Women’s health focuses on eyes

| April 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
Capt. John Stehulak (left), det. officer, 124th Med. Det., 18th MEDCOM (DS), examines the eyes of Sgt. Maj. Kim White, intelligence sergeant major, 18th MEDCOM (DS), during the unit’s FTX, Sept. 10.

Capt. John Stehulak (left), det. officer, 124th Med. Det., 18th MEDCOM (DS), examines the eyes of Sgt. Maj. Kim White, intelligence sergeant major, 18th MEDCOM (DS), during the unit’s FTX, Sept. 10, 2013

Army News Service
News Release

Women are often responsible for taking care of their family’s health concerns, but often neglect their own health, including the health of their eyes.

Yet, did you know that women account for two-thirds of people in the world affected by visual impairments and blindness even though they represent only 53 percent of the population?

Rising eye disease
The rate of eye disease is on the rise in the U.S., mostly because people are living longer. Women, on average, live longer than men. As a result, more women are susceptible to age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eyes, glaucoma and diabetic eye changes.

Because of these ailments, Prevent Blindness America has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month to help educate women about the steps they should take to make eye health a priority.

While the following recommendations apply to everyone, during April (and every month), the emphasis is for women to take care of themselves, as well as their families.

Eye care steps to take
Get routine eye care. Many causes of eye-related problems are preventable, so all women should make eye examinations a regular part of their health care routine. Even if no eye-related symptoms are present, it is recommended that all women receive a comprehensive eye examination at least by the age of 40 and obtain routine follow-up care as recommended by their eye care professional.

Remember that an eye exam evaluates much more than just blurry vision.

Know your family history. Genetics plays an important role in what diseases people may be at risk for, including eye diseases. It is important to notify your eye care professional of any conditions that your ancestors may have had. In some cases, this information may prevent or lessen the possibility of those conditions occurring in you.

Eat healthy and exercise. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly are important in maintaining a proper weight and reducing the risk for certain conditions. Healthy habits can also help guard against vision loss. Obesity, a lack of exercise, stress and a bad diet can affect the health of your eyes.

Avoid smoke. Smoking, including secondhand smoke, increases the risk for certain eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Avoid smoking and being around secondhand smoke.

Wear good sunglasses. Ultraviolet light exposure has been linked to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. When outside, people should wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.

Use cosmetics and contacts safely. The rules for using cosmetics and contact lenses safely are easy: Wash your hands first, throwaway old makeup and contacts, do not share cosmetics and contacts with others, and do not apply either while driving.

By following these directions, individuals can prevent serious eye infections that could result in permanent vision loss.

Remember, you may be responsible for making certain that everyone else is healthy, but remember yourself, too. Taking care of your eyes is an easy way to assist in meeting those important functions for years to come.

(Editor’s note: Article from Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program Staff at U.S. Army Public Health Command.)

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Category: Community, Health

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