More likely to have age-related macular degeneration
More likely to suffer from glaucoma and cataracts
Have greater rates of dry eye syndrome
More likely to have uncorrected refractive errors
More likely to have other diseases that are associated with eye conditions.
Women are projected to continue to account for more cases of uncorrectable vision impairment and blindness than men in 2050.
The leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the United States are primarily age-related eye diseases. These conditions include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
As the population ages, the number of Americans at risk for age-related eye diseases is increasing. In fact, the combined total number of persons ages 40 and older who
have uncorrectable vision impairment or are blind is projected to more than double from 4.24 million in 2015 to 8.96 million in 2050.
Since women live longer than men, these effects are greater for women. Women also experience gender-related differences in their eyes, they have biological differences like hormonal changes that make them more susceptible, and they experience other diseases that involve the eyes.2,3 For example, women:
Are at greater risk for autoimmune diseases, some of which involve the eyes.
Are more likely to undergo certain cancer treatments that may affect vision.
May take oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy that can affect vision.
Experience age-related hormonal changes that can affect eyes and vision (pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause).
Steps to Take to Protect Eye Health
Women can lower their risk and even prevent future visions problems by having regular eye exams particularly when pregnant, near menopause, or if suffering from a
disease that is associated with a higher risk of eye conditions, like diabetes or autoimmune disease. Women can also lower their risk by keeping healthy habits such as staying at a healthy weight, not smoking, and eating healthy foods including dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon, tuna, and halibut).