Prevent Blindness America raises awareness each year for Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. 2/3rds of all Americans that are blind consist of women. Eye changes that lead to blindness from macular degeneration, autoimmune diseases, dry eye, health and nutrition choices and lifestyle. Use these tips to help prevent eye health problems in the month of April and for years to come!
Prevent Blindness reports from a 2015 study that women are the majority of “4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind.” Many people believe that men and women have an equal risk for eye health issues, when that’s actually false. Women are proven in study after study to have a greater risk of blindness and eye health issues. Most doesn’t realize this, which is why only about 25% of women don’t ever schedule eye exams with an eye doctor.
Women’s Eye Health reports that women develop blindness and have visual impairments twice as much as men. This means that 2/3rds of people with blindness and vision problems are women. Hormones play a major part in why this happens, as women have different hormones that affect them that men simply don’t have. Studies show that women also tend to live longer than men, giving them more years to develop eye problems. Many women aren’t aware that they have a higher risk for developing eye and vision problems. That’s why Women’s Eye Health Month was established to spread the word.
The NEI reported statistics about vision impairment based on age, gender and race in a 2010 consensus. In that study, researchers found that 64% of women were visually impaired compared to 36% of men. Prevent Blindness America—the organization to first institute April as Women’s Eye Health month—urges women to take action to prevent blindness in their futures. Their study found that out of 4.1 million Americans over 40 with vision problems and blindness, 2.6 million were women. Every 10-year study shows a steady increase in the amount of people affected by vision problems and blindness. The problem is only getting worse, which is why so many organizations work to educate women during Women’s Eye Health month.
Many patients we see experience vision changes after age 40 and especially after age 60. This is normal all around the world. Lifestyle and hormones can play a role in those vision changes. However, studies show that eye health can change quicker for women than for men, and hormone surges monthly and hormone changes over time can account for a raised risk for those eye health changes. Here are some of the facts for women and men:
Did you know that many vision problems and diseases don’t cause pain? Many types come on gradually over time, slowly causing damage that could be irreversible. Some patients get eye screenings and think their eyes are healthy and protected, which may not be the case. Eye doctors (known as ophthalmologists) are the only professionals that have received at least 10 years of training in keeping your eyes healthy. During eye exams, they can notice the smallest eye changes that signal the start of a vision condition or disease. Almost anyone can do an eye screening, so you want to seek an eye doctor to monitor your eye health
The equipment eye doctors use during various eye exams are also able to see inside your eye in order to observe the delicate tissues inside. You can’t do that on your own, especially when it comes to refractive errors or detecting problems such as retinal detachment or glaucoma. Some problems are only detected on an internal level way before you start to notice vision problems setting in. Eye exams are important for eye health and overall health.
Eye exams can test for over 100 different things. They can test your color vision, for the presence of refractive errors, if your eye coordination is good and much more. Getting eye exams frequently can literally make the difference between losing your vision early-on in life or keeping your vision clear for years to come.
Do you want to keep your eyes healthy and your vision clear for as many years as possible? Do you want to avoid chronic eye conditions and diseases that run in your family? If so, consider staying up-to-date with your eye exams! If you are a woman, you have a much higher chance of developing vision conditions. This reason makes it even more important to have your eyes checked at least every two years or more often if eye conditions or diseases are present. For all your questions regarding women’s eye health, what women’s eye health month is all about, or to schedule your appointment, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 333-2800!