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Women’s Eye and Vision Health

In April, Prevent Blindness America addresses eye health issues specific to women.

A woman goes through many changes during her lifetime. Eye disease in women is increasingly common, particularly in mature women. Studies show that the majority of women over the age of 40 experience some degree of eyesight impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma. It's worth noting that the risk of women experiencing vision loss has increased as a result of women's increasing lifespan. Detecting these treatable problems early on an annual eye exam is critical to having good vision to maintain our independence in our older years.

For women, an important step to guarantee healthy vision is to have a routine eye exam every year. Also, know your family history, because your genetics are a big factor is your likelihood of developing diseases like macular degeneration. Nutrition plays a huge roll in your eye health. We should have 11 servings of fruits and vegetables every day and take 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega 3’s daily. Get lots of exercise and control your blood pressure to decrease your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

For smokers, make a commitment to stop. Smoking is a major risk factor for macular degeneration. UV rays, which can also lead to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, be sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses as well as a sun hat that will shield your eyes from harsh rays.

Hormonal changes such as those that take place during pregnancy or menopause can also influence your vision and affect the comfort of your contact lenses and cause dryness of your eyes. Your doctor will do a dry eye evaluation and determine the cause of your symptoms. We now have very effective treatments for dry eye disease and contact lenses designed for patients with dry eyes.

There are also precautions to take to shield your eyes from household dangers, such as cleaning supplies. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaning agents, bleach and pesticides are stored safely and properly, and are out of reach of small children. Wash your hands after handling all chemicals and use eye protection when employing the use of strong chemicals. Wear safety goggles when repairing things in your house, especially when working with wood, metal or power tools.

At the end of each day remove all your eye makeup using a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. If you wear waterproof make up, follow up your waterproof makeup remover with the Cleanser to get rid of all oily traces. Never share eye makeup with someone else.

Often women take on the responsibility of managing our family’s healthcare. Be sure to include yearly eye health exams for everyone.