the theme of this day dominates the month, however some other important health
issues need similar platforms and this is one such issue that needs attention.
The story is
similar in other parts of the world including largely populated countries like
China and India. In some of the developing countries women seldom visit a
doctor, leave alone getting their eyes checked regularly and this is due to the
high cost of medical care that is not affordable. In fact the theme for the
World Health Day of 2019 is providing universal healthcare by 2030
Why women have more problems with Vision?
Other than the longer
life expectancy and hormonal issues, factors like age, smoking, poor nutrition
and obesity will also cause visual impairment.
Women have higher rates of cataract, glaucoma and
age-related macular degeneration and also higher prevalence of dry eye.
Pregnancy and menopause may also cause changes in vision.
hormones during pregnancy may lead to conditions like dry eye
, refractive errors, diabetic retinopathy
, retinal detachment
to high blood pressure, and puffy eyelids. Pregnant women should be cautious
and look for symptoms that may cause permanent damage. Additionally women also
tend to get treated more for various forms of cancer which again may impair the
also more prone to autoimmune diseases like lupus, Sjögren's syndrome and
hyperthyroidism which may also affect their vision, according to the American
Academy of Ophthalmology.
Protecting the Vision - Recommendations
are a few recommendations to maintain good eye health and prevent vision loss
in the future:
- Get your eyes
- Quit smoking
- Maintain blood
sugar and blood pressure levels
- Discuss with your
doctor about taking nutritional supplements
- Stay protected in
sun with the help of sunglasses or hats
- Learn if there is
a history of eye disease in the family
- Practice a safe
use of eye cosmetics
- Practice safe use
of contact lenses
- Pregnant women,
particularly those with diabetes and women going through menopause should
be aware that they might face vision impairment and should seek help
Barriers to Seeking Treatment
of the eye diseases do not have cures, early detection and prevention are possible and the effects can be significantly lessened. An online survey
conducted by Prevent Blindness
found that one in four women have not got their eyes examined for two years.
The reasons cited by them include cost, transportation issues and not being
able to take time off to visit a doctor.
findings from the survey that cause a great deal of concern include:
- Lack of awareness
- Less than 10 percent number of women understand that they are at a
higher risk of vision loss than men
- Almost 86 percent of the American women think both women and men have equal risks
- Around 5 percent
assumed that men are at a greater risk
What Should You Do? Healthy vision should not be taken for granted.
recommended that all women at least by the age of 40 should start undergoing
comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams should become a routine at the earliest
possible. Treatment and care routine recommended by the specialist should be
diligently followed. Dilated eye exams should be done to detect certain
conditions like macular
Hispanic women are more prone to dry eye and should have a discussion with
their specialist regarding care and treatment for the syndrome. Pregnant women,
particularly those diagnosed with diabetes, should consult their eye doctor
regularly without fail.
A diet that
is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and
omega-3 fatty acids is recommended. Those diagnosed with vision problems
should discuss the recommended
diet plan with the consulting doctor.
it is time for all women to know the facts, understand the risks and seek
guidance appropriately. Women all over
the world must be encouraged to get eye exams regularly in order to prevent
total blindness in the future.
- Because Women Have Unique Vision Issues, Prevent Blindness Declares April as Women's Eye Health and Safety Month - (https://www.preventblindness.org/women-eye-health-2019)