March is Women’s History Month that celebrates women’s contribution to history, society, medicine, and culture. There have also been groundbreaking contributions from women within eye healthcare as well. We want to take this time to highlight our women eye care team that has contributed to improving patient’s quality of life by improving their vision and eye health. We truly appreciate and value their innovative patient-focused care.
Did you know women are at greater risk for eye disease and visual impairments? According to the Women’s Eye Health organization, women account for more than two-thirds of the world’s blind and visually impaired population. Which is the main reason the Women’s Eye Health organization was formed in 2001 in response to this troubling reality.
Gainesville Eye Associates strives to educate women and our patient family to empower patients to make healthy lifestyle changes to improve their eye health.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, studies show there is a gender gap in eye diseases. Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma. Women make up 65 percent of AMD cases, 61 percent of glaucoma and cataract patients are women, and 66 percent of blind patients are women. Why the gender gap? There are a few theories. On average, women live longer, and many eye problems are age-related.
Unique Vision Problems Women Need To Closely Watch
- Dry Eyes – Occurs double the rate in postmenopausal women
- Autoimmune Diseases – Women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome
- Pregnancy – vision changes due to the hormones pregnant women experience
Women, It Is Now Time To Take Care Of You!
Women often make the majority of their family’s health care decisions. In addition to being responsible for their own health, women are often responsible as caregivers for the health care choices of their children, partners, spouse, and aging parents. We encourage all women to carve out some time for you today and take care of yourself so that you can continue to be that shining star for your loved ones. Call TODAY to schedule your appointment for an eye exam! In the meantime, here are a few simple steps in taking care of you and improving your eye health:
- Eat healthy foods. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish.
- Drop the smoking habit. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Protect Your Eyes. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.
- Know Your Family History. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. A family history of glaucoma increases your glaucoma risk by four to nine times.
- Use Cosmetics Safely. Throw away eye makeup after three months and get new products. Infection-causing bacteria grow easily in creamy or liquid eye makeup.
We encourage women as well as men to get regular eye exams. By making eye health a top priority today, we can help protect your sight as you age.