Too Much Stress, Not Enough Sleep - Women and Healthy Eyes

Stress is that invisible tyrant that promises to rob us blind ­ quite literally. Women are twice as likely to develop vision problems than men. In fact, around the world, women are more likely to suffer blindness and vision loss ­ period. One of the most common eye diseases is dry eye syndrome. It's two to three times more common in women than in men at any age. This is largely due to hormones.

Don't Smoke

Smoking is a bad habit, but it can also contribute to deteriorating vision. For example, smoking leads to an increase in the risk of developing a cataract. It also increases your risk of macular degeneration. Finally, Uveitis, inflammation of the eye's middle layer, is more prevalent in smokers than non­smokers. If left unchecked, it can result in serious eye disease and eventually total blindness.

Wear a Hat Or Sunglasses When Out In the Sun

The sun pumps out some helpful UV rays ­ helpful if you need to make vitamin D. However, excess exposure to the sun can also damage your eyes. UVB, in particular, is a double­edged sword. You need it to convert cholesterol in your skin to the vitamin D hormone. However, excess UVB actually damages skin and eye tissue. If you just picked up your next set of contacts from Lenstore, consider getting protective sunglasses. They will go a long way toward protecting your precious vision.

Avoid Sunlamps and Tanning Booths

What's worse than staying outside in the sun too long? Sitting under UV lamps at a tanning salon several times a week. Many women don't realize just how much risk they are putting themselves in by going under the lamps every other day.

Constant exposure to UVB and UVA damages the skin. While it's true that UVB upregulates the production of melanin (the body's pigment and natural sunblock), it can also burn the skin. Likewise, UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and eyes, oxidizing melanin and vital tissue. Incidentally, UVA is what's responsible for the "leather" look people often get from excess sun exposure.

Limit Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol isn't your friend when it comes to vision. When it's broken down into the body, it creates two very toxic compounds: acetaldehyde and malondialdehyde. These oxygen radicals (free radicals), can then damage practically any and all cells in the body. With excessive consumption of alcohol, you may experience optic neuropathy, or loss of vision.

Keep Diabetes Under Control

If you're diabetic, it's absolutely critical that you stay compliant. There's really no excuse not to. If you're not controlling your diabetes well, you may suffer from diabetic retinopathy. When this happens, it causes defects in the small patches of your visual field. It can cause gradual or sudden and permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Diabetic macular edema happens when there is constant hyperglycemia. The constant inflammation that this triggers leads to fluid leakage into the area behind the macula and pushes it out. The result is blurred vision. Eventually, you will be left totally blind.

Jon Carson is enthusiastic about eye health. He often blogs about how to keep eyes healthy and how to deal with eye issues.