In April, Prevent Blindness America addresses eye health issues specific to women.
The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease among women is being diagnosed in growing numbers, more notably in aging women. Actually, studies show that large numbers of women aged 40 and above have some type of visual impairment, and risk developing conditions such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetes-related retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the chance of women developing vision impairments has become more common as a result of women's increasing lifespan.
As a woman, the first step you can take to guarantee good sight is to make a proper eye test part of your normal health check up. Make sure that you get a full eye exam before you turn forty, and that you follow up with the advice your eye doctor encourages. Secondly, be aware of your family medical history, as your genetics are a highly relevant detail of comprehending, diagnosing and preventing eye conditions.
In addition, eat a healthful, varied diet and make sure to include foods containing beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, all which help prevent vision loss as a result of eye disease. It's recommended that you also take vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A tablets, as they are all strong starting points to keeping up optimal eye health.
For women who smoke, make a decision to stop, as even second-hand smoke can increase the danger of eye disease and is a known factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also lead to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are very dangerous for your eyes. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, don't forget to put on 100% UV protective sunglasses as well as a sun hat that will protect your eyes from harsh rays.
Changes in hormone levels, like what might occur during pregnancy or menopause, can also slightly change your sight. Often, these shifts can even make the use of contacts less effective or slightly painful. During pregnancy, you may want to decrease lens wearing time and update your eyeglass prescription as needed. It's worthwhile to make an appointment with your eye doctor at some point during your pregnancy to discuss any eyesight or vision shifts you may be noticing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from dangers at home, such as domestic cleaners. Be sure that domestic chemicals, including cleaners, paints and strong detergents are kept safely and are out of reach of young children. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching all chemicals and invest in eye protection when employing the use of toxic chemicals. Use safety goggles when repairing things at home, most importantly when working with potentially dangerous objects or tools.
When used carelessly, eye makeup can also be a safety hazard for your eyes. Firstly, never use anyone else's cosmetics. Try not to use old makeup and throw away anything that's been open for more than about four months, especially products that are aqueous. Look out for any abnormal reactions and cease use immediately if you notice redness, itchiness or puffiness in or around the eyes. Be aware also that you can develop allergies to products you've been fine with for years. And of course, be sure to avoid actual contact with the eye when putting on eye makeup.
As a woman, it is important to be informed of the dangers and options when it comes to your eye care. And also, it can't hurt to inform the other women in your life, such as daughters and friends, about how to look after their eye and vision health.