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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Eye Basics

eye diagram mallenThe eye is often compared to a camera, with its light-sensitive retina taking the place of the photographic film and the pupil representing the aperture (or opening) in the diaphragm, which covers the lens. However, this analogy doesn’t do justice to the remarkable properties of the human eye. All the parts of the eye that light passes through—the cornea, lens, vitreous, and retina—are made of living tissue and yet maintain their transparency. And the range of light and color intensities that can be perceived by the human eye is much greater than that of any man-made film.

Another eye diagram is provided by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

A glossary of eye-related terms is provided by the Schepens Eye Research Institute; this should be useful for understanding the structure and function of the eye’s component parts. The glossary also defines terms you may hear from your eye doctor and has links to pages about common eye diseases.

At the front of the eye is the cornea, a clear dome that helps focus light. It and the sclera, the white of the eye, protect the interior of the eye. The surface of the eye is protected and lubricated by the eyelids. Behind the cornea is the lens (crystalline lens), which completes the focusing of light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The retina contains nerve cells that send signals, through the optic nerve, to the brain.

Any part of the eye can be damaged through structural defect, disease, injury, or age-related changes. Two very common defects are poor focusing of light (refractive error, correctable by eyeglasses) and loss of transparency of the lens (cataract, treated by a standard surgery).

Click here to learn more about when to seek help from an eye care professional.

Women’s Eye Health

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