6 Causes of Early Vision Loss for Women
It’s no secret that men and women are different, but did you know that even eye health differs between the genders? Vision loss is more common in women than in men, and women experience more instances of macular degeneration, cataracts, and other conditions that can lead to vision problems.
Usually, women who experience vision loss are older, but occasionally, vision loss occurs in a younger woman. Here are six possible causes of early vision loss in women.
1. Uncorrected refractive error
Refractive errors are the most common reasons for vision impairment and include myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. When untreated, these conditions are the most prevalent cause of impaired vision. This relationship is one of the reasons why it’s so important to see your eye doctor regularly. A professional can identify and correct refractive errors, giving the patient clear vision and the change to avoid vision-related problems at school, at work, and during key life activities such as driving and reading.
Although you probably think of older individuals when you think of cataracts, they can occur in women as young as 20 or 30–or even younger. Early-onset cataracts have a variety of possible causes including injuries, medical conditions, drug reactions, exposure to radiation, complications of eye surgery, and lifestyle choices such as smoking. Early detection is key to avoiding complications and ensuring the best odds to preserve optimal visual function. Surgery is often required for the best outcome.
Floaters are small spots or threads that appear to “float” in your field of vision. Floaters are the result of the gel-like substance inside the eye shrinking, which causes the production of strands of collagen that float around in the eyeball. Some people can learn to live with the presence of minor floaters, but if there are a large number of them or if they interfere with proper vision, surgery may be helpful.
In rare cases, floaters may indicate a more serious problem, so be sure to see your doctor if you notice this condition emerging.
4. Dry eyes
Women are more likely than men to experience dry eyes. Dry eye disease can be caused by insufficient quantity of tears, or over-evaporation of tears or a combination of both. Age is one common risk factor for dry eyes, but it can also be caused by certain drugs or environmental issues such as dry air and smoke. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to complications such as a higher risk of infection, scarring, and permanent vision loss. If you notice that your eyes have felt dry, schedule a visit with your eye care practitioner to address the problem as soon as possible.
5. Social and economic factors
Especially in developing countries, social and economic factors play a significant role in blindness and vision impairment in young women. These women are often less likely to have access to proper eye care, so vision problems go untreated and continue to progress, sometimes leading to complete vision loss. Pursuing prompt medical care is the most important thing that you can do when you notice any vision disturbances.
6. Sudden vision loss
Occasionally, a young woman will experience vision loss suddenly and without warning. This type of vision loss may take place over a few minutes or a few days. There are three main causes of this type of vision loss: clouding of eye structures that are normally transparent, retinal abnormalities, and abnormalities of the optic nerve and visual pathways. Less-common causes include stroke, retinal detachment, and certain infections.
Sudden vision loss must be evaluated by a medical professional right away, so call your Miami eye doctor for advice or go to the emergency department immediately.