Women’s eye health matters. Did you know that women account for two-thirds of people in the world affected by visual impairments and blindness even though they represent only 53 percent of the population?
Because of this, Prevent Blindness America has designated April 2014 as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month to help educate women about the steps they should take to make eye health a priority.
Women are often responsible for taking care of their family’s health concerns but often neglect their own health, including the health of their eyes. Women, on average, live longer than men and as a result, more women are susceptible to age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma, diabetic changes of the eye and other conditions.
While the following recommendations apply to everyone, during April the emphasis is for women to take care of themselves as well as their families.
1. Routine Eye Care – Including Annual Comprehensive Eye Exams
Many causes of eye-related problems are preventable, so all women should make eye examinations a regular part of their healthcare routine. Even if no eye-related symptoms are present, it is recommended that all women receive a comprehensive eye examination at least by the age of 40 and obtain routine follow-up care as recommended by their eye doctor. Remember that an eye exam evaluates much more than just blurry vision.
2. Know Your Family History – Tell Your Eye Doctor
Genetics plays an important role in what diseases people may be at risk for, including eye diseases. It is important to notify your eye doctor of any conditions that your ancestors may have had. In some cases, this information can help create eye healthy habits to prevent or lessen the possibility of those eye conditions occurring in you.
3. Eat Healthy and Exercise Regularly for Optimum Eye Health
Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are important in maintaining a proper weight and reducing the risk for certain conditions. Healthy habits can also help guard against vision loss. Obesity, a lack of exercise, stress and a bad diet can affect the health of your eyes.
4. Avoid Smoking and Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Smoking, including secondhand smoke, increases the risk for certain eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Avoid smoking and being around secondhand smoke.
5. Protect Eyes from UV Light with Good Sunglasses
Ultraviolet light exposure has also been linked to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. When people are outside, it is recommended they wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.
6. Practice Safety with Cosmetics and Contact Lenses
The rules for using cosmetics and contact lenses safely are easy. Wash your hands first. Throw away old makeup and contacts. Do not share them with others. Do not apply them while driving. By following these directions, individuals can prevent serious eye infections, as well as eye injuries, that could result in permanent vision loss.
Are you concerned about women’s eye health? Remember, if you are responsible for making certain that your family is healthy, it is important to continue to take care of your family by taking care of yourself. Taking care of your eyes is an easy way to assist in meeting those important functions for years to come. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with the eye doctors of Corrective Eye Center today by calling 216-574-8900 or filling out our online form.