It's April, which is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.
It's no surprise that the various stages of a woman's life often have a strong impact on her eye health and vision. Eye disease among women is increasingly common, especially in older women. Actually, studies indicate that most women aged 40 and above exhibit some sort of visual impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions like dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's interesting to note that the risk of women experiencing vision loss has become more common as a result of women's increasing longevity.
For women, an important step to take to ensure good sight is to schedule a routine eye exam. Make sure to go have an extensive eye test before you hit forty, and that you follow up with the advice your eye care professional recommends. Also, know your family history, because your genes are a highly relevant detail of comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye conditions.
When it comes to nutrition, maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet and make sure to include foods rich in beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, all which help protect against vision loss as a result of eye disease. You can also take vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, as they are all strong starting points to keeping up optimal eye care.
If you smoke, make a commitment to stop, because even second-hand smoke can raise the danger of eye disease and is a proven cause of the macular degeneration that can come with aging (AMD), as well as cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also aid in the development of cataracts and AMD, are extremely harmful to your vision. When you go outside, and during the summer AND winter, make sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses as well as a sun hat to shield your eyes from harsh rays.
Hormonal shifts such as those that occur due to pregnancy or menopause, can also slightly change your vision. Often, these shifts can even make the use of contacts less effective or uncomfortable. If you're pregnant, you might want to decrease lens wearing time and update your eyeglass prescription if necessary. It's worthwhile to book an appointment with your eye care professional at some point during your pregnancy to address any eyesight or vision changes you may be noticing.
It is also important to shield your eyes from household dangers, like domestic cleaners. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaners, paints and fertilizers are kept safely and properly, and are out of reach of young children. Clean your hands thoroughly after touching all chemicals and invest in eye protection when employing the use of toxic chemicals. Use safety goggles when fixing things in your house, most importantly when working with wood, metal or power tools.
If used irresponsibly, eye makeup might also be a safety hazard for your eyes. Firstly, never use anyone else's cosmetics. Avoid using old eye shadow, mascara or eyeliner and throw away anything that's older than four months, particularly cosmetics that are liquid based. Keep an eye out for allergic reactions and cease use immediately if you notice redness, itchiness or puffiness in or around the eyes. Be aware also that you might develop allergies to make up you've been using for years. And as a general rule, be sure to avoid actual contact with the eye when applying eye makeup.
Women need to be informed of the dangers and choices when it comes to looking after your vision. And also, it can't hurt to educate the women in your life, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eye and vision health.