Does blindness have a gender bias? Believe it or not, research shows that of the 285 million people estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, 66 percent are women.
Furthermore, research from the University of Illinois at Chicago, suggests that, “older women are at risk for glaucoma,” which can cause blindness. While some experts suggest that the risk is linked to estrogen, other causes may stem from lifestyle habits like sleeping in contacts. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two-thirds of contact lens wearers are women. And while some causes involving vision loss aren’t preventable—as is the case with age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy—other factors may be preventable.
Here’s what you should know to protect your eyes, especially if you are a woman.