Why Do Women Suffer from Visual Impairments More Than Men?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 64% of all visually impaired people worldwide are women. Visual impairments can take many forms, from mild to severe ones that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. When it comes to women vs. men, women struggle more with visual issues, but why is that the case? Learn more about the various types of visual impairments and the reasons why women are more prone to them than men.

Types of Common Visual Impairments

Visual impairments are limitations to the function of the visual system. Some of the most common visual impairments are:

  • Glaucoma – Glaucoma-related visual impairment happens because of a rise in fluid pressure inside the eyes. Center vision is still good while peripheral vision decreases.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – AMD affects the central part of one’s vision, creating a wooly opacity, while a cataract is a general fogging of vision.
  • Cataracts – These can cause cloudy patches over the lens of your eye. Over time this can become larger and cause blurry vision or even blindness.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels and smaller arteries at the back of the eyes. It can begin as black spots.
  • Nearsightedness – People with nearsightedness, or myopia, can see near objects clearly but not distant objects.

Women vs. Men: Reasons Women Have Higher Visual Impairment Rates

The disparity between the rates of visual impairment between men and women has a few causes.

Life Expectancy

Women have a higher life expectancy than men, making it more likely for them to develop visual issues. The average life expectancy for a woman in America is 81, while for men it’s 76, according to the Office on Women’s Health. Vision abnormalities become more probable as you grow older, making women much more likely to develop age-related visual impairment.

Access to Services

There are still serious differences between the access women have to certain health services and the access men have. There are cultural, social, and economic gaps throughout the world that can make it more difficult for women to get the treatment they need for vision concerns. Also, in many cases, women prioritizing family needs over their own needs can lead many women to ignore symptoms of visual impairment.

Risk Factors

Women have several risk factors that make visual impairments more prevalent. Fluctuating hormones, such as Estrogen, can make the retina more flexible, causing light to travel differently through the eye. It can lead to blurry vision. Pregnancy, menopause, and the use of birth control pills can also affect vision. Hormonal differences can lead to cataracts and other vision issues.

Get Help for Visual Impairments

No matter your gender, you should reach out for help from an eye doctor the moment you notice a change in your vision. If you experience blurriness, loss of peripheral vision, nearsightedness, or any other kind of visual concern that affects your daily life, turn to the professionals at Looking Glass Optical.

Looking Glass Optical treats many types of eye problems, including macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and more. Don’t let your visual concerns get worse. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.