Oral & Vision Health Blog

Women Face a Higher Risk for Eye Problems

Spring has sprung and now is the perfect time to consider a visit to your eye doctor for a checkup.  Along with pesky, springtime allergies, there are other reasons to pay close attention to eye health and safety. 

Did you know that women are more likely than men to have eye health-related issues? According to the National Eye Institute, women make up two-thirds of people with vision impairments, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma and blindness.

Why is this the case? The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says that women live longer than men, and many vision issues happen due to age. There are also conditions unique to women that can lead to eye problems. For example, dry eye occurs two times more often in postmenopausal women.

Many types of vision loss are preventable. Here are some tips for maintaining healthy eyes:

Regular Visits to your Eye Doctor

This seems like a no-brainer but it's easy to let life get in the way of making regular appointments.  Your doctor can tell quite a bit about your eyes with just a regular checkup. The AAO suggests a full medical eye exam at age 40 to catch diseases that might not show symptoms early on.

Quit Smoking

Most people might be surprised there is a link between smoking and eye health. Smokers have a higher chance of developing cataracts and AMD. In fact, smoking is “the biggest controllable risk factor associated with AMD.” Smoking is also associated with dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, and a disease called uveitis that can cause total vision loss. It’s never too late to quit.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Your diet can greatly impact eye health in the long run. A diet with of green leafy vegetables can have a positive impact on vision and eye health.  Along with vitamins C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, healthy foods can go a long way. 

Women can also protect their eyes with a few other simple tips:

  • Wear sunglasses when outside
  • While on the computer, wear glasses that block the glare from the screen
  • Keep contact lenses clean and in a safe place

It’s key to be proactive when it comes to eye health. If you notice any changes in vision or the overall look of your eyes, make an appointment and discuss these changes with your doctor.