As More Women than Men Have Eye Disease, Prevent Blindness Urges Women to Make Their Vision a Priority Today

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Prevent Blindness Declares April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month to Educate Public on Ways to Protect Vision

Women at higher risk than men for eye disease

Prevent Blindness Declares April as Women's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

“By making vision a priority today, we can help protect our sight in the years to come,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

More women than men have eye disease, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. According to the Prevent Blindness study, The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, these numbers will only continue to increase in the years to come.

Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month in an effort to educate women about the steps they can take today to help preserve vision in the future.

See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now, provides free education and resources on everything from eye disease to cosmetic safety to vision changes during pregnancy. Valuable information and new data on a range of topics related to women’s vision health at every life stage can be found at SeeJaneSee.org. In addition, the site also features a section written by leading experts on a range of topics from the importance of eye exams to effects of smoking on vision.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African American women are the group with the second highest rate of new HIV infections. In fact, the rate of new HIV infections among African American women in 2010 was 20 times that of white women and nearly five times that of Hispanic women. In response to this, new elements to the See Jane See resource include an expert entry from Sherrol A. Reynolds, OD, FAAO, Associate Professor at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, entitled “HIV and Your Eyes,” and a free downloadable fact sheet, “HIV/AIDS and The Eye,” explaining the effects that HIV may have on vision and eye health.

To help save sight, Prevent Blindness recommends:

  • quitting smoking
  • taking supplements (as approved by a medical professional)
  • learning of any family history of eye disease
  • expectant mothers should be aware of possible vision changes during pregnancy
  • all women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant and have been diagnosed with diabetes should get a full, dilated eye exam
  • wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat outdoors
  • use cosmetics safely
  • use contact lenses safely

For the second straight year, OCuSOFT ® Inc., a privately-held eye and skin care company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, has agreed to donate 10 percent of all online sales during April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month.

“By making vision a priority today, we can help protect our sight in the years to come,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We encourage both men and women to seek regular eye care, not just when they notice a change in vision, but to check for signs of eye disease.”

For more information on women’s eye health, including fact sheets on eye diseases, eye protection, as well as financial assistance, please visit http://www.preventblindness.org, http://www.SeeJaneSee.org, or call (800) 331-2020.

About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.

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Sarah Hecker
@PBA_savingsight
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