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3 Most Common Vision Loss Problems In Women

Monday, September 21, 2015 @ 10:09 AM
Author: Amit Mathur



Believe it or not, women are more likely to develop eye diseases and vision loss then men. On average, women make up two-thirds of North Americans who are visually impaired or blind.

The reason? There are many reasons, the most common of which is lack of care. Women tend to put their family’s health before their own, which means they often overlook their own annual eye exams. Another main factor is of course genetics play a major part in vision and vision loss, and women unfortunately are often more predisposed to such conditions. Lastly, the cyclical change of women’s hormones affects the body as a whole, including their eyes.

So what are the three most common vision loss problems in women? We examine vision change or loss caused by pregnancy, dry eye and autoimmune diseases in women.

  1. Change or loss of vision during pregnancy

When a women becomes pregnant, it’s no surprise that her body changes over the course of gestation thanks to an influx of hormones. Things like cravings, swollen ankles, gestational diabetes and so forth, are all common and oftentimes only last for the duration of the pregnancy. Change in a woman’s vision is also possible to happen. It’s important that once a woman realizes she is experiencing changes, regardless of what it is, she should speak with her doctor immediately to ensure it is diagnosed and properly managed during her pregnancy.

The most common pregnancy-related vision problems include changes in the eye’s moisture. This can mean excessive dry eyes or excessive wet eyes as well. There is also the likelihood that a woman with diabetes during pregnancy (whether it’s gestational or not) can develop diabetic retinopathy. This is when changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels weaken the blood vessels in the retina, which can potentially rupture or develop what are called “abnormal branches.” It is important to see your doctor regularly and have regular eye exams if you have any concerns.

  1. Developing Dry Eyes During or After Menopause

Dry eyes are quite common within the general population worldwide. However, women who are either going through menopause or are post-menopausal are twice as likely to develop dry eyes. Once again, the continuous change of hormones happening in a woman’s body is the reason this occurs more frequently. The drop in estrogen during this time correlates with the decreased production of tears. These tears are needed to keep the eyes moist and lubricated as well as to protect from debris, dust and other small particles that can affect the eyes. Without the regular tear production, eyes are likely to become dry, itchy and problematic.

  1. Women Are More Likely To Develop Autoimmune Diseases

Normally, your immune system is your main line of defense against foreign bodies and diseases, however autoimmune diseases is when the immune system fights against itself or other parts of your body. There are many different types of autoimmune diseases which affect different parts of the body. The most common types which are more likely to affect the eyes. Lupus is when immune cells can attack different organs, like the eyes, and if this happens the eyes will swell, become light sensitive (photophobia) and dry. Hyperthyroiditis, an infection within the thyroid gland, can lead to Graves’ disease, which can cause the eyes to swell and appear to bulge out of the eye socket. This can be very serious, leading to optic nerve damage and corneal hernias. Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that directly affects the eyes. White blood cells attack the glands that produce tears. This leads to dry eyes and requires exhaustive therapy to keep the eyes properly lubricated.

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