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Women are more at risk for eye problems and diseases than men for a number of reasons. (Photo provided by MyEyeDr.)

Women's Eye Health and Safety Month

April is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month, and MyEyeDr. is taking a look at some of the vision risks that women face over the course of their lives and the reasons behind them.

According to the recent Prevent Blindness study, The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind. More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These numbers will only continue to increase in the years to come.

Why are women more at risk?

Women are more at risk for eye problems and diseases than men for a number of reasons. First and foremost: women live longer than men. Women are twice as likely than men to live past the age of 85, and this longer lifespan means women are more susceptible to degeneration and illnesses. Hormones are another cause of vision problems in women, especially during pregnancy (the increase in estrogen during pregnancy leads many mothers to report vision problems and changes). These hormonal imbalances affect women's vision later on during menopause as well, meaning a woman's vision can shift multiple times over the course of her adult life.

What are the greatest risks to my vision?

Cataracts are the world's leading cause of blindness due to age-related changes in the eyes, which cause the lenses in the eyes to become cloudy or opaque. This disease is found primarily in adults over 40 and is believed to be a natural breakdown in the structure of the eye. Women are also at greater risk of developing glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in adults. Glaucoma is formed when eyes are not able to drain fluids properly from the front chamber. Women naturally have shallower frontal chambers than men, which places them at greater risk for the disease.

How can I protect my eyes?

The easiest way to protect your eyes and understand your risks is to start with your family history. Find out which eye diseases and illnesses run in your family and tell your optometrist about them. No matter the severity of your eye problems, at MyEyeDr. wants to help you get your vision back to normal. Schedule an annual eye exam today to monitor your vision health and wellness.

MyEyeDr. is a network of optometry practices 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