With National Women’s Health Week quickly approaching (May 12-18), now is the perfect time to talk about the importance of maintaining healthy eyesight.
As we celebrate all the ways in which research has helped women’s health progress in recent years, it is good to pause and reflect on some of the many tips that ophthalmology research has given us to improve and maintain healthy vision care practices for women.
Here are just a few tips to help all the wonderful women in our lives stay educated and keep their eyes healthy during Women’s Health Week.
Avoid Dry Eyes
According to Prevent Blindness, more women are affected by dry eye syndrome than men, around 3 million to men’s 1.5 million.
Most women who experience dry eye syndrome do so after menopause.
There are a variety of medications that an eye doctor can prescribe to treat dry eyes, as well as over the counter eye drops or artificial tears.
Women Have A Higher Risk of Vision Loss
According to YourSightMatters.com, two-thirds of blindness and visual impairments occur in women.
If you think you are developing, or are worried that you might develop any vision loss diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, or AMD, talk to your eye doctor immediately.
Vision Problems and Pregnancy
Pregnancy can bring its own unique set of vision problems. Pregnant women can sometimes experience:
- Puffy eyelids
- Dry eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
As well, fluctuating hormones can bring fluctuations in quality of vision, so don’t be alarmed if your vision temporarily degrades as your hormones spike during your pregnancy.
Pregnant women who experience changes in vision are urged to bring these changes to their doctor immediately for analysis and further testing.
Protect Your Eyes
A great health tip for anyone is to wear UV protective sunglasses if you are going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
Tanning by the pool, a hike through the forest, or any activity that puts you in the sun for a long time can put you at risk for degradation in vision, and put you at higher risk for age-related vision problems.
Exercising regularly, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet can reduce the chances of developing serious eye diseases, and preserve the quality of your vision as you age.
In addition, it is always recommended to schedule annual dilated eye exams with your eye doctor so they can gauge the quality of your vision. This helps predict genetic and age-related diseases before they become a surprise.
As Women’s Health Week approaches, it is especially important to remember that when you aim to take care of your body, you cannot exclude taking care of your eyes.
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, so keep those windows clean and healthy during Women's Health Week, and the many years and memories beyond.