It's April, which is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease in women is being diagnosed in increasing numbers, more notably in older women. Actually, studies indicate that the majority of women aged 40 and above experience some sort of eyesight impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions including but not limited to dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's worth noting that the chance of women experiencing vision loss has become more common due to the female population's increasing longevity.
As a woman, an important step you can take to ensure good sight is to make a full eye exam part of your normal health check up. Make sure to go get a comprehensive eye test before you hit 40, and that you follow up with the advice your eye doctor recommends. Additionally, know your family history, as your genetics are a key factor in comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye diseases.
In addition, eat a healthful, varied diet and don't forget to include foods containing beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which all help guard from eyesight loss due to eye disease. It's recommended that you also buy vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C supplements, which are all good starting points to maintaining optimal eye health.
For smokers, make a commitment to stop, as even second-hand smoke can raise the danger of eye disease and is a known cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also lead to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are very harmful for your eyesight. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, make sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to protect your eyes from the sun.
Changes in hormone levels, such as what might take place due to pregnancy or menopause, can also slightly change your vision. Often, these changes can even make contacts ineffective or uncomfortable to wear. If you're pregnant, you may want to reduce contact lens wearing time and update your eyeglass prescription as needed. It's recommended to book an appointment with your optometrist at some point during your pregnancy to discuss any eyesight or vision differences you may be noticing.
There are also several measures to take to shield your eyes from dangers at home, such as cleaning supplies. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaners, paints and strong detergents are stored safely and properly, and are locked away from young children. Wash your hands properly after working with all chemicals and wear eye protection if using toxic substances. Wear proper safety goggles when repairing things at home, most importantly when working with wood, metal or power tools.
As a woman, it is important to be informed of the dangers and considerations when it comes to caring for your eyes. And of course, it can't hurt to inform the women in your life, such as daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eye health.