If you're approaching your forties as a female, you might not know that vision problems are another health-related issue that comes along with the change of life. Research shows that women are more likely than men to develop vision problems that lead to age-related blindness. Here are four vision problems you might experience.
Cataracts are the leading cause of age-related blindness. If you're a woman, you have an increased risk of developing this vision problem. One of the reasons for the increased risk is that women live longer than men. Some of the symptoms of cataracts include:
- Cloudy vision
- Diminished night vision
- Reduced color clarity
Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up behind the eyes. While glaucoma can affect anyone, if you are farsighted, you have a greater chance of developing closed-angle glaucoma. One of the reasons is because your eyes are smaller when your farsighted and the angles don't allow for proper drainage of fluid. Not only that but women over the age of 40 are also more likely to develop closed-angle glaucoma.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration – or AMD – is the number one cause of blindness in people over the age of 40, with women being the most at risk for the disease. AMD destroys your sharp, central vision – the portion of your vision that allows you to do things like drive and read. The most common type of AMD is dry AMD, which causes the retina to shrink. Over time, pieces of debris, known as drusen, build up under the retina, causing blindness. AMD causes you to develop blind spots in your vision that will look like dark areas.
If you have dry-eye syndrome, your eyes no longer create the tears needed for proper lubrication. Your eyes may feel like they're burning or you may feel like you have small pieces of sand on the surface of your eyes when you blink. This is caused by the lack of lubrication on the surface of your eyes. As you age, your body cuts back on the amount of natural oils it produces, which results in a decrease in the amount of tears you produce. Once you enter menopause, the balance between estrogen and progesterone switches, which causes changes in the surface of the eyes. This shift in hormones makes the effects of dry eyes more significant.
For more information, talk to a professional like Master Eye Associates.