Well being

Well being

Women and eye health

Women are more susceptible to dry eye syndrome, due to hormonal fluctuations. Women who are pregnant or receiving fertility treatments may experience changes in their vision.  Because of an increase in hormones, some may notice changes including refractive changes, dry eyes, puffy eyelids that obscure side vision and sensitivity to light due to migraine headaches.

Older women who are post menopausal and receiving Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) treatments may be at an increased risk for cataracts. And as we get older, eyesight usually undergoes subtle changes for women and men. Women are more likely than men to develop vision problems at this stage—a Duke University study shows that, two-thirds of people who are reported blind in the US or visually impaired are women. Though as clinicians we do not know the exact cause, the key factors that seem to account for the difference in men and women appear to be that women live longer, women are more likely to have certain autoimmune diseases, and women may experience decreased access to health care. It is reported that worldwide only 40% of women are able to have access to eye care services.

In India given the socio-economic challenges of large population rural and urban poor, the causative factors are compounded from lack of education, of awareness, poor hygiene to household responsibilities, the need to earn daily wage to supplement the family income, affordability, difficulty of travelling alone and so on. Lifestyle affects eye health. A regular preventive eye examination would help detect many eye diseases right in the initial stages.

Tips for healthy eyesight

*  Women should make regular eye exams a part of their health routine.

* Women should eat a diet that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids to prevent vision loss from eye disease.

* Quit smoking or never start

* Wear sunglasses that block 99%-100% of UVA and UVB radiation.

*  Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly to avoid the risk of infection.

* When using make up throw out anything you bought more than three months ago; or immediately, if your eyes become red, irritated, or you develop an allergic reaction or eye infection while using it.