6 Reasons why Women are More Prone to Eye Problems than Men ? And What You can Do About It ?
The theory that women are more likely to suffer from eye problems than men has been around for a long time, but more and more studies are starting to prove that it’s more than an old wives’ tale.
One of the main studies conducted into this apparent trend was by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2010, and it found several reasons why women seem to be more prone to eye problems.
Here are Some of Those Reasons they Identified:
• Pregnancy –
Here’s an obvious difference between women and men, and the hormonal changes that our bodies go through during pregnancy can be as dramatic as the more visible physical changes, and the effects can be longer lasting. Your eyes can be affected by several factors that occur when you’re pregnant, including the hormones, water retention and blood circulation. You may not notice the damage that’s been done until long after your babies have grown up and left the nest, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done.
• Dry eye disease –
What’s dry eye disease? It’s what happens when you’ve spent too long staring at screens (who doesn’t?) and you’ve got pain, irritation or dryness in your eyes. Around 300 million people suffer from it, but it’s more common for women, both young and old.
• Autoimmune diseases –
Women are also more likely to suffer from various autoimmune diseases like hyperthyroidism, lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome, all of which can cause eye problems.
• Age –
This is another quite simple one. Women make up 65% of all age-related macular degeneration for the obvious reason that women generally live longer than men and are therefore more like to suffer from age-related health problems. It’s swings and roundabouts, really.
• Glaucoma and Cataracts –
Cataracts happen when the lens becomes more blurred, while glaucoma is caused by pressure in the eyeball that leads to loss of sight. Women make up 61% of patients of both of these.
• Blindness –
Prevent Blindness America report that 66% of people who are blind are women, because there are more risk factors for us (based on social and economic factors), and also that only 9% of women even know this to be the case.
What Can Be Done About It ?
So, there’s the bad news, but what can be done about it? Here are some of the ways you can protect your eyes and buck the trends:
• Be healthy –
Smoking is a major factor in eye problems, with studies showing that it increases the risk of many of the issues mentioned above, like glaucoma, age-related degeneration, cataracts and dry eye syndrome. And that’s not even going into the many other health problems it causes. So ditch the cigarettes and swap them for vitamins A and C, zinc, omega-3, superfoods and other things that will boost your health in general and your eyes too.
• Get Your Eyes Examined –
Your body needs to be looked after and adults need eye tests every two years. If you’re a woman over 40, get a comprehensive, dilated eye examination.
• Know your history –
Many eye problems run in the family, so if anyone in your family has had glaucoma, cataracts or has gone blind, then you need to know about it and so does your doctor, so that steps can be taken to try and protect your eyes.
• Do the basics –
Your eyes are precious, so wear sunglasses with UV protection, don’t spend all day staring at screens, be careful with make-up (throw away any that is over 3 months old) and wear protective eye gear when required at work or at paintballing, etc.