Understanding Women's Eye Health Concerns

You may not be aware of it, but April is Women's Eye Health Month, so this is a perfect time to talk about why all women need to have an annual eye health examination. Having a yearly eye exam is not only important for seeing clearly...an annual visit to the eye doctor can help prevent further complications from untreated ocular infections and sight threatening diseases, many which have minimal to no symptoms.

There are a few eye diseases that show a higher incidence in women vs. men. This is directly related to hormone changes that occur during a woman's lifetime. These changing levels occur during pregnancy or later in life and affect the tear glands, which reduce the production of tears drying the eye surface leading to Dry Eye Syndrome. Also, pregnancy and your eyes can cause issues with your vision and contact lenses as well. With pregnancy, the surge in hormone levels causes temporary changes in how clear you see and how comfortable your eyes are. Common complaints are dry eyes, blurry and distorted vision and difficulty wearing contact lenses. During pregnancy, if you are experiencing changes with your vision it is essential to see your eye doctor to prevent more serious complications. Lastly, it is known that women live longer than men increasing the risk of age-related Macular Degeneration.

Some of the more mild ocular issues women need to be aware of are related to cosmetics, especially eye makeup. This is even more important if you are a contact lens wearer. Many cosmetics and moisturizers contain synthetic oils which can be easily transferred to your contact lenses causing blurry vision and contact lens deposits that can lead to allergic reactions and overall dryness and discomfort. Mascara, if not applied and removed properly can cause a number of issues on the lid margin, where many small oil glands naturally produce essentials components for healthy tears. When mascara/eye shadows are applied on the lid margin where these oil glands have their openings, they can become blocked causing styes and other eye infections. Lash extending mascara can contain fibers that can irritate the surface of the eye causing a foreign body sensation. All of these conditions are exacerbated with contact lenses as many types of mascara are waterproof and can stain soft contact lenses. Also, as the oil glands on the lid become blocked, they decrease the production of the essential oils to keep your eyes lubricated and feeling comfortable whether you wear contact lenses or not.

To ensure seeing clearly, make routine eye care part of a health and wellness plan. Annual visits to an eye Doctor are an essential investment in overall health.

Nothing on this web site is intended, nor should it be construed, as professional advice. Those reviewing the information should consult with a qualified professional.