Women’s health is an important aspect of aging optimally. We are living longer, and that means there is naturally a greater opportunity for unexpected health problems to arise. In fact, research does indicate the that longer lives that women seem to lead compared to men may come with a few surprises. When those surprises affect vision, we see a problem with that. Here, we want to discuss the factors that may increase a woman’s risk for eye disease, and what can be done to protect long-term vision.
Natural Risk Factors
Eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts do not get enough attention during the years that lead up to their obvious symptoms. These are two of several potentially serious eye conditions that statistics tell us are more prevalent among women. Along with them, we also see increased cases of:
- Dry eye syndrome.
- Age-related macular degeneration.
- Refractive errors.
We could explain the commonness of these diseases in women with the longevity statistic, but there are other mitigating factors that should also be pointed out. Studies suggest that a woman’s changing hormones after mid-life have a direct impact on the moisture that remains present in the eyes at all times. The chronic dryness, or dry eye syndrome, that may develop persistent causes discomfort, and may also increase the risk of other eye diseases. Statistics demonstrate that more women than men are affected by autoimmune disorders. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis affect the entire body due to widespread inflammation, and that inflammation can increase intraocular pressure and affect the eyes adversely.
Balanced Living for Balanced Health
We do not share these statistics to frighten women about potential eye diseases that could threaten long-term visual clarity. We share them along with suggestions for eye care. To promote healthy eyes through every stage of life, a woman is encouraged to:
- See her eye doctor every year for a comprehensive eye exam. This means dilation. It means having the pressure within the eye measured and the structures throughout the eye observed by an experienced professional.
- Consume foods that are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. This means fresh vegetables and low-sugar fruits. If necessary or more convenient, supplements may be considered as a compliment to healthy dietary choices.
- Avoid cigarettes. Smoking presents direct contact between the eyes and caustic chemicals that can dry the ocular surface and deplete nutrients from the eyes.
Receive friendly care in our Mililani office. Call 808-625-5577.