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What All Women Should Know About Safe and Healthy Eyes

It's April, which is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.

The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease among women is becoming more common, particularly in middle-aged women. In fact, studies show that the majority of women over the age of 40 experience some degree of visual impairment, and risk developing conditions such as cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the chance of women developing vision impairments has grown due to the female population's growing longevity.

As a woman, an important step to take to guarantee strong vision is to make an extensive eye exam part of your regular health routine. Be sure to go have an extensive eye exam before you turn forty, and that you don't forget to follow up with the advice your eye care professional recommends. Additionally, be aware of your family medical history, as your genes are an important detail of comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye diseases.

In addition, maintain a healthful, well-balanced diet and don't forget to include foods rich in beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which all help protect against vision loss from eye disease. You can also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A tablets, which are all strong starting points to maintaining top-notch eye care.

If you smoke, make a decision to quit, because even second-hand smoke can add to the danger of eye disease and is a known factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also lead to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are extremely dangerous to your eyes. When outside, and not just during the summer, make sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses as well as a sun hat to protect your eyes from the sun.

Changes in hormone levels, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can also affect your vision. Sometimes, these shifts can even make the use of contacts less effective or slightly painful to wear. During pregnancy, you might want to shorten contact lens wearing time and adjust your prescription as needed. It's recommended to make an appointment with your optometrist at some point during your pregnancy to address any eye or vision changes you may be noticing.

There are also precautions to take to shield your eyes from household dangers, like domestic cleaners. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaning agents, bleach and fertilizers are kept safely and properly, and are out of reach of small children. Wash your hands well after working with all chemicals and use eye protection when using strong substances. Use safety goggles when fixing things in your house, most importantly when working with wood, metal or power tools.

If used irresponsibly, cosmetics might also be a safety risk for your eyes. Particularly when it comes to eye makeup, never use anyone else's products. Avoid using old eye makeup and discard anything that's older than four months, especially anything that's aqueous. Watch for any abnormal reactions and cease use immediately if you see inflammation in or around the eyes. Be aware also that you might actually develop allergies to a product you've been buying for years. Also, be sure to avoid touching the eye when using eyeliners, shadows and mascara.

As a woman, it is important to be aware of the risks and options when it comes to caring for your eyes. And also, it can't hurt to inform the other women in your life, like your daughters and friends, about how to look after their eye health.