Women have a greater chance of developing certain eye diseases compared to men. Many factors cause eye disease, some preventable, and others that we have no control over.
Hormones play a major part in why women developed eye diseases compacted to men. Women have different hormones that affect them that men don’t have. Studies show that women also tend to live longer than men, giving them more years to develop eye problems.
Women at Risk
Why are there more eye problems in women? Hormones play a factor in developing eye problems, but so do lifestyle, genetics, pregnancy, and more. Women go through several body and hormone changes during their life, that men do not. Pregnancy causes changes in the eyes, such as dry eyes, puffiness, migraine headaches that affect vision, light sensitivity, and more. If a woman is not pregnant, even taking birth control can cause hormonal changes and blood clots in some cases. If a clot happens, that can lead to strokes that affect vision, sometimes permanently.
Later in life, eye problems become more frequent in both men and women. However, women statistically have a higher chance of developing chronic conditions such as lupus, arthritis, MS, and more. All of these affect eye health.
According to Women’s Eye Health.org, women develop blindness and have visual impairments twice as much as men. That being said, 2/3rds of people with blindness and vision problems are women. Hormones play a major part in why this happens, and studies show that women also tend to live longer than men, giving them more years to develop unfortunate eye problems.
Myth: If you can see clearly, you don’t need to see the eye doctor
This is a huge myth that is completely wrong. Even if your patient thinks they don’t have eye issues and can see things clearly, they should still get eye exams. They may not have to do it yearly, like those that do wear corrective lenses or contacts, but they should still go in every couple of years to have an exam. As the optometrist, you must tell your patient why you need to dilate their eyes. Many of the patients don’t realize that for you to take a deep look into their eyes to make sure nothing is lingering on the inside, their eyes need to be dilated. Most eye diseases don’t show symptoms until their later stages. Vision impairment also develops over time. For example, macular degeneration is a condition where the eye’s macula tissue becomes damaged over time.
Your patients must be knowledgeable about eye health. Some diseases can’t be stopped, but their progression can be halted if an eye doctor catches them in the early stages. You can even prevent a disease that runs in the family if you work closely with your patients and help them take better care of their eyes.
What else can your patients do to help prevent eye disease? Ensure they are educated, eat a balanced diet, and get essential vitamins to help maintain their eye health. And most importantly, encourage them to get frequent eye exams so you can help them prevent eye diseases.