Guest Author - Dean Ingalls
According to the Women’s Eye Health Organization, women’s eye health statistics
& safety precautions include:
Internationally, approximately thirty-seven million people deal with blindness and one hundred twenty-four million identify as legally blind or with low vision. Women compose two-thirds of the blind/visually impaired people around the world.
In the United States, the number of people dealing with blindness or low vision is around one million. Females make-up approximately seventy percent or seven hundred thousand of the one million people dealing with vision loss in the USA.
The total number of people in the USA with a vision issue reaches three million four hundred thousand and of this number females make-up two million three hundred thousand or sixty-seven percent of the total.
Why is the percent of women with a vision issue larger than the male counterpart?
1. On average, women live longer than males.
2. Biological factors such as hormonal issues and immunological issues make women predisposed to certain eye diseases
The risk factors for heart disease and cancer are the same for vision impaired/blindness that cause premature death.
Ways to protect your family’s vision:
1. Stop smoking – second hand smoke around children causes damage.
2. Establish a balanced diet – include foods with carotenoids (especially Lutein and Zeaxanthin nutrients found in the retinal nerve). Consuming fruits and dark green leafy vegetables provides the two carotenoids needed for the eyes.
3. Do home based vision screenings – print out an eye chart, place on wall, make a mark ten feet away and read the chart with one eye at a time.
4. Regular eye exams – yearly or at least every other year even, if eyes seem healthy.
5. Learn your family history for vision issues on both sides of the family (mom and dad).
6. Avoid direct sunlight – wear brimmed cap or sunglasses – Ultra Violet rays penetrate deeper into the eyes of children.
7. Establish an exercise program – Develop a thirty-minute workout completed three times a week.
8. Drink alcohol occasionally – consume smallest amount possible.
Warning signs indicating eye disease:
1. A noticeable decrease in vision including items such as; problems reading print, difficulty concentrating while reading, losing place during reading or reduction in peripheral or central vision all point to vision issues.
2. The development of eye discomfort or pain such as; stinging, sharp, dull or persistent pain definitely indicate an eye situation requiring attention. Anytime pain is felt when the eyes are rubbed or touched can point to a vision issue.
3. Unusual conditions of the eye including drainage, eye redness, eye crusting, discharge , floaters, flashes, spider webs, dots, floating matter that moves, flashing or flickering light, halos around light or problems with night/day glare indicate a vision issue.
4. The development of double vision - seeing an image side-by-side, upside-down or sideways demonstrate a possible vision issue.
Eye safety precautions:
1. Always, wear safety goggles for sports, working with tools, metals or chemicals.
2. Store household chemicals in a safe place.
3. Avoid use or the area of usage of pellet or Bb guns, bow and arrows, toys with missals and fireworks unless participants follow established rules and safety regulations.
**Visit the Take a Quiz Page and test your vision knowledge by taking the “Vision Knowledge Quiz”. Can you get the highest score?
Vigilance, common sense precautions and regular check-ups can prevent vision loss.