Millennial Moms Face More Eye Health Risks Than Dads – How To Level The Playing Field

Young mother on her computer with her sonIn 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 Arlington ophthalmologist 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.

Learn why 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
Vision Loss

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.

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