you consider that many women don't realize they are at a greater risk than men for certain eye conditions. Additionally, women are also at risk for health conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome, all of which can lead to serious eye problems.

Why Are Women More At Risk?

There are several reasons women are at a higher risk for serious eye issues:

Women live longer. The rates of conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration are increasing as the population ages, and many eye diseases are age-related.

Certain eye diseases, such as dry eye syndrome, are linked to hormones and can be as much as three times more prevalent in women than men. Women go through several hormonal changes over the course of her lifetime, and those changes can influence vision health.

Sadly, social and economic factors can limit the availability, frequency and quality of health care for women. Early detection is vital when it comes to preventing blindness and vision impairment, and a lack of access to quality eye care is a major issue for many women.

Other factors include women’s susceptibility to serious health conditions, such as diabetes (as previously mentioned), that can lead to dangerous eye issues.

Why Education Can Help

Educating themselves and their families about eye health can help women lower their risk of vision loss. Adhering to the following guidelines can be extremely helpful:

Get a comprehensive, dilated eye exam at age 40 and continue them on a regular basis. It's even more important if you have a family history of eye disease. Moreover, if you experience any eye pain, vision changes, etc., see your eye doctor right away.

  • Quit smoking. Smoking causes a myriad of health problems and your eyes are also at risk.

  • Eat a healthy diet and maintain a regular exercise routine are good for your eye health.

  • Protect your eyes from the sun.

  • Use contact lenses and
    cosmetics safely.

  • Learn proper eye safety for work and at home.

    Scheduling regular eye exams is essential for good eye health and can help prevent serious eye issues in the future. Contact one of the optometrists today at Broome Optical, which has been serving Amarillo for over 80 years.

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