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.1 In support of Healthy Vision Month in May, the UCLA Stein Eye and Doheny Eye Institutes and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind women to make vision a top priority.
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.2 Why the inequity? There are a few theories. On average women live longer and many eye problems are age-related. Some eye conditions, such as dry eye, are more common in women, young and old. Social and economic factors affect women’s access to eye care, especially in developing countries.
Whatever the cause, there are a few unique vision problems women need to watch out for more than men. Dry eye occurs at double the rate in postmenopausal women.3 In general, women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and hyperthyroidism. In addition, pregnancy can cause vision changes due to the hormones pregnant women experience.
Good news is most vision loss is preventable. The Academy offers five simple steps to take control of your eye health today:
To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy or to find an ophthalmologist near you, visit uclahealth.org/eye.
Tags: age-related macular degeneration, AMD, American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), blindness, cataracts, comprehensive eye exam, Doheny Eye Institute, dry eye, eye, eye exam, eye health, eyewear, glaucoma, glaucoma risk, Healthy Living, macular degeneration, ophtalmology, Ophthalmology, sunglasses, UCLA Stein Eye Institute, Wellness
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