Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month is observed in April to create awareness around women being more susceptible to issues with their eyesight and having a higher risk of permanently losing their sight compared to men. Women need to be aware of this fact and take the necessary steps to prevent exposure to such risk. An example of an eye condition that is more common in women than in men is chronic dry eye, often associated with rosacea, a health issue also prevalent in women. Chronic dry eye is also influenced by the changes in hormones during pregnancy and menopause.
History of Women's Eye Health and Safety Month
April was declared Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month by Prevent Blindness, a national non-profit organization with a mission to prevent blindness and preserve eyesight. They sponsored a survey online in the U.S. from January 24 to January 28, 2014, among 2,039 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and above to know what the public thinks about women’s eye and vision health. Dr. Mildred M.G. Olivier, an expert on women and minority eye health and a volunteer for Prevent Blindness, reported that the feedback they received was that most people were misinformed about women’s vision. Many individuals, especially women, were also unaware that there are gender-specific symptoms and risks associated with vision health.
A 2014 study in the U.S. titled ‘Vision Problems’ revealed that 66% of people experiencing blindness are women, 61% of people living with cataracts are women, and 65% of people with Age-Related Macular Degeneration are women, almost double that of males.
The National Eye Institute also stated that because women generally tend to live longer than men, they deal with more eye disorders and are more likely to have to undergo cancer treatment. Such procedures, in turn, affect vision and cause hormonal changes that can further exacerbate eye conditions. Women need to be one step ahead by finding out about the family history of eye diseases and seeing an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to prevent it.
Women's Eye Health and Safety Month timeline
Jacques Daviel performs the first true cataract extraction in Paris.
Eye specialist Franciscus Donders discovers glaucoma.
Prevent Blindness, a non-profit organization, is formed.
Prevent Blindness conducts the first national glaucoma detection program.
Women's Eye Health and Safety Month FAQs
What month is vision month?
May is vision month.
When is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month?
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is observed in August.
When is Blindness Awareness Month?
October is Blindness Awareness Month.
How to Observe Women's Eye Health and Safety Month
Smoking is linked to the cause of several eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts. It’s also linked to retinal vascular occlusions and may worsen diabetic retinopathy.
Visit the eye doctor
Be proactive by visiting the doctor to run the necessary tests needed to prevent eye and vision problems in the future. An ophthalmologist detects early signs of different eye conditions by running some tests and documenting yearly changes.
Change your eye makeup
Your eye makeup contains bacteria that multiply over time and affects the eyes if used past its expiry date. It’s therefore advisable to change your eye makeup or at least clean the applicators thoroughly every three months.
5 Intriguing Facts About The Eyes
The are very complex
Second to the brain, the eye is the body’s most complex organ.
The eyeball is bigger than we think
We can only see one-sixth of the eyeball.
We blink a lot
The average person blinks 12 times in one minute
Ability to focus on different things
The human eyes can adjust their focus on 50 different objects every second.
Eyes are closed when sneezing
You cannot sneeze with your eyes open.
Why Women's Eye Health and Safety Month is Important
It creates eye health awareness
This particular month educates women about their eye health and encourages them to be proactive about it. Most women don’t know that they are more prone to eye diseases than men.
It encourages an eye checkup
During a month dedicated to women’s eye health, we have no excuse but to visit the doctor for an eye checkup. Doing so also encourages more women to do the same.
It’s another reason to respect women
The fact that women are more prone to eye disease calls for us to pause and take extra precautions. It also encourages males to realize the challenges that women face and in turn appreciate them more.
Women's Eye Health and Safety Month dates