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True Or False: Women & Men Have An Equal Risk Of Developing Eye Diseases

Women’s Eye HealthWhile our eyes are a distinguishing feature that’s unique to each one of us, the way that our eyes are meant to function is the same. That said, it may seem like there wouldn’t be much difference between men and women when it comes to developing eye diseases, but this isn’t exactly the case.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, women have higher rates of eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Women account for:

  • 66% of blind patients
  • 63% of people with vision impairment
  • 65% of age-related macular degeneration cases
  • 61% of both glaucoma and cataract patients

So why the gender inequality? One theory is that women tend to live longer than men, and many eye diseases develop and progress as we age. Women also tend to be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases that can affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and hyperthyroiditis.

In addition, women have a higher prevalence of dry eye syndrome and may also experience vision changes due to normal age-related hormonal changes, including pregnancy and menopause. For example, postmenopausal women have double the rate of dry eye syndrome than men do.

Tips For Women’s Eye Health

In an effort to educate women about these issues as well as provide recommendations on the best ways to take care of their vision, Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

Both Prevent Blindness and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends steps for women to take to protect their vision and eye health, including:

  • Getting regular eye exams, beginning by age 40
  • Learning of any family history of eye disease
  • Not smoking
  • Wearing 100% UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Using contact lenses safely
  • Using eye cosmetics safely
  • Eating a diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

The most proactive step every woman can take, especially those who are 40 and older, is to have annual comprehensive eye exams. It’s only through comprehensive eye exams that ophthalmologists are able to detect common eye diseases, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, retinal detachment, and tumors.

Detecting and treating any of these eye diseases at their earliest stages offers women the best chance to avoid permanent vision loss and preserve the health of their eyes. In addition, an ophthalmologist is able to detect other health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure through comprehensive eye exams.

At Baptist Eye Surgeons, our doctors are all committed to providing the best possible eye care for all women and men alike.

Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN, dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To meet our doctors and learn more about our specialities, visit our website or give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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