Are Women At Higher Risk for Eye Disease?
It should come as no surprise that visual impairments are more prevalent in older individuals. What may surprise you is that two thirds of individuals who are blind or are going blind are women, according to the National Institute for Health. When breaking down the numbers by age group, the number of men and women with visual impairments are about even in the 40 to 49 year old age range, while women have nearly double the incidents of visual impairment in the 80 plus category.
According Women’s Eye Health.org, 75 percent of visual impairments are preventable or treatable. So how can women take extra precaution when it comes to vision? Check out these five tips:
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Excess weight, smoking, imbalanced diets, and too much sun exposure can increase the risk of visual impairments.
- Get tested for eye disease based on your risk factors. For instance, glaucoma, a group of eye diseases where damage to the optic nerve can cause blindness, is hereditary. Diabetics may get retinopathy, a complication from diabetes that can cause blindness and is a result of leakage from blood vessels, and cataracts, a gradual clouding of an eye's lens. Older individuals may experience age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is an eye disease that causes damage to the macula, which is a tiny spot near the center of the eye that is responsible for seeing objects straight ahead.
- Pay attention to symptoms. For instance, if your eyes are hurting, burning or itching, you may have dry eye syndrome. This particular disease affects women more than men due to hormonal differences.
- Get treatment when needed.
- No matter what your risk factors are, continue to see your eye doctor annually.