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The Greater Risk Women Face for Eye Conditions and Permanent Vision Loss
posted: Jan. 25, 2023.
Have you ever stopped to think about how much beauty there is in the world around us? Everyone sees this beauty from a unique perspective, but unfortunately, women are at a far greater risk of developing eye conditions which may prevent them from seeing it at all. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two thirds of all blindness and visual impairment occurs in women, while 75 percent of visual impairment is preventable with proper education and care. Let’s take a closer look at these numbers and why they matter.
Dry Eye Disease Dry Eye Disease (DED) is one of the most common eye diseases among women. It occurs when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears to keep them lubricated. This can lead to a range of problems such as redness, itching, burning, and blurred vision. While anyone can suffer from DED, it is more common in women due to hormonal changes that occur during menopause or pregnancy. In addition, some medications have been linked to an increased risk for this condition including certain antidepressants, antihistamines, and birth control pills.
Cataracts Cataracts are another common eye condition which affects both men and women but appears to be more prevalent among women than men. A cataract is caused by a clouding of the lens inside the eye which can lead to blurred vision or even complete blindness if left untreated. It has been estimated that up to 50% of people aged 65 or older have cataracts in one or both eyes; however, this number increases significantly among women over age 80—with 90 percent experiencing some form of cataract-related vision loss. Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma Macular degeneration (MD) and glaucoma are two other eye conditions that disproportionately affect women than men. MD is caused by damage to the macula—the center part of the retina responsible for providing clear central vision—and usually develops slowly over time with no pain or discomfort until vision loss occurs. Glaucoma is an increase in intraocular pressure that can cause damage to the optic nerve leading to permanent vision loss if not treated promptly. Both MD and glaucoma are more common among older adults; however, studies have shown that women tend to develop these conditions earlier than men do and often experience more severe symptoms as well.
From dry eye disease to glaucoma, there are many different types of eye conditions that affect both men and women; however, research has consistently shown that these conditions are far more prevalent among women than men—with twice as many cases occurring each year! Fortunately, with proper education on prevention measures like healthy lifestyle choices and regular eye exams these risks can be greatly reduced—so make sure you encourage yourself and any woman in your life to take good care of their eyes!
Our optometrists at Lentz Eye Care in Wichita & Newton Kansas are committed to not only ensuring your lifelong vision health but your overall health, as well. If you have any questions about your risk for eye disease, or if you have questions about the risks of a loved one, feel free to schedule an appointment!