Why is Preventable Blindness higher for women than men?
According to the Fred Hollows Foundation, the gender gap in women’s eye health exists, just as it does in other aspects of our lives. Both biological and societal facts affect why women are not seeking the treatment they need.
Biologically, women have a longer life expectancy. This makes us more likely to develop eye issues like glaucoma, cataracts and age related macular degeneration. Pregnancy and menopause can bring on puffy eye, dry eye, or gestational diabetes, all of which put pressure and stress on our eyes.
Socially, women are not accessing proper eye healthcare at the same rates as men. We tend to make sure the kids and our partners are cared for first, and often put ourselves last, not necessarily leaving room for our eye health. Simple factors, such as lack of knowledge and accessibility of services, are preventing us from proper eye health too.
Simply put, we have the opportunities for better eye care, we just aren’t accessing it. We are also living longer than ever and perhaps aren’t aware of the needs of our eye health. The disparity of course is greater for women living in low to middle income and developing countries.