Women at Higher Risk than Men for Most Eye Diseases, Yet One in Four Has Not Had an Eye Exam in Last Two Years
-Survey Reveals Cost as Major Reason Why Women Forego Exams,
Even For Those with Vision Insurance-
According to the recent Prevent Blindness study, The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind. More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These numbers will only continue to increase in the years to come.
Although there are no cures for these diseases, many of the effects may be lessened through early detection and treatment. A recent online survey on behalf of Prevent Blindness found, however, that one in four women had not received an eye exam in the past two years. Cost was cited as the number one reason for both those who did and did not have vision insurance. Other reasons cited were transportation issues and simply being “too busy” to make an appointment.
The recent survey results are alarming combined with the results from the Prevent Blindness survey conducted last year by Harris Poll which found that:
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate women about the steps they can take today to help preserve vision in the future.
The group also created the program, See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now, to provide free education and resources on everything from eye disease to cosmetic safety to vision changes during pregnancy. Valuable information and new data on a range of topics related to women’s vision health at every life stage can be found at SeeJaneSee.org. In addition, the site also features a section written by leading experts on topics ranging from the importance of eye exams to the effects of smoking on vision.
"Healthy vision is often something we take for granted until it starts to slip away," said Barbara Armstrong, Executive Directer of Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. "We want to encourage women to put themselves on a path toward a lifetime of healthy vision by making an appointment for a dilated eye exam today!"
Prevent Blindness also recommends that all women:
Prevent Blindness also recommends the following for women of child-bearing age:
For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases, pregnancy and vision, the safe use of cosmetics, as well as financial assistance, please visit www.preventblindness.org/wi, www.SeeJaneSee.org, or call (414) 765-0505.