Did you know women are at greater risk for eye disease and visual impairments?

Women account for more than two-thirds of the world’s population of blind and visually impaired persons.
A group of doctors and researchers created the Women’s Eye Health organization and website to provide the knowledge women need to understand their risk, protect their vision, improve their eyesight, and empower their families.
This website is produced in partnership with the National Eye Health Education Program and Women in Ophthalmology and features content written by women for women.

Understand Your Risk

The leading causes of blindness and low vision worldwide are cataracts, uncorrected refractive error, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Worldwide more women than men are blind or have low vision due to cataracts and AMD. Dry eye disease and autoimmune diseases are also intrinsically more prevalent in women than in men.
Because women in the United States, on average, live longer than men, they have a much greater prevalence of common, serious, age-related eye diseases, specifically AMD and glaucoma. Read more about each condition below.

Protect Your Vision

It’s been estimated that three-quarters of blindness and vision loss is either preventable or treatable. There are several lifestyle choices you can make to reduce your risk for eye disease.

Improve Your Eyesight

Women may think they’re just too busy with children, jobs, or elder care to get an eye exam or new eyeglasses. But poor vision can wreak havoc on your physical and mental well-being.

Empower Your Family

Did you know many of the same steps you can take to protect your own vision extend to protecting the vision of your loved ones?

About Us

Women’s Eye Health formed in 2001 in response to the troubling reality that more than two-thirds of the world’s population of blind and visually impaired persons are women.
This website is produced in partnership with the National Eye Health Education Program and Women in Ophthalmology and features content written by women for women.

Contact Us

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Fight for Sight and Women's Eye Health.org Announce Joint Summer Student Fellowship Award Winner

New York, NY, August 3, 2010 - Fight for Sight today announced its 2010 winner of the Women's Eye Health.org Summer Student Fellowship award, Andrew J. McClellan, pursuing an M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine, Cullen Eye Institute, for his research project, "The effect of gender on spontaneous, age-related dry eye disease."

Affecting more than 25 million Americans, dry-eye disease is a common health problem associated with aging, but women are much more commonly diagnosed with the disease than men. McClellan's research project will focus on age-related changes in the immune system as a commonality between menopause and dry eye disease (DED), both of which are known to be significantly influenced by sex hormones. The award is a firsttime collaboration between Fight for Sight and Women's Eye Health.org, for $2,100 during the summer of 2010. McClellan's sponsor is Stephen Pflugfelder, M.D.

"Women's Eye Health.org is proud to join forces with Fight for Sight to sponsor summer student research and training in diseases that disproportionately affect women," said Women's Eye Health.org chair, Ilene K. Gipson, PhD., Senior Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School.

Fight for Sight's (FFS) mission is unique among eye and vision research foundations -- it identifies and funds promising students and researchers at the beginning of their academic and professional careers. The FFS grant allows awardees to obtain preliminary results and the first experience necessary to successfully apply for larger federal and foundation awards, such as the National Institutes of Health.

"The 2010 grant awardees will research a wide range of eye and vision issues that affect millions of Americans every day," said Mike Wilke, executive director of Fight for Sight. "We are pleased to offer these individuals the opportunity to pursue their goals for vision research -- often these first research studies inspire a life-long passion for eye research, as so many of our alumni have gone on to achieve great things in the field."

Over the last 64 years, Fight for Sight grants have been awarded to numerous scientists and researchers who have become major industry leaders. Just a few of the prominent alumni include: Robert Machemer, MD, the "father" of modern retinal surgery; László Bitó, PDD, who developed the glaucoma drug Xalatan; Paul Sieving, MD, PhD (1980), current Director of the National Eye Institute; and more. Since its inception, FFS has awarded over $20 million in grants to more than 3,000 eye researchers. Grantees are selected through a rigorous review process by Fight for Sight's Scientific Review Committee.

About Fight for Sight
Since 1946, Fight for Sight has invested in the future of eye and vision research by funding promising scientists early in their careers. FFS has supported over 3,000 new scientists with more than $20 million in research that has contributed directly or indirectly to major advances in ophthalmology and vision research, including development of the IOL, aspects of donor cornea preservation, various uses of ophthalmic lasers, glaucoma therapies, and gene therapy.

About Womens Eye Health.org
Formed in 2001, in response to the troubling reality that two-thirds of the world's population of blind and visually impaired persons is women. Researchers at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston joined forces with colleagues from the U.S. and the world to form an education and outreach program.

WEH.org celebrated World Sight Day on October 8, 2009, with vision testing and educational outreach to the Boston community. This year's theme was Gender & Eye Health - Equal Access to Sight

Click to view a video from UNC Health Care >



World Sight Day

Downloads (pdf):

Key Messages
Status of Women 
Fact Sheet


Media Advisories and Public Service Announcements

In a press release dated November 15, 2002, the Women’s Eye Health.org introduced themselves to the press as a concerned group of scientists and top U.S. vision experts whose mission was to educate people that two-thirds of legally blind Americans were women, and through education, we can do something about it!


Women’s Eye Health