April is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
Women go through many changes during their lifetime. Each change could affect her vision differently. Eye disease among women is being diagnosed in increasing numbers, especially in older women. Actually, studies indicate that most women over the age of 40 have some type of visual impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the risk of women experiencing vision loss has become more common as a result of women's growing lifespan.
For women, an important step to take to ensure strong vision is to schedule a routine eye exam. Be sure that you have a comprehensive eye exam before you hit 40, and that you don't forget to follow up with the advice your eye doctor suggests. Additionally, be aware of your family medical history, as your genetics are a highly relevant detail of comprehending, diagnosing and preventing eye conditions. Be sure to find out about your family's medical history and inform your doctor of any diseases present themselves.
In addition, eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and be sure to include foods containing beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, all which help guard from eyesight loss as a result of eye disease. It's recommended that you also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A tablets, as they are all good starting points to keeping up optimal eye care.
For women who smoke, make a decision to stop, as even second-hand smoke can increase the danger of eye disease and is a common cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also be a party to the development of cataracts and AMD, are very harmful for your eyes. When outside, and during the summer AND winter, be sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a sun hat to protect your eyes from harsh rays.
Hormonal shifts like what might take place during pregnancy and menopause, can also affect your sight. Often, these changes can even make the use of contact lenses ineffective or uncomfortable to wear. If you're pregnant, you may want to decrease contact lens wearing time and update your eyeglass prescription if necessary. It's recommended to make an appointment with your optometrist at some point during your pregnancy to talk about any eyesight or vision differences you may be experiencing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from household dangers, like cleaning supplies. Be sure that domestic chemicals, including cleaners, paints and strong detergents are kept safely and are locked away from young children. Scrub your hands well after touching all chemicals and invest in eye protection if employing the use of strong substances. Wear proper safety goggles when fixing things around the house, most importantly when working with wood, metal or tools.
If used incorrectly, cosmetics can also be a safety hazard for your eyes. Firstly, never use anyone else's cosmetics. Avoid using old eye shadow, mascara or eyeliner and discard anything that's been open for more than four months, particularly products that are liquid based. Watch for allergic reactions and cease use immediately if you spot redness, itchiness or puffiness in or around the eyes. Be aware also that you can actually develop allergic reactions to a product you've been buying for years. And as a general rule, be sure to avoid actual contact with the eye when using eye makeup.
Women need to be informed of the risks and options when it comes to looking after your vision. And also, it can never hurt to inform the women you know, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eye and vision health.