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 in women is increasingly common, particularly in older women. In fact, studies indicate that large numbers of women over the age of 40 exhibit some sort of visual impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's worth noting that the risk of women developing vision impairments has increased due to women's growing longevity.
As a woman, an important step to take to ensure good vision is to make a thorough eye test part of your normal health check up. Be sure to go get a full eye test before reaching the age of forty, and that you adhere to the advice your eye care professional recommends. Additionally, be familiar with your family history, as your genes are a highly relevant factor in comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye diseases. Don't forget to look into your family's medical history and alert your eye doctor of any diseases that show up.
When it comes to nutrition, maintain a healthful, varied diet and make sure to include foods rich in zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, all which help prevent vision loss as a result of eye disease. You can also take vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A tablets, which are all great starting points to keeping up top-notch eye care.
For women who smoke, make a commitment to stop, as even second-hand smoke can add to the danger of eye disease and is a known cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also aid in the development of cataracts and AMD, are very harmful for your eyesight. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, don't forget to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a sun hat that will protect your eyes from harsh rays.
Hormonal shifts such as what might occur during pregnancy or menopause, can also influence your vision. Sometimes, these shifts can even make contacts ineffective or uncomfortable to wear. During pregnancy, you may want to reduce lens wearing time and alter your eyeglass prescription if necessary. It's worthwhile to make an appointment with your eye care professional during your pregnancy to talk about any eyesight or vision changes you may be noticing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from household dangers, such as domestic cleaners. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaning agents, paints and strong detergents are stored safely and are out of reach of small children. Wash your hands properly after working with all chemicals and wear eye protection if employing the use of strong chemicals. Wear proper safety goggles when repairing things around the house, most importantly when working with potentially dangerous objects or tools.
Women need to be informed of the risks and considerations when it comes to caring for your eyes. And of course, it can't hurt to inform the women in your life, such as daughters and friends, about how to look after their eyes and vision.