It's no surprise that the various stages of a woman's life often have a strong impact on her eye health and vision. Eye disease among the female population is being diagnosed in growing numbers, particularly in aging women. Actually, studies show that large numbers of women over the age of 40 have some degree of visual impairment, and are at risk of developing conditions including but not limited to cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetes-related retinopathy. It's worth noting that the risk of women being diagnosed with vision loss has increased as a result of the female population's growing lifespan.
As a woman, an initial step to take to guarantee healthy sight is to schedule a periodic eye exam. Be sure that you have a full eye test before you turn 40, and that you follow up with the care your eye doctor encourages. Additionally, be aware of your family history, because your genetics are an important detail of understanding, diagnosing and preventing eye diseases.
In addition, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and be sure to include foods full of beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, all which help guard from vision loss as a result of eye disease. You can also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, which are all strong starting points to keeping up optimal eye care.
For women who smoke, make a commitment to quit, because even second-hand smoke can increase the danger of eye disease and is a known cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also cause the development of cataracts and AMD, are extremely harmful to your vision. When outside, and not just during the summer, be sure to wear complete UV blocking sunglasses as well as a sun hat that will protect your eyes from harsh rays.
Changes in hormone levels, like those that occur during pregnancy and menopause, can also influence your vision. Sometimes, these changes can even make the use of contacts ineffective or uncomfortable. If you're pregnant, you might want to shorten contact lens wearing time and alter your eyeglass prescription as needed. It's worthwhile to book an appointment with your eye care professional during your pregnancy to talk about any eye or vision shifts you may be experiencing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from risks at home, such as cleaning supplies. Be sure that domestic chemicals, including cleaners, paints and fertilizers are stored safely and are out of reach of young children. Clean your hands properly after touching all chemicals and wear eye protection when employing the use of toxic chemicals. Use safety goggles when fixing things around the house, especially when working with potentially dangerous objects or tools.
Women need to be educated about the risks and choices when it comes to looking after your vision. And of course, it can never hurt to educate the other women in your life, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eyes and vision.