In general, women experience more vision problems than men, but millennial
moms (those born between 1981 and 1997) also face bigger eye health risks
than their male counterparts. We asked Key-Whitman Eye Center’s
Amy Hong, M.D. to explain why women are at risk and what steps millennial moms can take
to protect their eyes.
So Why Do Women Get The Short End Of The Stick When It Comes To Eye Health?
According to Dr. Hong, “It’s true, women do experience more
eye problems than men, for one particular reason. Women live longer than
men. Women are also predisposed to
autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, that are related to eye diseases. We also go through more hormonal fluctuations
that can cause changes to the eye.”
Other eye conditions women experience include
macular degeneration and cataracts – two eye conditions that become more prevalent as
we age. Another biggie? Dry eye syndrome (DES).
According to a
Women's Health Study on DES and dry eye symptoms, a dry eye diagnosis or severe symptoms of DES affects 3.2 million American
women middle-aged and older. Even though DES is more prevalent in older
women, many in their 40s and 50s also struggle with dry eye symptoms.
dry eye symptoms are rising in young adults
in this past post.
Young Millennial Moms Are Battling Dry Eye And Other Vision Issues, Too
Juggling long hours on the job and raising children can put a strain on
young mothers and have a negative impact on their vision. Dr. Hong regularly
treats millennial moms who are dealing with burning, itchy eyes and conditions,
such as eye infections, that occur when proper eye hygiene (proper contact
lens care and wear, removing eye makeup completely, etc.) gets moved to
the back burner.
Dr. Hong explains how long work hours and neglecting to remove contact
lenses and eye makeup every night can lead to dry eye and eye infections.
Pregnancy Can Also Compromise Eye Health
As Dr. Hong explains, “Pregnancy changes everything. It changes the
hormone system in the body, the metabolism and can lead to fluid retention.
All of these factors can cause changes inside the eye.”
One of the most common eye conditions eye doctors see with pregnant patients
is changes in eyeglass prescriptions. As Dr. Hong explains, “Your
vision can get a little blurrier or a lot blurrier. Sometimes these vision
changes are temporary during the pregnancy, or they can be permanent.
So if you notice any changes to your eyes or vision during pregnancy,
go see your eye doctor right away.”
Pregnancy is also associated with serious diseases, like gestational diabetes,
and diabetes can affect the eyes. “If you are diagnosed with gestational
diabetes, it’s vital to see your eye doctor regularly to monitor
eye health. Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, which
according to the National Eye Institute is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20-74,” Dr. Hong says.
Early Diagnosis And Treatment Is Key To Managing Eye Diseases And Preventing
There is hope for millennial moms who want to alleviate dry eye symptoms
and keep eye infections, conditions and diseases at bay. According to
Dr. Hong, “The earlier we diagnose and treat patients with eye problems,
the better chance we have to
help millennial patients deter vision loss and prevent damage to the eyes.”
Dr. Hong provides tips on proper nutrition, exercise and vision protection
for millennial moms who want to avoid short- and long-term eye health issues.
Want To Keep Your Millennial Eyes In Tip-Top Shape?
Regular eye health exams, especially during pregnancy, are key to preserving
eye health. To schedule an eye exam with Dr. Hong in Arlington or with
an eye doctor at Key-Whitman’s Dallas, North Dallas, Plano or Mesquite
locations, give us a call at (972) 905-9128, or feel free to
set up an appointment online.
Dr. Amy Hong is a licensed ophthalmologist and eye surgeon who specializes
in vision correction surgery and glaucoma management. She attended Columbia
University graduating with a double major earning her Bachelor of Arts
in Pre-Med and Economics, then obtained her medical degree from the University
of Texas in Dallas. A busy mom herself, Dr. Hong also works at the Arlington
Memorial Hospital as well as the Health South Arlington Day Surgery Center.
Photo Source: Adobe Stock