Macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, Fuchs’ dystrophy, and Sjögren’s syndrome. These are some of the afflictions affecting more and more adults, with more patients projected to have such eye diseases in the coming decade.
Experts state that more women than men are diagnosed with vision loss, including ARMD (age-related macular degeneration). 2.3 million out of the 3.6 million Americans over the age of 40 suffer from some form of vision loss, according to a study, “Vision Problems in the U.S.,” from the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America.
Prevent Blindness America has declared April Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. According to the National Eye Institute, women are more prone to vision impairment due to hormonal reasons.
Prevent Blindness Ohio provide a list of tips and advice for women to follow in order to prevent and/or curb possible vision impairment. First, they recommend getting an eye exam, which could help catch any early manifestations of eye problems. Secondly, learning about family history is very important, as vision afflictions can be hereditary.
Abstaining from or quitting smoking is a very important step for keeping the eyes, and of course the rest of the body, healthy. Second hand smoke can also be detrimental to one’s eyesight. Also recommended is a diet with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein. Zinc, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C are healthy choices as well.
Finally, protection from UV rays is advised. Such solar rays have been linked to cataracts and ARMD, according to Prevent Blindness Ohio.
Says Sherry Williams, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness Ohio, “Both men and women need to take the necessary steps to keep their eyes healthy in order to enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision…Because women have more risk of vision loss than men, and different risk factors, we want to make sure they pay increased attention to saving their sight.”
Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s lens, preventing the passage of light. Glaucoma describes an impaired or damaged optic nerve. Macular degeneration is the loss of central vision due to a loss of photoreceptors, or blood vessels impeding upon the retina. Diabetic retinopathy results from diabetes and can lead to blindness.
Other eye afflictions include Fuchs’ dystrophy and Sjögren’s syndrome, which describe swollen corneas resulting in blurred vision, and the immune system attacking the exocrine glands, respectively.