April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Did you know that more women suffer from visual impairments than men? Two thirds of blindness occurs in women, fortunately 75% of visual impairment is preventable and/or treatable. One reason why women are affected by more eye health issues than men is because they tend to live longer. According to the National Eye Institute, women are also affected by hormonal factors. Some other risk factors in women are caused by smoking, poor nutrition and obesity. Here are some tips to ensure the health of your eyes and vision.
Get your eyes examined
It’s important to be proactive, so start by scheduling regular eye exams as part of your health routine. Prevent Blindness America recommends that everyone have a comprehensive eye exam by age 40, if not earlier, and to receive follow up care as recommended by your eye doctor.
A healthy diet makes for healthier eyes. It is recommended that women eat a diet rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. This includes eating two weekly servings of fish, such as salmon and sardines. Dark leafy greens and broccoli are also excellent foods to incorporate into your diet.
Regular exercise is known to reduce the risk of eye disease. While you’re out being active, make sure to wear proper sun protection, like hats and sunglasses. These are some straightforward, easy and effective measures that will go a long way in protecting your vision.
Learn more about dry eye syndrome
Dry eye syndrome affects an estimated 3.2 million women in America and is classified as itching, burning and irritation in the eyes due to a lack of tears to lubricate and nourish the eyes. Without proper moisture, dry eye can result in damage to the frontal surface of the eye and ultimately lead to impaired vision. Your best defense is to discuss dry eye with your doctor and stay informed of what your treatment options may be. We encourage women to take care of their eyes not only during Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, but all year round.