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Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month Provides Resources to Help Protect Women’s Vision

Prevent Blindness Offers Educational Videos, Fact Sheets, and Graphics on Topics related to Women’s Eye Health and Vision

Women are at higher risk for vision impairment and blindness than men, yet are less likely to receive treatment. According to a recent report, “The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020,” the gender imbalance can be attributed to demographic factors (women living longer than men) and social factors (women having reduced access to care).

Prevent Blindness has declared April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate the public on the increased risk for women and vision health issues, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent vision loss. The group provides a variety of free resources, including videos, fact sheets, shareable social media graphics, and a listing in English and Spanish of financial assistance programs for eyecare.

According to the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), the following eye diseases and conditions occur more frequently in women:

  • Refractive Error- 26 percent more women than men over the age of 12 have uncorrected visual impairment due to refracted error
  • Dry Eye- Two times more women than men over the age of 50 have dry eye disease
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration- 65 percent of individuals in the United States with Age-related Macular Degeneration are women
  • Cataract- 61 percent of individuals in the United States with cataract are women
  • Glaucoma- 67 percent of individuals in the United States with glaucoma are women
  • Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)- TED is 5-6 times more common in women than men

More Women Than Men have AMD

Prevent Blindness recently collaborated with the SWHR and other leading organizations, to develop the SWHR Patient Toolkit: A Guide to Women’s Eye Health, designed to empower individuals to navigate their eye health and eye care. The toolkit aims to facilitate productive conversations between patients and health care providers at all stages of eye health. Prevent Blindness also participated in the recent webinar, “20/20 Foresight: Understanding Women’s Eye Health and Supporting Patient Needs.”

As part of  April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, Janine Austin Clayton, M.D., FARVO, Associate Director for Research on Women’s Health and Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be joining Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, for a new episode in the Focus on Eye Health Expert Series. Dr. Clayton will discuss a variety of topics including eye disease, inequities in access to eyecare, the impact of vision loss on mental health, more.

During the month, Prevent Blindness will also be debuting a new video as part of the new Diabetes + the Eyes educational series, featuring patient advocates Serena Valentine, mental health expert Melissa Taussig, and diabetes specialist Lisa Golden. Ms. Valentine and Ms. Golden are volunteer participants in the Prevent Blindness  the Prevent Blindness A.S.P.E.C.T. (Advocacy, Support, Perspective, Empowerment, Communication, and Training) Program, that equips participants with knowledge, skills, and confidence to be advocates for vision and eye health.

“Permanent vision loss from many eye diseases and conditions can be me lessened if problems are diagnosed and treated early. That’s why it’s so important for women to make their own eye health a priority to help avoid preventable vision issues in the near and distant future.,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “.”

For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases and eye protection, please visit PreventBlindness.org. Prevent Blindness offers a free listing of financial assistance services in English and Spanish at: preventblindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information/.

 

Download the Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month media release.