Women Need to Know Their Risks for Eye Disease
- Posted on: Nov 15 2019
Eye health is as important as skin health, oral health, and reproductive health. If disease develops and threatens the quality of eyesight, life could likely be turned upside down. While there is a certain amount of attention that tends to be given to vision, there often could be more. This is especially true for women.
What Research Says about Women’s Eye Health
According to multiple studies, women generally have a higher risk of developing some type of eye disease in their lifetime. According to other studies, women are largely unaware of their susceptibility:
- More than 90% of women are unaware of the risks of eye disease.
- More than 80% of women think their risk for eye disease is no different than that of men.
- About 5% of women believe that men have a higher likelihood of developing eye disease than they do.
These ideas contrast what research shows, that more women over the age of 40 develop potentially serious eye diseases than men. Commonly diagnosed conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
Why Are Women More At Risk?
Researchers have conducted several studies to better understand how women’s eye health differs from men’s. Some of the factors that have been associated with a higher risk of eye disease include:
- Statistics indicate that women typically live longer than men. This factor alone is significant when discussing the risk of any disease.
- A woman’s hormones fluctuate throughout every month after she reaches puberty. This continues month after month, year after year. Fluctuations intensify during certain life events, such as pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. Some studies suggest that the changes that affect a woman hormonally also affect eye health.
- Women are likely to take medication at some point that may affect their hormones. Birth control is one example. Hormone replacement therapy is another. These medications, as well as others, could have side effects that influence the risk for eye disease.
- The body functions best when it receives adequate nutrition that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals. The Western diet tends to steer away from whole, fresh foods and toward processed and fast-foods. This increases the likelihood of obesity, which then contributes to the degeneration of eye health.
Tips for Optimal Eye Health
When there are known risks that may affect eye health, specific strategies may be employed. These include:
- Avoiding all tobacco products.
- Being vigilant about cleaning makeup brushes and throwing out makeup that has past its expiration date.
- Eating a well-balanced diet that feeds eye health with nourishing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids.
- See the eye doctor every year for a full exam.
Roholt Vision Institute has three offices in which patients can learn more about their eye health. Contact us in Alliance, Canfield, or North Canton to schedule your visit.