April is designated as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, a time in which health care professionals, including Dr. Vivienne Velasco of iFocus Vision Center, put the spotlight on issues related to women’s vision, the common challenges they face, and preventable eye diseases.

“Women are more likely than men to develop conditions, including dry eye and thyroid eye disease,” Dr. Velasco says. “Dry eye, for example, is more common in women than men because of hormonal changes.

“Anything from birth control, pregnancy, or menopause can result in dry eye disease, with symptoms that include intermittent blurred vision, burning, stinging, and foreign body sensation.”

Thyroid Eye Disease, she adds, often comes with the same symptoms, and can even cause bulging eyes.

According to Prevent Blindness, the list of major vision problems that can impact women at a greater rate than men also includes:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Low Vision
  • Refractive Error

So what can women do to ensure their vision stays healthy as they age?

  1. Schedule a Dilated Eye Exam. A dilated eye exam allows Dr. Velasco to view the inner structures of the eye, including the optic nerve, blood vessels, macula, and retina. This is essential for identifying risk factors, eye diseases, and other vision problems.
  2. Switch to An Eye-Friendly Diet. You don’t need to go crazy with carrots, but making some changes to your diet – adding leafy greens, eggs, salmon, oranges, and nuts, for example – will help preserve your vision in the long run.
  3. Wear Your Sunglasses, Always. Living in Las Vegas means getting a lot of sunshine, but Dr. Velasco advises her patients to always keep their eyes covered when they’re outdoors. Make sure your sunglasses come with a UV400 label, so you know they offer the best protection.
  4. Stop Smoking or Vaping. These habits are not just a threat to your overall health, but your vision in particular. Smoking increases your chances of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Dry Eye Disease, and Glaucoma.

“Following these guidelines will not only ensure your eyes are healthy today, but they will give you peace of mind for the future,” Dr. Velasco says.

iFocus Vision Center remains open with strict guidelines in place to protect patients and staff members. Patients with an urgent need are seen by appointment only, and iFocus offers curbside pickup for eyeglasses or contact lens refills. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 702-473-5660.