Why Men Shouldn’t Overlook Their Eye Health

Why Men Shouldnt Overlook Their Eye Health

It is well-documented that eye health problems are some of the most significant today.

National survey respondents reveal that blindness or some other serious vision impairment would cause the biggest negative impact in their daily lives.

Specifically, vision issues are known to take a considerable toll on a person’s socialization and finances, thereby seriously hurting their quality of life.

Along the same vein, major ocular problems are expected to cost the economy almost $400 billion every year by 2050.

That said, vision impairment and loss do not affect everyone equally. Evidence from stakeholders like the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) notes that women are 12% more likely to experience vision loss.

However, this doesn’t mean that men are exempt from life-altering eye problems, either.

The Truth Behind Gender-based Vision Issues

As mentioned above, more women are prone to losing their vision, along with getting diagnosed with more eye problems. This is mainly due to three primary factors.

First, women tend to live longer. On average, women’s lifespans are about five years more than men’s, owing to higher incidences of accidents and ailments among the latter.

As such, this serves as a double-edged sword for women, given that this gives them more time to develop age-related ocular concerns.

This includes conditions like cataracts, which are more common among older adults whose eyes are less able to purge oxidative stress actively.

The second reason is because of the healthcare disparity. Women take a notoriously long time to get a diagnosis, with many going to multiple doctors before finding out what’s wrong with them.

As per reports in The Washington Post, women’s pain is typically undermined by healthcare experts who are working off outdated guidelines that were created based on men.

Third, women have to deal with the pink tax. This is the term for the significantly higher prices placed on women’s goods and services, even though these products are often nearly identical to those marketed for men.

As such, many women are financially unable to access the care they need to improve their well-being, including their eye health.

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Despite all this, though, researchers have found that men are more likely to present with more later-stage ocular problems.

One reason highlighted by a study in the Journal of Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics states that this is because men are more likely to ignore symptoms.

This allows for progressive diseases, like glaucoma, to develop unchecked until it’s too late. Aside from this, men are also known to partake in more vices that can be detrimental to eye health.

For instance, while only 1 in 10 women smoke cigarettes regularly, a whopping one-third of all men do.

Cigarette smoke holds millions of fine particulates that can seriously irritate the eyes, leading to infections, inflammation, and even burns.

Alongside this, cigarettes include chemicals that can impair blood circulation. For the eyes, this can lead to reduced oxygenation, which can impact how the eyes function and recover.

Color Blindness

Ocular Problems Men Are More Vulnerable To

With the above information in mind, here are some eye problems more common in men than women.

Color Blindness

A condition inherited at birth, color blindness affects 1 in 12 men versus only 1 in 200 women.

Color blindness is a genetic deficiency wherein a person’s photoreceptors are unable to distinguish certain hues.

Commonly, people with color blindness experience difficulty seeing the difference between green and red.

For some, both colors may even look like a muted brownish shade. Color blindness is not a life-threatening condition, nor can it cause vision loss. However, it can impair a person’s quality of life.

Trauma-based Eye Injuries

As per the American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO), many traumatic eye injuries occur in outdoor and sports settings.

These usually involve the use of heavy machinery, exposure to the elements, and significant eye-damaging impact.

Unfortunately, the same AAO study says that men sustain these traumatic eye injuries thrice as often as women do.

In the worst-case scenarios, these injuries can include orbital fractures, corneal lacerations, and retinal detachments.

While some of these incidents can be treated and reversed, others may result in serious and lasting issues.

Eye Cancer

Also called eye melanoma, this cancer is more common among men than women, as per the American Cancer Society.

Melanoma is considered the most aggressive form of skin cancer, with mortality rates significantly higher among older men.

Specifically, men over 65 are twice as likely to have eye melanoma. Once a man hits the age of 80, this risk triples.

What Can Be Done To Safeguard Eye Health

What Can Be Done To Safeguard Eye Health?

The old adage that prevention is better than a cure holds true for eye health. Among men, the primary means of proactively preventing eye issues involves using the right eyewear.

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Surveys have found that while screen time is soaring at over seven hours across the board, men are more likely to use their computers for extended periods due to activities like gaming.

Research shows that men clock almost 15 hours every week on video games alone. Unfortunately, this can cause serious vision issues because of the bright flickering effects and blue light exposure that can strain and age the eyes.

To prevent this, healthcare stakeholders recommend wearing high-quality men’s eyeglasses from established brands.

Available with or without prescriptions, these clear glasses can come with special filters that can block out glare, radiation, and blue light.

Since some men avoid glasses for fear of looking outdated, fashionable brands like Ray-Ban offer optical solutions in their iconic frames, including Wayfarers and Clubmasters.

Additionally, men will benefit from making a habit of wearing sunglasses. More often than not, many skip wearing sunnies as they see them as more of an accessory than anything else.

Despite this, sunglasses actually stop harmful UV rays from penetrating the delicate eyes. Conversely, eyes left without sun protection can develop growths, sunburns, and even cellular damage.

The right kind of shades are those that can block out 100% of rays while also covering enough of the eye area to reduce possible damage even further.

Having sunglasses with larger frames also serves as a shield against traumatic injuries. Manufacturers such as Oakley, for instance, offer sunglasses with wraparound frames and shatter-proof lenses.

Last but not least, men should schedule comprehensive eye exams at least once every one to two years.

As mentioned earlier, men tend to put off getting their eyes checked despite the fact that early detection is key to better outcomes.

Evidence even says that a timely treatment plan can counter the effects of pressing conditions like diabetic retinopathy.

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