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  • Writer's pictureTim White

April Is Women’s Eye Health Month

Prevent Blindness (the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization) has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month to educate women about the steps they can take today to help preserve vision in the future. More women than men are afflicted by eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. The National Institutes of Health reports that 2/3rds of the people with blindness or visual impairments are women.

Why Do Women Tend to Suffer More Vision Loss Than Men?

Women make up most of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind. Hormones play a major part in why this happens, as women have different hormones that affect them that men simply don’t have. Other factors that lead to this increase risk for eye disease are genetics, lifestyle, and life changes such as pregnancy and menopause which cause changes in women’s eyes. Studies show that women also tend to live longer than men, giving them more years to develop eye problems.

Ways To Prevent Vision Loss

  1. Receive an annual eye exam. The easiest way to test for common eye problems is a dilated eye exam – in which your eye doctor uses drops to widen your pupils and check for common issues. According to the CDC, this exam is the best way to detect eye diseases in their earliest stages.

  2. Eat a healthy diet. Good nutrition is the key to good health, including your vision. Dark green vegetables have been shown to potentially reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Also, remember to keep your diet low in sodium.

  3. Quit smoking. Not smoking can reduce the risk of a host of diseases such as cancer and respiratory issues. Smoking is the most important risk factor for AMD and its progression.

  4. Pregnant women should schedule an appointment with their eye doctor. If you are pregnant, discuss any vision changes with your eye doctor. Changes in vision are expected during pregnancy. While most changes are refractory (change in glasses or contact lens prescription) in nature, some changes may be due to an eye health problem.

If you are concerned about protecting your own eye health or a female loved one, call us today to schedule an appointment at 251-650-2020.

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