Did you know that statistically women struggle with more eye health problems than men?
There are many potential reasons why this is the case, but one of the most commonly cited reasons is that women live longer than men, on average. That makes the sting of dealing with one more health issue a little less intense, right?
Another reason is because women often put their families and others before themselves, so they don’t end up getting regular eye exams or go to the eye doctor when they’re experiencing problems. Women’s eye health is very important (along with their overall woman wellness care), so make sure you see a doctor and don’t ignore a problem.
Eye diseases that are more common in females
With that in mind, here are 5 eye diseases that are surprisingly more common in women.
- Dry eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), approximately 3.2 million women over 50 suffer from dry eye syndrome, compared to only 1.68 million men. One of the main reasons so many more women deal with dry eyes is due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.
- Cataracts. Half of all Americans that are 75 years and older have cataracts. However, they’re more common still in women than men because (as we’ve said already) women tend to live longer.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). According to the National Eye Institute, loss of vision in Americans is mainly due to AMD. AMD is a disease that destroys the macula of the eye and also gets more common with age. It’s estimated that 65 percent of people with AMD are women.
- Glaucoma. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of vision loss behind AMD. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve and results in an irreversible loss of sight. Again, due to the fact that women live longer and have more hormonal changes and imbalances, they are at a greater risk for developing glaucoma. Approximately 60 percent of glaucoma patients are women.
- Blindness. As a result of more women developing AMD, cataracts and glaucoma (that can all cause vision loss), women are also more likely to be legally blind. Interestingly, though, men are more likely to be color blind than women.
Ways to preserve women’s eye health
If you want to try to avoid becoming one of these statistics, here are 3 practical ways to keep your eyes healthy.
- Eat healthy foods. If your overall body health is good, your eyes have a lower chance of developing disease. Some specific vitamins you want to include in your diet are vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, omega fatty acids and beta carotene.
- Attend regular eye exams. If you don’t see your eye doctor on a regular basis, then problems can’t be detected as early. Early detection is super important with any disease, so don’t put off your yearly check-ups.
- Choose a healthy lifestyle. In addition to eating healthy, regular exercise is also important. Also, avoid making unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking and overeating. Smoking has been linked to several eye diseases and you are also more likely to develop an eye disease if you’re overweight or have diabetes.
Take care of your eyes and your overall health
Women have a tendency to put their health problems to the side to take care of others. Make sure you make your eye health and your overall health as a woman a top priority.
At All About Women, we feel you deserve to take time for your health. If you haven’t had your yearly well woman exam, make an appointment with one of our gynecologists today.