- 2/3 of blindness and visual impairment happens in women
- Over 3/4 of visual impairment is preventable or correctable
Women Should be Aware They’re at Higher Risk
With twice as many women being diagnosed with eye diseases and suffering vision loss than men each year, women need to be aware they’re in a higher-risk group for certain eye diseases. Especially considering that more than 75% of the visual impairment and blindness suffered by women is either preventable or treatable.
It’s for these reasons that we take the month of April, a time of gathering for celebrations like Easter and Passover, to increase awareness by designating April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. So while you’re visiting with the women in your life this month, make sure to bring up the issue of eye health.
Five Questions to Ask the Women You Care About this April
Sometimes it’s hard to get the conversation started. What do you ask and what areas are best to educate about? For tips on healthy eating habits and other recommendations for optimal eye health visit our post, April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. To get a conversation started with the women you care about this month, try these questions:
- What’s your eye health history? Knowing their eye health history will enable them to talk with their eye doctor about certain eye diseases that are hereditary – which they may be at a higher risk for if there’s a family history. (reference Talk to Your Family About Diabetes & Healthy Vision to learn more)
- Are you smoking? Research connects smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. If the women you know are smoking, see what you can do to encourage them to stop and make sure they’re aware of the risks to their vision. You can read more in The Dangers of Smoking and Eye Health.
- How often do you wear shades? A nice pair of UV protectant sunglasses could make an excellent gift this April. Make sure you explain to the women in your life that most people don’t realize the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays are all year round. Wearing shaded as much as possible will minimize the damage and lengthen the health of their eyes.
- Do you have eye protection for jobs around the house and at work? The women in your life may not realize how many eye injuries are caused by simple household cleaning chores and yardwork. Making sure you ask them about using protective eye wear when they use chemicals, power tools and are exposed to flying objects will help them prevent injuries that cause vision loss. For more information read “Preventing Eye Injuries at Home, in the Game and on the Job.”
- Do you have an ophthalmologist? Many people associate “eye health” and “eye doctors” with the idea of having declining vision and making an appointment for glasses or contact lenses. On the contrary, the doctor who performs a typical eye exam to test your vision changes is an optometrist and not a medical doctor. They are not able to perform surgeries and diagnose or treat eye diseases and vision disorders. In order to have a complete diagnosis of medical eye problems — such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts — it is important to seek care from an ophthalmologist. To learn more read Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Opticians: Oh My! or schedule a free eye health screening with the eye professionals of Corrective Eye Center here: Free Eye Health Screening.