Women have a higher prevalence of many of the major vision problems, including: Age-related macular degeneration; cataract; dry eye; glaucoma; and refractive errors. The National Institutes of Health states that 26 percent more women aged 12 and older have uncorrected visual impairment due to refractive error compared with men aged 12 and older. And, 14 percent more women aged 40 and older have refractive errors compared with men aged 40 and older. Additionally, women are also more likely to have autoimmune conditions, which often come with visual side effects.
Also, fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect the eye’s oil glands, which can lead to dryness. Estrogen can also make the cornea less stiff with more elasticity, which can affect how light travels into the eye. The dryness and the change in refraction can cause blurry vision and can also make wearing contact lenses difficult.
Pregnancy brings an increase in hormones that may cause changes in vision. Women with pre-existing eye conditions, like glaucoma, high blood pressure or diabetes, need to alert their eye doctor that they are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant).
Lastly, women often make the majority of their family's health care decisions and are often responsible as caregivers for the health care choices of their children, partners, spouse, and aging parents. It is important to remind women to make their own vision and eye health a priority to prevent unnecessary vision loss in the future.
We at EYE VISON ASSOCIATES can help diagnose and manage any of these problems. Please give us a call at 631-588-5100 to schedule an appointment so we can help keep your eyes healthy!