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If you were asked to describe your surroundings, what would you talk about? Would you describe the way it looked? No matter where you are, the only way to visually describe your surroundings is if you have healthy eyes to see them. Have you considered your eye health, lately? According to national non-profit Prevent Blindness, women are at a higher risk for eye disease than men, but one in four has not had an eye exam in the last two years. Since April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, let’s discuss this topic with some specific information regarding women, and remember that proper eye care is important for everyone.
Here are a few statistics that put women at higher risk for eye disease, than men: Women live longer than men. Women experience hormonal shifts during pregnancy and menopause. Certain cancer treatments, such as breast cancer treatments negatively impact eye health. Women are more likely to experience autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases can negatively impact eye health. Some examples of eye disease include macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and dry eye. Dry eye is more prevalent in women during menopause, and post menopause. Many eye diseases are degenerative, meaning damaged caused by them is irreversible, so early detection is best to prevent further damage and maintain eye health. Schedule routine eye exams and keep track of any changes in vision to discuss with your doctor. Your doctor can also recommend supplements or vitamins that are specific to your personal needs.
Cosmetics, contact lenses and other environmental factors can all pose eye safety risks. Eye makeup products that come in close contact with the inner eye like mascara, eyeliner and false lashes or lash extensions can introduce unwanted bacteria. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends discarding eye makeup after three months and if you have an eye infection. Inform your doctor of any allergic reactions to makeup, and try to avoid products that contain unsafe and untested chemicals. Follow instructions to safely use contact lenses. Wear UV protecting sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to protect eyes from the sun.
Every day we depend on our eyes. Impaired vision can lead to loss of independence and a need to rely on others for help with daily tasks and transportation. Compared to older adults without sensory impairments, those with impaired vision are twice as likely to report being depressed, said the American Foundation for the Blind. Eating a healthy balanced diet, drinking more water, and lowering caffeine and sodium intake may benefit eye health, and quitting smoking is also beneficial. Our eyes not only impact our physical wellness but also our mental wellness. Take a minute to assess how well you have been caring for your eyes. A visit to your optometrist and a few changes to your diet and lifestyle could significantly impact your wellness and future quality of life.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed regarding exercise and health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.