April is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
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 women is increasingly common, particularly in aging women. In fact, studies show that most women over the age of 40 have some type of eyesight impairment, and risk developing conditions like cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the risk of women being diagnosed with vision loss has grown due to the female population's increasing longevity.
As a woman, an important step to take to maintain strong sight is to schedule a routine eye exam. Be sure to go get a full eye checkup before reaching the age of 40, and that you adhere to the care your eye care professional recommends. Also, be aware of your family medical history, because your genes are a key part of comprehending, diagnosing and preventing eye conditions.
When it comes to nutrition, eat a healthful, varied diet and be sure to include foods full of zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, which all help prevent eyesight loss as a result of eye disease. You can also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, as they are all good starting points to managing top-notch eye health.
If you smoke, make a commitment to stop, because even second-hand smoke can add to the risk of eye disease and is a proven factor in the macular degeneration that can come with aging (AMD), as well as cataracts. UV rays, which can also be a party to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are very dangerous to your eyesight. When you go outside, and during the summer AND winter, be sure to wear complete UV blocking sunglasses and a sun hat to protect your eyes from harsh rays.
Hormonal shifts like those that occur due to pregnancy or menopause, can also affect your vision. Often, these shifts can even make contacts less effective or uncomfortable. During pregnancy, you may want to shorten lens wearing time and adjust your prescription if necessary. It's recommended to book an appointment with your optometrist at some point during your pregnancy to talk about any eyesight or vision differences you may be experiencing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from household dangers, such as domestic cleaners. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaners, bleach and strong detergents are kept safely and properly, and are locked away from young children. Scrub your hands properly after handling all chemicals and wear eye protection when employing the use of strong substances. Use safety goggles when fixing things in your house, especially when working with wood, metal or power tools.
Women need to be educated about the risks and considerations when it comes to your eye care. And also, it can never hurt to inform the women in your life, such as daughters and friends, on the best ways to protect their eye and vision health.