Everyone, no matter what their gender is, wants their eyes to stay healthy as long as possible. But did you know that women make up the majority – as many as two thirds – of the people who have some sort of visual impairment? Do you want to know how to keep your eyes healthy during Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month? We’re happy to help.

Look at your longer life

Age-related vision issues such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration are more likely to affect women because women generally live longer than men. Additionally, hormonal changes throughout women’s lives can also have an effect on their vision. For example, menopause may cause both dry eye and uveitis.

See the effects of pregnancy

Pregnancy can affect women’s eyes, too. Dry eye, light sensitivity, and changes in their prescription are common issues. Migraines and high blood pressure, which can occur during pregnancy, can also cause vision issues.

Birth control and hormone replacement therapy can increase the chance for cataracts and dry eye. They may also cause strokes, which can cause vision problems.

Your other health matters

Women with breast cancer may have an increased risk of cataracts, bleeding or itchy eyes, and light sensitivity from some of the medicines they take.

Autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women than men, and as a result women are more likely to have the eye-related issues. For example, Sjögren’s Syndrome destroys the glands that produce tears, which causes dry eye syndrome.

Let’s keep our eyes healthy

There are many ways you can protect your eyes and help ensure you see properly for years to come.

  • Get an annual eye exam. If you are pregnant – especially if you are diabetic – you are strongly urged to get a full, dilated eye exam.
  • Protect your eyes from UV rays – which can cause cataracts and other eye issues – by wearing sunglasses and a hat when you’re outside.
  • Change your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc are all beneficial.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can cause age-related macular degeneration.

Kelly Doty, OD

“Self-care is important even when the home and work schedules are full,” CEENTA Optometrist Kelly Doty, OD, said. “The old cliché is true: you can’t be the best for your family without taking care of yourself.”

Pay close attention to these points and follow these care tips, and you can make sure your eyes are healthy not just during Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, but year-round, too.

Dr. Doty practices in our Blakeney and Steele Creek offices. To make an appointment with her or any of CEENTA’s eye doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.

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