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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Vision enriches your life and is an important factor in maintaining your physical and mental health. Therefore, regular visits to an eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist) are an important step in preserving your sight. How often should you see an eye doctor? The answer depends on your age, race, and general health.

Important Note: If you are experiencing decreased vision, eye pain, excessive drainage from the eye, or double-vision contact an eye care professional immediately.

Children and Young Adults

happy childVision screening can be performed by your child’s pediatrician to identify problems that could lead to visual impairment so that a referral can be made to an eye care professional (an optometrist or ophthalmologist). Eye care professionals and pediatricians recommend a vision screening at the following age ranges: Newborn to 6 Months; 6 Months to 3-1/2 Years; 3-1/2 to 5 Years; 5 Years and up. Early detection is the key to correcting many vision problems as well as preventing frustration for your child. Young adults need to see an eye care professional only if they have a problem – such as the need for eyeglasses, an eye injury, or a change in vision.

Adults (40-60 years old)

Even if you are a healthy adult, you should get a comprehensive eye examination from an eye care professional at or around age 40. Your initial exam will establish a baseline for your eyes that will be helpful in monitoring your sight in the future. The doctor should examine your eyes through dilated (wide open) pupils. After that, get follow-up checkups from an eye care professional every 2 to 4 years until age 60.

Seniors (60+ years old)

If you are over 60, get a thorough eye exam, through dilated pupils, at least every 2 years, even if you are symptom-free and at low risk. The reason is because as people age they have an ever-increasing risk for getting major, blinding eye diseases: cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Noticing the early signs of these diseases, especially glaucoma, is key to treating many eye diseases.

Other Factors to Consider

Get to know your family history – some eye diseases are hereditary as well as more prevalent in different races of people. If you have a family history of eye disease you should visit an eye care professional regularly. If you have other health problems, especially diabetes or any of the autoimmune diseases, you should be under the care of an eye doctor.

How to Find an Eye Doctor

The National Eye Institute offers tips and links to help you locate an eye care professional, see: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/findprofessional.asp

What to Expect at the Eye Doctor

Explore the Women's Eye Health eye exam checklist for a handy guide to your next eye doctor visit.

Women’s Eye Health