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Visual Health Impacted by Gender Differences

It’s often said that men and women see things differently—finally, we can say there’s some truth to that statement! A recent vision study discovered that women are visually more perceptive to changes in color while men are more sensitive to small details and moving objects. While these findings are fascinating, the shocking news is the difference in vision health between genders.

Of the more than 160 million people worldwide who are blind or visually impaired, 70 percent are women. There are several health factors and gender differences that put women at a greater risk of vision complications.

Vision Health and Women

 

  • Glaucoma – More women than men suffer from glaucoma, a potentially blinding eye disease resulting from damage to the fibers of the optic nerve (the nerve that registers what we see).
  • Macular Degeneration – Women tend to be at slightly higher risk of developing macular degeneration or deterioration of the retina. It’s also the leading cause of blindness in Americans aged 65 and older, and since women tend to live longer, they carry a higher risk of developing severe vision loss if they have the disease.
  • Dry Eye Syndrome – Women are more susceptible to dry eye syndrome, a condition more frequent in post-menopausal and pregnant women due to hormonal fluctuations.
  • Pregnancy – Due to an increase in hormones, women who are pregnant or receiving fertility treatments may experience changes in their vision from dry eyes to puffy eyelids that obscure side vision to light sensitivity. However, blurry vision may signal high blood pressure or pregnancy-related diabetes and a doctor should be notified.
  • Menopause – Post-menopausal women who received hormone therapy may be at an increased risk for cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens and the main cause of blindness in the world.

Tips for Healthy Vision in Women

  • Visit an Optometrist for annual comprehensive eye exams
  • Eat fruits and leafy green vegetables that contain lutein
  • Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly to avoid the risk of infection
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection and an E-SPF of 50+

 

Discard old makeup to avoid eye irritation and infection