Men and women tend to have different medical needs in a number of different areas, and are each more likely to develop certain illnesses and conditions than the opposite sex. But this isn’t always the case, so do men and women need different treatment and care when it comes to their eyes? This is a battle of the sexes that no one really wins, but it turns out there are some differences in the eyes of men and women.
First, the bad news. Unfortunately for the ladies, they happen to have a higher risk for both cataracts and dry eye. Nearly five million Americans over the age of 50 have dry eye symptoms, and yes, women are much more likely to have dry eye than men. More than three million women over 50 suffer from dry eye, while the men number somewhere over 1.5 million. The key difference here is that dry eye is much more common after menopause, and while the exact role that menopause plays in dry eye isn’t totally understood, it may very well have to do with the balance of hormones in the body.
Women are also more likely to develop cataracts than men. If left untreated, this natural clouding of the eye’s lens can eventually lead to blindness. Luckily, cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in the United States, and one with a very low risk of complications and a high success rate.
As for men, they’re much more likely to be colorblind than women. In fact, roughly 1 in 12 men are colorblind, while only 1 in 200 women are. That’s because the genes for inherited color blindness are only on the X chromosome. Since men only have one X chromosome, if they have the gene for inherited color blindness, then they’re simply out of luck. But women have two X chromosomes, and even if one has the gene for color blindness, the other chromosome may have a functional gene that is enough to make up for the other and prevent the condition.
So while it’s not all roses for the men, women should be aware of their increased risk for some eye ailments. But regardless of gender it’s important to have your eyes checked regularly, even if you don’t feel like there’s a problem. Cataracts, for instance, may not initially cause a noticeable change in vision, but they certainly will if left untreated.
And if you do end up needing cataract surgery, or just want to improve your vision, then contact EyeCare 20/20. We’ll set up a consultation and find out exactly how to best address your eye care needs. So don’t spend another day with poor eyesight, call us today and we’ll get you started on the path to clear vision.
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