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Women’s Eye Health

The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease in women is increasingly common, particularly in older women. Actually, studies show that large numbers of women aged 40 and above experience some type of eyesight impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions like cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the chance of women developing vision impairments has become more common due to the female population's growing lifespan.

For women, an important step to take to ensure good sight is to schedule a periodic eye exam. Make sure that you have a full eye test before you hit forty, and that you follow up with the advice your eye care professional recommends. Also, know your family medical history, because your genetics are a highly relevant detail of understanding, diagnosing and preventing eye diseases. Be sure to look into your family's eye and health history and inform your doctor of any diseases present themselves.

In addition, eat a healthy, varied diet and be sure to include foods rich in zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, 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 supplements, which are all great starting points to keeping up top-notch eye health.

If you smoke, make a decision to stop, because even second-hand smoke can increase the risk of eye disease and is a common factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also cause the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are very dangerous for your eyes. When outside, and not just during the summer, be sure to put on complete UV blocking sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to shield your eyes from harsh rays.

Changes in hormone levels, like those that take place during pregnancy and menopause, can also slightly change your sight. Often, these shifts can even make contacts ineffective or uncomfortable to wear. If you're pregnant, you might want to reduce lens wearing time and alter your prescription if necessary. It's worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your optometrist during your pregnancy to discuss any eye or vision changes you may be experiencing.

It is also important to protect your eyes from household dangers, like cleaning supplies. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaning agents, paints and pesticides are kept safely and are locked away from young children. Scrub your hands thoroughly after working with all chemicals and wear eye protection if using strong chemicals. Wear safety goggles when repairing things in your house, especially when working with wood, metal or power tools.

Women need to be aware of the dangers and choices when it comes to your eye care. And of course, it can never hurt to educate the women in your life, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to protect their eye health.

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