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According to a survey conducted by Prevent Blindness, 91 percent of women in the United States are unaware they have a higher risk of permanent vision loss when compared to men. With summer activities behind us, children back in school, and the holidays just around the corner, October is perfect for scheduling ‘me time’ with regard to flu shots and yearly physicals. But don’t forget the importance of an annual eye exam.  (Image: Courtesy MyEyeDr.)

Vision Loss: Everything you need to know and why women are more susceptible

According to a survey conducted by Prevent Blindness, 91 percent of women in the United States are unaware they have a higher risk of permanent vision loss when compared to men. With summer activities behind us, children back in school, and the holidays just around the corner, October is perfect for scheduling ‘me time’ with regard to flu shots and yearly physicals. But don’t forget the importance of an annual eye exam. Many women don’t realize that they face greater risks due to a longer average lifespan and an increased risk of several overall health conditions that impact vision. Did you know many vision abnormalities have no symptoms?

Make an eye exam part of your fall tune up! Below are a few tips to help women protect themselves against vision loss.

1. Use your contact lenses correctly

Roughly 46 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses and if you’re one of them, it’s important to use them according to instructions. Failure to do so can lead to a viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection. Follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control to keep your eyes safe:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling contact lenses
  • Keep your lenses away from water
  • Clean lenses using an approved solution before storing them
  • Don’t mix old solution with new solution by “topping off” the liquid in your case – start fresh each time
  • Don’t sleep with your contact lenses in unless prescribed by your eye doctor
  • Replace contacts at the intervals recommended by your doctor
  • Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months

Different kinds of contact lenses have different care regimes associated with them, and MyEyeDr. fits all kinds of contacts for any age. You can choose hard or soft lenses and decide whether you prefer to replace your contacts daily, monthly or keep them in permanently.

2. Don’t go for scary eyes

To avoid a real-life Halloween horror story – going blind because of a costume accessory – DO NOT purchase costume contact lenses without a prescription. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AOA) is warning the public against wearing these illegally sold lenses because they may not be sterile and can cause a host of serious eye problems capable of morphing a fun Halloween night into a nightmare.

If you simply must score some cool contacts to complete your costume, go to a professional who can fit and prescribe them.

3. Apply makeup the safe way

A little mascara can really make your eyes “pop,” but using it incorrectly could lead to an eye infection. Keep these tips from the AOA in mind to make sure your makeup doesn’t make trouble for your eyes.

  • Toss eye makeup after three months; toss all eye makeup sooner if you develop an eye infection
  • Never share eye makeup
  • Use fresh applicators when testing products at the store or, better yet, avoid samples altogether
  • If you often have allergic reactions to eye makeup, test one new product at a time
  • Apply eyeliner outside the lash line to avoid blocking the eye’s oil glands
  • If your eyes tend to be dry, avoid powder, glitter and other products that can get in your eyes and cause further irritation – glitter is a notorious cause of corneal irritation
  • Remove your eye makeup thoroughly before you go to sleep and if you use makeup remover, avoid getting it in your eyes
  • DO NOT use a sharp object to separate mascara-clumped lashes – invest in an eyelash comb or brush instead
  • Don’t apply eye makeup while driving since the risk is double – you could poke your eye and cause a car accident

4. Wear sunglasses when outdoors

Sunglasses protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays that can damage them. MyEyeDr. has a large assortment of attractive styles – scoop up a pair with prescription lenses to keep your eyes safe and your vision sharp.

5. Get regular eye exams

Annual eye exams detect the following issues early while there’s still time for treatment, so make sure to get your eyes checked regularly:

  • UV related damage
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic and systemic disease
  • Retinal holes and detachments

Why not frame your lovely, healthy eyes with a stylish new pair of glasses? This season is the perfect time to update your look – stop by your local MyEyeDr. to browse a fall fashion clearance selection with hot styles and even hotter deals.

MyEyeDr. is a network of more than 300+ optometry practices east of the Mississippi that offer comprehensive eye care services, a selection of designer and value prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, and standard and specialty prescription contact lenses. By welcoming all vision insurance plans and providers, MyEyeDr. makes vision health attainable for everyone. For more information, visit www.myeyedr.com.

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