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4 Eye Conditions More Likely to Affect Women

Women are more likely to have dry eye, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Find out why.

For the most part, there is not much difference between men’s eyes and women’s eyes. Vision functions in the same manner and the same diseases can pose problems for people of either sex. However, it is not always true that eye conditions affect men and women equally. Unfortunately, women are more prone to certain eye conditions. In this blog, the team of eye doctors at Invision Eye Care discuss which conditions their female patients should be alert for, particularly as they get older.  

Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common syndrome where the patient deals with itchy, burning eye sensations. More women deal with this problem because they are more susceptible to hormonal changes (such as during menopause, pregnancy, or while taking birth control.) Fluctuation in estrogen and other hormones can negatively impact tear production, which leaves the eyes less moist. Moreover, cosmetic use, which is far more prevalent among women, has been found to clog the meibomian glands that produce oil for long-lasting tears in some people. 


Although rates of open angle glaucoma are similar between men and women, studies have found that women have higher rates of closed angle glaucoma, the more serious form of the disease. Researchers believe that the decline in estrogen production that accompanies menopause may leave the optic nerve more susceptible to damage.  


Women are also diagnosed with cataracts at a higher rate than men, and they are significantly more likely to go blind from cataracts. The good news is that this condition is highly treatable, and vision loss (haziness) from cataracts can be reversed. Therefore, it is unsurprising that more women have cataract surgery than men.

Macular Degeneration

AMD (age-related macular degeneration) is another disease that affects a higher percentage of women than men. It gradually impairs central vision, leaving only peripheral vision untouched. For AMD, doctors believe the unequal rates are due to women living longer. Since the older a person gets, the more vulnerable they are to degenerative eye conditions (glaucoma and cataracts included), women’s longevity could be the main reason they account for a higher percentage of patients.

Take Care of Your Eyes

Keep in mind that just because you are more susceptible to certain diseases does not make them a guarantee. Healthy habits like wearing UV-blocking sunglasses, eating nutritious foods, and not smoking can dramatically reduce your risk for eye conditions. Most importantly, you should undergo regular screenings to check the health of your eyes. Women in Ocean County, Monmouth County, and Lakewood, New Jersey who would like to schedule a comprehensive eye exam or seek treatment for a diagnosed condition with one of our talented eye doctors can call 732-210-0140.

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