Eye Health for Women – Why We Need to Pay More Attention to Our Vision
The fight for gender equality in healthcare continues, even in areas you wouldn’t expect. One example is the higher prevalence of vision-related issues among women. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, 55% of people with vision loss are women or girls. Females are also 8% more likely to be blind and 15% more likely to have moderate or severe impairment in vision.
Plus, the likelihood of eye-related issues only increases once a woman falls pregnant: fluid retention can cause changes in a woman’s eye structure or shape, resulting in blurred vision. Canada’s eye health stakeholders have reported an emerging vision crisis in the country – two million citizens could live with vision loss by 2050 – making it all the more important for Canadian women to pay special attention to their eye health. Here are a few reasons you need to look after those peepers.
Avoid wrinkles and migraines
You might not be wearing your glasses for various reasons. Perhaps you forget to put them on before heading out the door, or you don’t like how they look or feel on your face. While getting used to glasses can be uncomfortable initially, it’s important to consider the health implications of not wearing them consistently. If you’re asking yourself should I be wearing glasses all the time? The answer is yes. Your prescription glasses enable better, safer vision, reduce eye strain, and even prevent wrinkles. Eye strain can result in migraines that make you sensitive to light and make seeing even harder. And wearing your glasses keeps you from squinting too often – the primary culprit of crow’s feet. If you know you can be forgetful, make small tweaks to make it less likely that you leave your glasses at home.
Encourage eye development
When you forget to wear your glasses, your eyes work much harder than they should, affecting your eye development. This is particularly important for younger women who wear glasses, but women of all ages can minimize further damage by wearing glasses consistently. Ensure you're keeping them in the same place, whether at home, school, or work. If you’d rather keep your lenses on your person for good measure, eyeglass chains come in various designs so they can complement, rather than clash with, your outfit. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you absolutely love your glasses. Choose a frame shape that enhances your features and an overall design that excites you to wear them. If you love them, wearing them won’t feel like a chore.
Prevent having vision issues in the first place
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that adults undergo an eye exam at least every two years. Still, some may assume this only applies to people who already wear glasses. 80% of Canadians who wear glasses or contacts follow the two-year rule, but 46% of non-glasses-wearing Canadians had no plans of using their eye health coverage in the year 2022.
Healthy eyes are a blessing, but they won’t stay healthy forever. So aside from making that eye appointment, you can look after your eyes by doing a short technology detox. This is great for both your eyes and your mental health. During work or school days, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to reduce eye strain. Diet-wise, consider Vitamin A-rich foods known to boost eye health: orange and yellow vegetables, leafy greens, fish, and eggs are some examples. You can protect yourself from the unique eye-related risks women face by making these small but holistic changes. Once you notice any discomfort or changes in your vision, check it immediately – and enjoy the benefits of healthy vision for longer.