PBA finds women more susceptible to eye disease than men

March 25, 2008

Women are diagnosed with eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy more than men.

Chicago-Women are diagnosed with eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy more than men. Not only have the numbers of age-related eye disease increased, women are still more affected than men, according to a report from Prevent Blindness America (PBA).

Of the more than 3.6 million Americans aged 40 and older who suffer from visual impairment, 2.3 million are women.

"Some may be under the impression that losing vision is just a simple part of the aging process but these numbers include many women in their 40s," said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of PBA. "It's never too early to start caring for our eyes, and we strongly encourage women to make eye health a priority for themselves and their families today."

PBA suggests to all Americans that they make an eye appointment immediately if they experience the following symptoms:

  •  Unusual trouble adjusting to dark rooms;

  • Difficulty focusing on near or distant objects;

  •  Squinting or blinking due to unusual sensitivity to light or glare;

  •  Change in color of iris;

  •  Red-rimmed, encrusted or swollen lids;

  • Recurrent pain in or around eyes;

  • Double vision;

  • Dark spot at the center of viewing;

  • Lines and edges appear distorted or wavy;

  • Excess tearing or "watery eyes";

  • Dry eyes with itching or burning; and

  • Seeing spots or ghost-like images.