While everyone, regardless of gender, must take care of their eye health, women have more eye disease, blindness and vision problems than men. A major study in 2001 shows that around the world, eye disease is more common in women.
Topping the list for women vs. men is dry eye syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and certain forms of cataract. Women tend to live longer in industrialized nations, so age-related eye problems are more common for them, including cataracts and macular degeneration.
Third world countries have 4/5th of the blind and visually impaired people in the world. Infectious diseases, like trachoma, are more common in women in third world countries. If women have less access to medical care than others, any eye condition will likely be more serious before they seek treatment.
Shockingly, three out of four cases of visual impairment is estimated to be preventable or correctable. Women need to receive comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis – ideally, at least once every two years, and more frequently for elderly and “at risk” individuals.
Some eye diseases and problems have symptoms, but many do not. Glaucoma and macular degeneration can cause blindness without warning. Regular screening is crucial to catching and treating problems in their early stages.
Poor nutrition is also a factor. In developing countries, women sometimes give their food portions to keep other family member strong. Links between nutrition and eye disease are well documented. A recent study in India showed a strong connection between low vitamin C intake and cataracts. Another study showed that vitamin D helped prevent macular degeneration. Check out our natural eye care program.
Lifestyle factors for eye disease are a blind-spot for most women. The risk factors for stroke, heart disease and cancer also risk factors for eye disease. Eating a good diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains, and maintaining a healthy weight are very important. Smokers have a bigger chance of developing vision problems. Regular exercise is crucial to overall health.
When women are aware of their higher risk of developing eye problems, they need to simply follow through with regular exams and a healthy lifestyle to reduce their chances of blindness and vision impairment. For more information, visit Women’s Eye Health: www.womenseyehealth.org