As women, we tend to be very proactive about our health – that’s actually been proven! Seeing a doctor for an annual appointment once a year, receiving regular mammograms after the age of 40, and being aware of our genetic health history. However, how often do we pay attention to eye health? Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month is observed every April by the Prevent Blindness organization. This is an important observation because women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind. Take time to educate yourself on how to improve and preserve your vision by reading the tips below.
Schedule regular eye exams: Even if you don’t already wear glasses or have issues with your eyesight, it’s still important to receive an eye examination. If you are over the age of 40, you need to start receiving them more often to keep tabs on any age-related eyesight issues like macular degeneration or cataracts, both of which can cause blindness over time.
Use protective eyewear: Utilizing 100% UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses while outdoors can help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays. These rays can cause cataracts and vision loss, so it’s important to wear protective, yet cute, sunglasses. Next time you go to the beach, spend time gardening or go for a walk outside be sure to grab your sunglasses and wide brim hat to ensure your eye safety.
Quit smoking: If you are a regular smoker, you can be severely damaging your eyesight. Smoking can cause blurred vision, cataracts, and increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy which can cause vision loss. Among all of the other health issues that smoking can cause, take this time to consider the effect it can have on one of our most important senses.
Use cosmetics safely: Good hygiene and proper application of makeup are important when trying to protect your eyes. Mascara or eyeliner that immediately bothers your eyes may be a sign to stop using them or to be more careful with your application, as these cosmetics are never supposed to get inside your eyes. If you didn’t know, makeup even has expiration dates to be aware of because some products can last you longer than this date. It’s also important to never share makeup that is used on the eyes with others to avoid spreading disease like pink eye.
This month, take time to care for your eyes. Even if it’s scheduling an eye exam or treating yourself to a new pair of sunglasses! It’s important to take care of every part of our body’s health, especially as we age.