It's April, which is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
Women go through many changes during their lifetime. Each change could affect her vision differently. Eye disease in women is becoming more common, more notably in middle-aged women. In fact, studies indicate that large numbers of women aged 40 and above experience some sort of visual impairment, and are at risk of developing conditions including but not limited to cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetes-related retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the chance of women developing vision loss has grown because of women's increasing longevity.
As a woman, an initial step to take to guarantee good vision is to schedule a routine eye exam. Be sure to go get a comprehensive eye test before you turn forty, and that you don't forget to follow up with the care your eye doctor recommends. Secondly, know your family history, because your genetics are a highly relevant factor in comprehending, diagnosing and stopping vision loss. Be sure to look into your family's eye and health history and alert your eye doctor of any diseases present themselves.
When it comes to nutrition, maintain a healthy, varied diet and be sure to include foods full of beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which all help prevent eyesight loss due to eye disease. It's recommended that you also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, as they are all good starting points to keeping up optimal eye care.
If you smoke, make a decision to stop, because even second-hand smoke can add to the danger of eye disease and is a common cause of the macular degeneration that can come with aging (AMD), as well as cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also cause the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are extremely dangerous to your eyesight. When you go outside, and during the summer AND winter, make sure to put on complete UV blocking sunglasses as well as a sun hat that will protect your eyes from harsh rays.
Hormonal shifts like what might occur during pregnancy and menopause, can also influence your sight. Often, these shifts can even make contact lenses less effective or uncomfortable. During pregnancy, you may want to decrease 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 experiencing.
There are also measures to take to shield your eyes from household dangers, like cleaning supplies. Check that domestic chemicals, including cleaners, paints and fertilizers are stored safely and properly, and are locked away from small children. Clean your hands well after touching all chemicals and invest in eye protection when using toxic chemicals. Wear proper safety goggles when fixing things at home, especially when working with wood, metal or power tools.
Women need to be educated about the dangers and choices when it comes to looking after your vision. And also, it can't hurt to educate the women in your life, such as daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eye health.