Women have had to learn over many, many decades to get to know their own bodies again, as their great-great grandmothers may have. A woman’s body is unique in so many ways, and those many ways influence every aspect of her being, from her reproductive health to her eye health. And yet, we’ve only come so far as to shed more light on the importance of well-woman exams provided by a trusted gynecologist. We have a completely different lens from which we see women’s health and, as you may have guessed, it involves her risk of eye disease.
Eye Conditions that Affect Women
Men and women of all ages have inherent risks for eye diseases. However, we have learned from research that women typically have greater chances of developing one or more of the following:
- Vision disruption from refractive errors and other conditions
- Dry eye syndrome
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Vision loss
Why the Higher Risk?
There are several reasons why women may be more likely to develop at least one eye disease in their lifetime in comparison to men. One that may be most obvious is that, according to studies, women live longer. The extended age of a woman can be a significant factor in her chances of developing an eye condition that requires treatment. Additionally, women may have family history factors that come into play, and all women have hormonal factors that can affect eye health. For example, research suggests that there is an association between dry eye syndrome and the decline in estrogen and testosterone that women experience around middle age.
Managing Eye Health
One of the best ways to manage eye health is to become one’s own best advocate; something that many women have already learned as they have navigated other health concerns. In addition to learning about eye conditions and personal risks, women can manage eye health with simple strategies that also help them keep other health risks low. These strategies include eating a well-balanced diet with fresh vegetables that carry vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the body. Eye health is also supported by avoiding tobacco use and practicing good hygiene that includes washing the face and removing makeup every day.
Are you interested in learning the ins and outs of your personal eye health risks? Contact our Ocala, FL office at (352) 237-8400 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Croley.