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 among the female population is increasingly common, especially in aging women. In fact, studies show that the majority of women over the age of 40 exhibit some degree of visual impairment, and risk developing conditions such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It's worth noting that the chance of women experiencing vision impairments has become more common because of the female population's increasing longevity.
For women, an important step to take to maintain good vision is to make a thorough eye exam part of your normal health check up. Be sure to go get a full eye exam before reaching the age of 40, and that you don't forget to adhere to the advice your eye care professional recommends. Secondly, be aware of your family medical history, as your genes are a key detail of comprehending, diagnosing and preventing vision loss. Don't forget to examine your family's eye and health history and inform your doctor of any illnesses present themselves.
In addition, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and be sure to include foods containing beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, all which help protect against vision loss from eye disease. If possible, you should also take vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C tablets, as they are all great starting points to managing top-notch eye health.
For women who smoke, make a decision to stop, as even second-hand smoke can increase the danger of eye disease and is a common cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as well as cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also be a party to the development of cataracts and AMD, are extremely dangerous to your eyesight. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, be sure to put on complete UV blocking sunglasses as well as a sun hat that will shield your eyes from harsh rays.
Changes in hormone levels, like those that take place during pregnancy and menopause, can also slightly change your vision. Sometimes, these shifts can even make the use of contacts less effective or slightly painful to wear. If you're pregnant, you may want to reduce contact lens wearing time and update your prescription if necessary. It's recommended to book an appointment with your eye doctor during your pregnancy to address any eye or vision differences you may be experiencing.
There are also precautions to take to shield your eyes from dangers at home, like domestic cleaners. Check that household chemicals, including cleaning agents, paints and strong detergents are stored safely and properly, and are locked away from young children. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling all chemicals and use eye protection if employing the use of strong substances. Use proper safety goggles when fixing things around the house, especially when working with wood, metal or tools.
Women need to be aware of the risks and options when it comes to caring for your eyes. And also, it can never hurt to educate the other women in your life, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eyes and vision.