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Men and women tend to have different medical needs in a number of different areas, and are more likely to develop certain illnesses and conditions than the opposite sex. But this isn’t always the case, so do men and women need different treatment and care when it comes to their eyes? This is a battle of the sexes that no one really wins, but it turns out there are some differences in the eyes of men and women.
First, the bad news. Unfortunately for the ladies, they have a higher risk for both cataracts and dry eyes. Nearly 5 million Americans over the age of 50 have dry eye symptoms, and yes, women are much more likely to have dry eyes than men. More than 3 million women over the age of 50 suffer from dry eyes, while the men number somewhere over 1.5 million. The key difference here is that dry eye is much more common after menopause, and while the exact role that menopause plays in dry eye isn’t totally understood, it may very well have to do with the balance of hormones in the body.
Women are also more likely to develop cataracts than men. If left untreated, this natural clouding of the eyes lens can eventually lead to blindness. Luckily, cataract surgery is one of the most common ocular procedures in the world and one with a very low risk of complications and a high success rate.
As for men, they are much more likely to be colour-blind than women. In fact roughly 1 in 12 men are colour-blind, while only 1 in 200 women are. That’s because the genes for inherited colour blindness are only on the X chromosome. Since men only have one X chromosome, if they have the gene for inherited colour blindness, then they are simply out of luck. But women have 2 X chromosomes, and even if one has the gene for colour blindness, the other chromosome may have a functional gene that is enough to make up for the other and prevent the condition.
So while it’s not all roses for the men, women should be aware of their increased risk for some eye ailments. But regardless of gender it’s important to have your eyes checked regularly, even if you don’t feel like there is a problem. Cataracts, for instance, may not initially cause a noticeable change in vision, but certainly will if left untreated.
And if you do end up needing cataract surgery, or have any concerns regarding your ocular health, then contact the Cork Eye Clinic. We will set up a consultation and find out how to best address your eye care needs. So don’t spend another day worrying about your eyes, call us today and we will get you started on the right path to healthy eyes and clear vision.
Heartfelt thanks for your goodness, kindness and expertise on these 95 year old eyes! Your fund of patience too! I'm very grateful for everything. With kindest wishes and blessings on your work.
Cecilia McAuliffe (May 2017)