Most women are unaware they are at a greater risk for vision loss and impairment than men. Yet, the World Health Organization estimates that women account for 64.5% of all visually impaired people worldwide. Fortunately, women can take proactive steps to protect their eye health by following these five tips.
1. Get an Annual Eye Exam
An eye exam is good for your eyes and overall wellness. That’s because eye care professionals look for more than vision correction during a routine eye exam. An eye exam can reveal more than 30 medical conditions—including diabetes and heart disease—often before symptoms occur.
2. Wear Sunglasses
Whether winter or summer, UV light can increase your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. So if there is sunlight, there should be sunglasses!
3. No Smoking
Smoking has devastating effects on your lungs, heart, and eyes. The connection between smoking and blinding conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage is even more concerning. Cut the cigarettes to protect your vision AND your health.
4. Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables
Studies show that foods rich in vitamins C, E, and B1 (thiamine) can protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Foods rich in these vitamins include spinach, kale, broccoli, red peppers, asparagus, avocado, kiwi, berries, citrus fruits, and guava. A plant-rich diet also reduces your risk for diabetes and related conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy.
5. Use Protective Eyewear
Over 40,000 sports-related injuries occur annually, and over 2,000 workplace-related eye injuries occur daily! Additionally, there are 1.5 million home-related eye injuries each year. However, with proper eye protection, 90% of these injuries can be prevented or lessened in severity. Therefore, take precautions to protect your eyes when playing sports, handling chemicals, and even lawn mowing.