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Women’s Vision and Eye Health

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

Women go through many changes during their lifetime. Each change could affect her vision differently. Eye disease among women is becoming more common, more notably in older women. In fact, studies indicate that large numbers of women going through middle age exhibit some type of visual impairment, and are at risk of developing conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's worth noting that the chance of women developing vision impairments has grown as a result of the female population's growing lifespan.

As a woman, an important step to take to maintain strong sight is to make a full eye examination part of your normal health routine. Be sure to go get a comprehensive eye checkup before reaching the age of forty, and that you don't forget to adhere to the care your eye care professional recommends. Secondly, be aware of your family medical history, as your genetics are an important part of comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye conditions.

When it comes to nutrition, maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and be sure to include foods rich in zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, which all help protect against eyesight loss from eye disease. It's recommended that you also take vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, which are all strong starting points to maintaining top-notch eye care.

If you smoke, make a commitment to stop, because even second-hand smoke can add to the risk of eye disease and is a known cause of the macular degeneration that can come with aging (AMD) and cataracts. UV rays, which can also aid in the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are extremely harmful to your eyes. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, make sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a sun hat that will shield your eyes from harsh rays.

Hormonal shifts like those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can also slightly change your vision. Sometimes, these shifts can even make the use of contact lenses ineffective or slightly painful to wear. During pregnancy, you might want to decrease contact lens wearing time and update your eyeglass prescription as needed. It's recommended to book an appointment with your eye doctor during your pregnancy to talk about any eyesight or vision shifts you may be noticing.

There are also several precautions to take to shield your eyes from household dangers, such as cleaning supplies. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaners, paints and strong detergents are kept safely and properly, and are out of reach of small children. Wash your hands well after handling all chemicals and invest in eye protection if using toxic substances. Wear proper safety goggles when repairing things at home, especially when working with wood, metal or tools.

 

As a woman, it is important to be educated about the risks and considerations when it comes to caring for your eyes. And also, it can't hurt to inform the other women in your life, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eyes and vision.

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