How Gender Impacts Your Vision
In medicine, gender differences can increase risk factors for certain diseases. And, the same goes for eye health. For instance, did you know that women are more likely to experience vision loss? Or, that men have a significantly greater chance of inheriting color blindness? It’s true. Continue on to learn more about how gender impacts your vision.
According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), 253 million people in the world have vision loss. Of that number, 55 percent are women. But, there are several possible reasons for this imbalance. For one, many eye diseases are age-related. And, in the U.S., women often live longer than men. Thus, they’re more likely to be affected by conditions like cataracts.
Secondly, women are at a higher risk for developing certain eye diseases, like dry eye. Third, social and economic factors play a role in the quality and availability of healthcare for women around the globe. And lastly, certain behavioral and environmental factors, like obesity, affect women more than men. These could all be contributing factors for higher rates of vision loss in women.
As we just learned, women are more likely to develop dry eye when compared to men. Why? For starters, dry eye has been linked to hormonal changes during pregnancy. These changes may also take place while on certain types of birth control and after menopause. Women on hormonal replacement therapy are also at a greater risk of developing dry eye. And, as with other eye conditions, the incidence of dry eye increases with age. Therefore, due to increased longevity, women are more likely to experience dry eye, especially as they get older.
As per the National Eye Institute, men are up to 16 times more likely than women to be color blind. And, the reason involves genes. As you may know, women have two X chromosomes, while men only have one. Consequently, the X chromosome carries the genes for the most common, inherited color blindness. For women, a functional gene on only one of their X chromosomes can offset a loss on the other. Men, having just one X and one Y chromosome, don’t experience this same luxury. That’s why color blindness affects more males than females.
- Men can see fine detail and fast-moving objects at a distance better than women.
- Women are better at noticing subtle differences among shades of colors than men.
- Men are three times more likely to have eye injuries compared to women.
Lower Your Risk Factors
While some vision impairments are genetic, others can be prevented with early detection and certain lifestyle changes. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular eye exams. Those with known risk factors or who are past the age of 50 should have yearly exams. Healthy patients under 50 only need an eye exam once every two to three years.
Discover more about how gender impacts your vision. Fill out a patient form and request an appointment at Looking Glass Optical today. We can discuss your gender-specific risk factors, family history and more. Maintain your healthy eyesight for the future by taking care of it today.