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Women’s eye health and safety month

According to the National Eye Institute, two out of every three people living with blindness or vision problems are women. Women are at higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions (data from The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems study). Prevent Blindness has declared April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate the public on the increased risk for women and vision health issues, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent vision loss.
Women have a higher prevalence of major vision problems, including:

· Age-related Macular Degeneration
· Autoimmune Diseases (such as Lupus or Sjögren’s Syndrome)
· Cataract
· Dry Eye
· Glaucoma
· Low Vision
· Thyroid Eye Disease
· Refractive Error

The World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision states that women, on average, live longer than men. The ageing causes a greater risk in developing eye diseases.

A recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology found that although women were more likely to use eye care, they are also more likely to report difficulty affording eyeglasses than men.

Pregnancy and menopause causes women to have unique health issues related due to fluctuating hormone levels. Women may notice changes in their ability to see clearly during pregnancy. Women suffering with pre-existing conditions, like glaucoma, high blood pressure or diabetes, need to alert their eye doctor that they are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant). Dry eye conditions are also prevalent.

We know that many women play a key role in the overall health of their whole families,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We encourage them to take a moment to ensure their own vision health today and help protect eyesight in the future”.

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