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Women face higher risk of blindness than men

Posted By Chet Seward, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Studies show there is a gender gap in eye disease. Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and glaucoma.  (Source) In support of Healthy Vision Month in May, CSEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind women to make vision a top priority. 

The numbers tell the story here. 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. (Source) The good news is that most vision loss is preventable. The Academy offers five simple steps to take control of your eye health today:

  • Get a comprehensive medical eye exam at age 40. Early signs of disease or changes in vision may begin at this age.
  • Know your family history. Certain eye diseases can be inherited. Talk to family members about their eye conditions. It can help you and your ophthalmologist evaluate your risk.
  • Eat healthy foods. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and cold water fish.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking also raises the risk for cardiovascular diseases which can indirectly influence your eye health. 
  • Wear sunglasses. Exposure to ultraviolet UV light raises the risk of eye diseases, including cataract. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.
To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

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