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The Truth About Women and Vision Loss

April 1, 2014

Women are at a greater risk for permanent vision loss than men.

It is no secret that there are a lot of differences between men and women. From our personalities, to our health, to our bodies, there are simply a number of things that differentiate the two genders, whether we realize it or not.

However, while men and women are both susceptible to common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, dry eyes, age-related vision diseases, etc., not all vision problems are equal between men and women. In fact, many studies have been done which show that women are at a greater risk of permanent vision loss than men. Unfortunately, according to a new national survey by Prevent Blindness America, only 9% of American women actually realize that they are at a greater risk.¹

Therefore, in honor of April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we are taking a closer look at the relationship between women and vision loss, as well as hopefully educating women about the importance of recognizing and treating vision related symptoms, conditions and treatments that are specific to them.

Facts About Vision Loss In Women

In 2012, a new study was released entitled Vision Problems In The US. In this study, it was revealed that as many as 66% of individuals who experience blindness are women, rather than men. An additional 61% of people suffering from cataracts were found to be women, and another 65% of people suffering with age-related macular degeneration were women. ¹ This is nearly double the amount of vision problems than their male counterparts were experiencing.

Unfortunately, as striking as these statistics may be, what is even more alarming is that 86% of people incorrectly believe that men and women are at an equal amount of risk for vision loss, and 5% even believe that men are at a greater risk. ¹

“These responses indicate an alarming lack of knowledge regarding women’s vision,” said Prevent Blindness volunteer adviser and spokesperson Dr. Mildred M.G. Olivier. “It’s apparent that a vast majority of women are unaware of the gender specific symptoms, conditions and risks associated with vision health.” ¹

Vision Loss Symptoms In Women

The best way to prevent vision loss in women is to identify symptoms early and take the proper preventative steps to catch the problem of vision loss before it progresses. Prevent Blindness America recognized this need, and created a women’s eye health website called SeeJaneSee.org to help share facts and resources for preventing vision loss in women. Some of their suggestions for preventing vision loss include:

  • Quit Smoking
  • Be aware of possible vision changes during pregnancy
  • Wear UV-protecting sunglasses when outdoors
  • Visit your eye doctor if you have diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Use cosmetics and contact lenses safely
  • Research any history of eye disease that may be in your family

It is also important that women over the age of 60 begin scheduling yearly comprehensive eye examinations in order to help catch any possible vision problems early on before it becomes more serious. Be sure to contact OCLI today to schedule your yearly eye examination, as well as learn more about the common symptoms of vision loss in women.



1 – https://www.eyewiretoday.com/view.asp?20140320-survey_fewer_than_1_in_10_us_women_know_that_women_are_at_greater_risk_of_permanent_vision_loss_than_men

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