(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO –  In addition to the many differences between men and women, more women than men have eye disease. Eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and dry eye.  Women also may have vision issues related to pregnancy and menopause.  According to the Prevent Blindness study "The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems," currently 63 percent of those that are blind and 62 percent of those that are visually impaired are women.

Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month in an effort to educate women about these issues as well as provide recommendations on the best ways to take care of vision. 

Women are also at higher risk for dry eye disease, a condition where the eyes do not produce enough tears or enough quality tears to keep the eyes lubricated.  Dry eye is more prevalent in women in the menopausal and postmenopausal age group, due to the changes in balance of hormones.  Women who are pregnant, or on certain types of birth control, may experience dry eye.

Symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Feeling a burning or stinging in your eyes
  • Feeling like there are particles in your eyes
  • A gritty, sandy feeling in your eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Redness and inflammation of your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in your eyes
  • Extreme sensitivity, especially to cigarette smoke

Anyone experiencing these symptoms, or any other changes in vision, should consult an eyecare professional immediately. Vision loss can be significantly lessened when eye problems are detected and treated early. Prevent Blindness offers a free listing of financial assistance services in English and Spanish here.

For the third consecutive year, OCuSOFT Inc., a privately held eye and skin care company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, will support April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month with a donation to Prevent Blindness.

“We want to remind women of every age that the key to healthy vision in the future is taking care of the eyes today,” said Jeff Todd, incoming president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Wearing the proper eye protection, quitting smoking, eating healthy foods, and talking to an eye care professional about any vision changes or changes in medications, are just a few ways to help ensure a lifetime of healthy vision.”

For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases, and eye protection, visit www.preventblindness.org, or call (800) 331-2020.

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