New Report Highlights Greater Rates of Blindness in Women

There Are Things Women Can Do To Prevent Age-Related Blindness

Chances are unless a woman is putting on mascara, popping in contacts, or fumbling for her glasses, she doesn't think much about her eyes. She should. Of the one million Americans who are blind, more than two-thirds of them are women. That women live longer than men and therefore are more likely to suffer serious age-related eye conditions is only part of the reason. According to Harvard ophthalmology professor, Ilene K. Gipson, PhD, women simply do not know enough about blinding eye diseases and what they can do to prevent them. Together with several other eye experts, she recently formed the Women's Eye Health Task Force to spread the word.


"We want people to understand that there is this issue of prevalence of blindness among women, and we want them to know that some of these diseases are related to nutrition, lifestyle and the environment," says Dr. Gipson, who is a senior scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. "In teaching women about that, then they, as caregivers, can influence the vision health of the entire population."

The current issue of the National Women's Health Report tells women what they can do to prevent age-related eye conditions - glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration. Readers also learn what to do if they are diagnosed with one and where science stands on treatment. A special article discusses "dry eye disease" which affects more than 3.2 million, or nearly one in 12 American women over the age of 50.

"Women and Eye Health at Midlife" is loaded with information. It tells you which eye care professional to see for what. Its "Lifestyle Column" discusses the latest research on the simple lifestyle changes women can make at any age to keep their eyes health.

The National Women's Health Resource Center is the nation's leading independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing health and wellness information and resources to women of all ages. Its Web site, fmxhosting.com/drupal635, is a one-stop shop for women's health.

For a free copy of "Women and Eye Health at Midlife," call 877-986-9472 (toll free) or log on to fmxhosting.com/drupal635, the Web site of the National Women's Health Resource Center.

For more information:
Beverly A. Dame, 888-406-9472

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NOTE: Journalists can receive a PDF of the newsletter by sending an email to beverlydame@healthywomen.org.

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