The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease among the female population is increasingly common, especially in older women. In fact, studies show that most women going through middle age have some sort of eyesight impairment, and risk developing conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's interesting to note that the chance of women experiencing vision loss has become more common because of women's growing longevity.
For women, an initial step you can take to ensure good sight is to schedule a periodic eye exam. Make sure that you have an extensive eye test before you hit 40, and that you don't forget to adhere to the advice your eye doctor recommends. Also, be familiar with your family medical history, because your genetics are a highly relevant detail of understanding, diagnosing and stopping vision loss.
In addition, maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and be sure to include foods full of beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which all help prevent eyesight loss as a result of eye disease. If possible, you should also buy vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C tablets, which are all good starting points to maintaining top-notch eye care.
If you smoke, make a commitment to quit, as even second-hand smoke can add to the danger of eye disease and is a common cause of the macular degeneration that can come with aging (AMD) and cataracts. UV rays, which can also cause the development of cataracts and AMD, are very harmful to your eyesight. When you go outside, and during the summer AND winter, be sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat that will shield your eyes from the sun.
Hormonal shifts such as what might occur due to pregnancy and menopause, can also influence your vision. Sometimes, these changes can even make the use of contacts ineffective or uncomfortable to wear. During pregnancy, you might want to reduce lens wearing time and adjust your eyeglass prescription as needed. It's recommended to book an appointment with your optometrist at some point during your pregnancy to talk about any eye or vision changes you may be noticing.
There are also several precautions to take to shield your eyes from household dangers, like domestic cleaners. Be sure that domestic chemicals, including cleaning agents, paints and pesticides are stored safely and are locked away from small children. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling all chemicals and invest in eye protection if using toxic substances. Use safety goggles when repairing things at home, especially when working with potentially dangerous objects or tools.
If used carelessly, eye makeup can also be a safety risk for your eyes. Firstly, never use anyone else's cosmetics. Try not to use old makeup and discard anything that's older than four months, especially cosmetics that are liquid based. Keep an eye out for any abnormal reactions and stop use immediately if you spot redness, itchiness or puffiness in or near the eyes. Be aware also that you might develop allergies to make up you've been fine with for years. And of course, be sure to avoid touching the eye when using eye makeup.
As a woman, it is important to be educated about the risks and considerations when it comes to your eye care. And also, it can never hurt to inform the other women in your life, such as daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eye health.