a post about Vision | January 5, 2015
Contrary to popular belief, many eye disorders affect women significantly more than they affect men. Interestingly, many of these disorders occur or worsen as women age. Fortunately, many of these problems can be mitigated and almost all can be cured. Here is a closer look at the top 5 eye problems aging women face and how to mitigate and cure them. The home care Columbia SC experts at Already HomeCare can help manage the symptoms associated with many different eye disorders.
1 – Dry Eye Syndrome
As the name suggests, Dry Eye Syndrome is a problem rooted in the increasing dryness of the eye. In essence, the eye does not produce tears in quantities sufficient to keep the eyes moist. While it does occur in men, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with it, particularly post menopausal women. This is due to the changes in estrogen and progesterone levels on the eye.
Prevention is rather easy and involves:
- Protecting the eyes from direct contact with blowing air.
- Giving your eyes some rest by blinking for a few minutes every hour.
- A healthy diet
- Avoid smoking
- Use eye drops in case of severe dryness
While there is not “cure,” women can acquire temporary or surgically permanent plugs in the corners of their eyes. These plugs work by significantly slowing tear drainage.
2 – Glaucoma
As one of the leading causes of blindness, Glaucoma is a problem that unfortunately affects millions of women every year. Moreover, glaucoma is a problem costing U.S taxpayers almost $2 billion a year. While both men and women are likely to experience open-angle glaucoma, women are more likely to be diagnosed with closed-angle glaucoma – to 400% more.
As women age, dryness in the eyes, primarily due to hormonal changes, cause irritation and increase eye pressure. As a result, women may experience stinging pain in their eyes, blurry vision and, at times, nausea. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this problem. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the symptoms and reduce the chances of occurrence.
The best thing to do is keep your eyes moist and acquire eye exams at least once a year. This will help with the prognosis of Glaucoma.
3 – Cataracts
When women complain about cloudy vision, chances are that they are complaining about cataracts, a disorder that becomes common the more you age. This is due to protein clumping in the lens. In many continents, particularly African and Asia, 75% of all cataract patients were women. This is usually due to childcare responsibilities, poor diets and obesity.
Preventive measures can be taken to reduce the risk and/or delay its onset that include, but is not limited to:
- Consuming a varied and healthy diet
- Wearing sunglasses
- Daily exercise
While the contributing factors are know, the actually cause is not. As such, the only “cure” available to women is cataract surgery. During this surgery, the lens is removed and replaced with an implant, known as an intraocular lens.
4 – Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration affects over 11 million people in just the U.S alone. Age-related macular degeneration is the most common type and is yet another eye disorder that affects mostly women, primarily due to their higher life expectancy. It is characterized
Preventing age-related macular degeneration is virtually similar to preventing cataracts. Improving your diet, exercising regularly and protecting your eyes with sunglasses are the best preventive measures.
While the exact cause of age-related macular degeneration may be unknown, treating it remains relatively the same. It involves keeping the eyes moist, taking zinc supplements and using powerful antioxidants.
5 – Diabetic Retinopathy
As the name suggests, this eye disorder is brought on by diabetes. The blood vessels in the eye can be damaged because of diabetes and can bleed as well. While it may be an issue that affects men, the chances of its occurrence during pregnancy are high, particularly for pregnant diabetic women. The rapidly changing glucose and blood pressure levels can weaken the retina and cause severe problems. In fact, it may even cause blindness. As women age, the chances increase.
The easiest method of prevention is for women to keep their blood sugar and pressure levels in check. This involves quitting smoking, reducing fat consumption and daily exercise (light during pregnancy). Moreover, eye examinations every trimester is mandatory in order to protect a mother’s vision.
Women face a slew of different problems primarily due to hormonal fluctuations. As they age, these fluctuations become more pronounced and the changing levels become stable changes. While there are ways to solve or “cure” many of these eye disorders, preventive measures are the easiest way for women to avoid these problems altogether. Moreover, having regular eye exams completed will help women isolate problems earlier, making treatment easier.
Columbia SC In-Home Care
Routine eye care should be an important part of a senior’s regimen, but these tasks may be difficult for some. If you or a loved one needs help with eye care or other tasks such as cooking, light housekeeping, transportation to doctor appointments or other tasks, the in-home senior care experts at Already HomeCare can help. To learn more about our in-home care capabilities in Columbia SC, please call us at 803-334-3477.