Prevent Blindness America has declared April “Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month”. Women are at higher risk of losing their vision in old age, due to their longer life expectancies, and for hormonal reasons. Macular degeneration, glaucoma, Fuchs’ dystrophy, Sjögren’s syndrome, cataracts, dry eye, and diabetic retinopathy number among the diseases to which women are susceptible.
Says president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Ruth Williams, M.D., “Because women have more risk of vision loss than do men, and because women have different risks than men, we want to be sure they pay heightened attention to saving their sight.”
For women, or rather anyone, to maintain healthy eyesight into old age, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) recommends the following:
– Getting an eye exam. According to PBA, everyone should get a thorough eye exam by the age of 40, and then continue receiving eye check ups as recommended by a specialist.
– Quit smoking.
– Protection from UV rays.
– A healthy diet. Beta carotene, lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial for the eyes and belong in a diet promoting healthy eyes.
– Educating oneself about family history. Many eye diseases are hereditary, and knowledge of family history can help give you a leg up on vision loss.
In addition, the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) has dubbed April Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month, by coupling proper eye care with Sports Safety Awareness Month.
Protective gear over the eyes is a very important, and basic, step in making sure that the eyes are taken care of. It is possible in any sport for the eyes to somehow be damaged, and AAO hopes that people will be more aware of the risks involved and take steps to keep their eyes protected.
According to the AAO, “More than 40 percent of eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third (34.2 percent) of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.” Another 40 percent, says the AAO, result from recreational activities or sports. Finally, over 78 percent of reported eye injuries stem from a lack of protective eyewear at the time of injury, reports the AAO.