Women have a higher risk than men for most eye diseases, Yet one in four has not had an eye exam in last two years. It is an unfortunate fact of life that women are more likely than men to have eye-related problems. Two-thirds of blindness and other visual impairments worldwide occur in women. Glaucoma, cataracts, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are more likely to be an issue for women. There are various reasons for this: women generally live longer than men and women have hormonal fluctuations during their lives that negatively affect their eyes. Here are other reasons why women tend to have more eye problems:
- Birth control/Hormone Replacement Therapy: These may cause blood clots and strokes which can cause vision Birth control/HRT can also increase women’s chances of cataracts and dry eye.
- Pregnancy: There are several changes that take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy, some visibly obvious and some not. The eyes are not left out. Dry eye syndrome, light sensitivity, prescription changes, and eye puffiness are the most common eye problems seen in pregnant women.
- Menopause: Women who undergo menopause may experience dry eye syndrome and uveitis (eye inflammation).
- Breast cancer: Drugs taken to treat or prevent breast cancer can increase your risk of cataracts, eye bleeds, itchy eyes, and light sensitivity.
- Autoimmune diseases: Women are more likely to experience lupus, multiple sclerosis(MS), rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjögren’s syndrome (this destroys the glands in the eye and mouth that produce moisture). These diseases can impact the eye negatively.
- Smoking: If you need another reason to quit smoking, think about your eyes. Smoking greatly increases your probability of eye diseases.