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Posted by: Mitchell Refractive Surgery & Eye Center

March is Women’s History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the incredible contributions that women have made throughout history in various fields such as medicine, culture, and society. It’s worth noting that women in eye care have made groundbreaking contributions that have paved the way for the next generation of female leaders in this field. Their remarkable achievements have inspired and empowered women and led to significant improvements in patients’ eye health.

Did you know women are at greater risk for eye disease and visual impairments? According to the Women’s Eye Health Organization, women account for more than two-thirds of the world’s blind and visually impaired population, which is why the Women’s Eye Health Organization was established in 2001 in response to this troubling reality. We strive to educate women and our patients’ families to empower them to make healthy lifestyle changes to improve their eye health.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, studies show a gender gap in eye diseases. Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma. Women comprise 65 percent of AMD cases, 61 percent of glaucoma and cataract patients are women, and 66 percent of blind patients are women. Why the gender gap? There are a few theories. On average, women live longer, and many eye problems are age-related.

Unique Vision Problems Women Need To Watch Closely:

  • Dry Eyes – Occurs at double the rate in postmenopausal women.
  • Autoimmune Diseases – Women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, and hyperthyroidism.
  • Pregnancy – vision changes due to the hormones pregnant women experience

Women, It Is Now Time To Take Care Of Yourself!

Women often make the majority of their family’s healthcare decisions. In addition to being responsible for their health, women are often responsible as caregivers for the healthcare choices of their children, partner, spouse, and aging parents. We encourage all women to carve out some time for themselves today and take care of themselves to continue to be that shining star for their loved ones. Call TODAY to schedule your appointment for an eye exam! In the meantime, here are some simple steps you can take to improve your eye health and protect your precious eyes to be well on your way to healthier and happier eyes:

  • Eat healthy foods. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish.
  • Drop the smoking habit. Smoking increases the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Protect Your Eyes! Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.
  • Know Your Family History. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. A family history of glaucoma increases your risk by four to nine times.
  • Use Cosmetics Safely. Throw away eye makeup after three months and get new products. Bacteria that cause infections can grow and reproduce rapidly in creamy or liquid eye makeup.

We encourage women as well as men to get regular eye exams. Making eye health a top priority today can help protect your eye health as you age.

Mitchell Eye Center
References: Women’s Eye Health Organization, American Academy of Ophthalmology, and American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided in this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.

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