April 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 being diagnosed in growing numbers, particularly in middle-aged women. In fact, studies indicate that large numbers of women aged 40 and above exhibit some type of eyesight impairment, and risk developing conditions including but not limited to dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's interesting to note that the chance of women developing vision impairments has increased as a result of the female population's growing lifespan.
For women, an important step to take to maintain strong vision is to schedule a routine eye exam. Make sure that you have a comprehensive eye test before reaching the age of 40, and that you adhere to the advice your eye care professional encourages. Also, know your family history, because your genetics are an important part of comprehending, diagnosing and preventing eye conditions. Be sure to look into your family's eye and health history and alert your eye doctor of any conditions present themselves.
When it comes to nutrition, maintain a healthful, well-balanced diet and don't forget to include foods rich in zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, all which help protect against eyesight loss from eye disease. It's recommended that you also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, as they are all great starting points to maintaining optimal eye health.
If you smoke, make a decision to stop, because even second-hand smoke can raise the risk of eye disease and is a known cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. UV rays, which can also be a party to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are extremely dangerous for your eyes. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, make sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a sun hat to shield your eyes from the sun.
Changes in hormone levels, such as those that occur when a woman goes through pregnancy and menopause, can also influence your vision. Often, these shifts can even make the use of contacts less effective or uncomfortable. If you're pregnant, you may want to shorten lens wearing time and alter your prescription as needed. It's worthwhile to make an appointment with your eye care professional at some point during your pregnancy to talk about any eye or vision changes you may be experiencing.
It is also important to protect your eyes from dangers at home, such as cleaning supplies. Be sure that domestic chemicals, including cleaners, paints and fertilizers are stored safely and properly, and are out of reach of small children. Wash your hands well after working with all chemicals and wear eye protection when employing the use of strong chemicals. Wear safety goggles when repairing things in your house, especially when working with potentially dangerous objects or tools.
As a woman, it is important to be aware of the risks and options when it comes to looking after your vision. And also, it can't hurt to educate the other women in your life, such as daughters and friends, on the best ways to protect their eye health. If you believe you are experiencing some women's vision problems be sure to contact the Williams Eye Care optometrists.