CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness has declared April as Women’s Eye Health And Safety Awareness Month to highlight the different needs in addressing women’s eye health. According to Prevent Blindness, women have higher rates of eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration than men. In addition, women tend to have a higher rate prevalence of Dry Eye, and may often deal with vision changes related to both pregnancy and menopause. Women deal with greater instances of eye disorders, according to the National Eye Institute, in part, due to the fact that they tend to live longer than men, are more likely to undergo cancer treatments which affect vision, and experience age-related hormonal changes that can affect the eyes.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology also states that women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men are—and many of those autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, affect vision.

Because women’s vision care needs are unique, Prevent Blindness has dedicated April to educating women about these issues, and providing resources and recommendations on the best ways to take care of women’s vision. OCuSOFT Inc., a long-time Prevent Blindness partner, will support Women’s Eye Health And Safety Awareness Month with a donation to Prevent Blindness. Prevent Blindness suggests some steps that women can take to help protect their eye health.

These recommendations include:

• Getting regular eye exams
• Quitting smoking
• Consulting a doctor about taking nutritional supplements
• Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors
• Learn of any family history of eye disease
• Using eye cosmetics safely
• Using contact lenses safely

Jeff Todd, Prevent Blindness president and CEO, said, “More women than men have eye disease and vision loss. But there are steps they can take today to help prevent significant vision loss in the future. In addition to getting a regular eye exam, we encourage everyone to talk to their eyecare professional about family medical history as well as ask for recommendations about proper eye protection in order to keep eyes as healthy as possible for years to come.”

Visit Prevent Blindness’ website for fact sheets on eye diseases and women’s eye health.