Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month
Women are more susceptible to eye disease, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood of contraction.
Did you know that women are at a higher risk of permanent vision loss than men? According to the National Eye Institute, women account for more than two-thirds of the world’s population of blind and visually impaired persons.
Since women, on average, tend to live longer than men, they are at a greater risk to develop eye diseases including glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, vision impairment and blindness. However, most women are unaware that they are at a higher risk for eye diseases compared to their male counterparts.
To bring more attention to women’s eye safety, Prevent Blindness—the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety group—has declared April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. And to do our part, we’re sharing some helpful tips to keep your eyes healthy and your vision strong.
Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to keep your overall health up is eating a balanced and healthy diet, and that goes for keeping your vision and eyes healthy too. Studies have shown that eating foods that contain carotenoids and some other antioxidants appear to help people from getting Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Cataracts. Help lower your risk of eye disease by eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit (especially citrus), green, leafy vegetables, fatty fish, eggs, and nuts.
Wear Sunglasses and Protective Eyewear
Not only does exposure to sunlight increase your risk of developing skin cancer, but it’s also associated with AMD and cataracts. When you’re outside make sure to wear sunglasses and a wide brim hat to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. Along with sunglasses, you should also be wearing protective eyewear when playing sports, doing yard work, or cleaning with chemicals. Decrease your risk of unnecessary injuries by keeping your eyes as protected as possible.
Replace your Eye Makeup
Replacing your eye makeup is crucial to avoid eye infections. Since eye makeup, like mascara and gel eyeliner, is typically water-based it can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria. Mascara and eyeliner are generally applied directly to the skin and then dipped back into the container, making them more prone to bacterial contamination. The rule of thumb is to change your mascara and gel eyeliner every four to six months to avoid putting yourself at risk for eye diseases like conjunctivitis (pink eye) and sties.
Know your Family History
Ask your family members and do some research to see if there are any known eye diseases in your family history. This information could help your eye-doctor stay vigilant for any early signs of eye disease, including glaucoma, which can sneak up with very little warning.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
And finally, the best thing you can do to protect your eyes and prevent any long-term eye injuries is to schedule a routine comprehensive check up with your eye doctor.