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April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Prevent Blindness has declared April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate the public on the increased risk for women and vision health issues, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent vision loss.

Women have a higher prevalence of major vision problems, including:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Autoimmune Diseases (such as Lupus or Sjögren’s Syndrome)
  • Cataract
  • Dry Eye
  • Glaucoma
  • Low Vision
  • Thyroid Eye Disease
  • Refractive Error

According to the World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision, women, on average, live longer than men, and are thus at greater risk of developing eye conditions associated with ageing. However, even after controlling for age, global estimates suggest that women with moderate and severe presenting distance vision impairment outnumber men by approximately 7 percent.

In addition to eye disease and conditions, women have unique health issues related to pregnancy and menopause due to fluctuating hormone levels. Women may notice changes in their ability to see clearly during pregnancy. Women with pre-existing conditions, like glaucoma, high blood pressure or diabetes, need to alert their eye doctor that they are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant). Additionally, dry eye leading to a clinical diagnosis or severe symptoms affects more than 3.2 million American women middle-aged and older.

(Article courtesy of Prevent Blindness)