It's April, which is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease among the female population is becoming more common, especially in older women. In fact, studies show that the majority of women aged 40 and above have some sort of eyesight impairment, and are at risk of developing conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's interesting to note that the risk of women developing vision impairments has increased due to women's growing longevity.
As a woman, an important step you can take to guarantee good vision is to make a proper eye examination part of your regular health routine. Be sure that you get a comprehensive eye exam before you turn forty, and that you adhere to the advice your eye care professional suggests. Also, know your family history, as your genetics are a key part of comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye conditions.
When it comes to nutrition, maintain a healthful, well-balanced diet and be sure to include foods containing beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which all help prevent vision loss due to eye disease. It's recommended that you also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A tablets, which are all strong starting points to managing top-notch eye care.
For women who smoke, make a commitment to stop, 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. Ultraviolet rays, which can also be a party to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are very dangerous to your vision. When outside, and during the summer AND winter, don't forget to put on complete UV blocking sunglasses as well as a sun hat to shield your eyes from the sun.
Hormonal shifts such as what might take place during pregnancy or menopause, can also influence your sight. Sometimes, these shifts can even make contact lenses ineffective or uncomfortable. If you're pregnant, you may want to decrease lens wearing time and adjust your prescription if necessary. It's recommended to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional during your pregnancy to address any eyesight or vision differences you may be experiencing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from household dangers, like cleaning supplies. Check that domestic chemicals, including cleaning agents, bleach and strong detergents are kept safely and are out of reach of young children. Clean your hands thoroughly after working with all chemicals and wear eye protection when employing the use of toxic chemicals. Wear proper safety goggles when repairing things around the house, especially when working with wood, metal or power tools.
When used irresponsibly, eye makeup might also be a safety risk for your eyes. Particularly when it comes to eye makeup, never use anyone else's products. Try not to use old eye shadow, mascara or eyeliner and dispose of anything that's been open for more than four months, particularly products that are aqueous. Watch for allergic reactions and stop use immediately if you spot pain, itchiness or redness in or around the eyes. Be aware also that you can develop allergic reactions to products you've been fine with for years. And of course, be sure to avoid actual contact with the eye when putting on eye makeup.
Women need to be educated about the dangers and choices when it comes to looking after your vision. And of course, it can't hurt to educate the women you know, such as daughters and friends, about how to look after their eyes and vision.