5 Reasons Why Women Are at Higher Risk of Eye Disease

Women can suffer from a variety of eye-related diseases. Find out which ones you should look out for!

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To maintain healthy eyes, women should be especially mindful of these five conditions.

Eye Trauma

Women are far more likely to experience eye irritation, simply due to cosmetics. As most women can relate, a jab to the eye with a mascara wand or cosmetic tool can be extremely irritating, and even painful! Though this type of eye trauma from cosmetics is rarely serious, your eyes are delicate and can be easily irritated or damaged, so it’s important to be cautious. If discomfort from a poke or debris persists, be sure to visit your eye doctor.


This cloudy area that forms in the eye’s lens is one of the world’s leading causes of blindness. Typically, cataracts begin to form after the age of 40, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by the age of 80, more than half of all American have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Women of African-American decent are at an even higher risk for cataracts, and should be diligent about receiving yearly eye exams.


A condition that damages the optic nerve, glaucoma causes pressure to build behind the eye. Similar to cataracts, glaucoma generally appears after the age of 40 and in some cases can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is an inherited disease that worsens over time. Unfortunately, there are no cures, though there are treatments to help the symptoms.


Diabetes may increase the risk of developing various eye diseases, beginning with diabetic retinopathy which affects the light sensing portion of the eye. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted that 1 in 10 American women over the age of 20 has diabetes. Women with diabetes who have early signs of eye damage may experience light sensitivity, difficulty differentiating colors, and trouble driving at night.

Autoimmune Disease

Women are more likely to develop several autoimmune diseases that impact eye health. Lupus, multiple sclerosis, and Sjogren’s syndrome can all affect a woman’s sight. Lupus can cause dry eyes and inflammation, while multiple sclerosis can ultimately lead to vision loss. Sjorgen’s syndrome dries many of the moisture producing glands in the body including those that protect the eyes and predominantly affects women.

To avoid serious eye issues, it is very important for women to eat healthy, be active, and get the proper amount of rest. Visiting an eye doctor is a great way to find out if you might be at risk for eye disease and to learn more about what you can do to avoid irritation and damage. To best preserve eye health, be diligent about wearing sunglasses and make an effort to get an eye exam annually – you’ll be grateful you did!

Provided by VSP