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Women and Eye Care

The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease in women is being diagnosed in increasing numbers, particularly in aging women. In fact, studies indicate that most women aged 40 and above exhibit some type of eyesight impairment, and may be in danger of developing conditions including but not limited to dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's worth noting that the risk of women experiencing vision loss has become more common as a result of the female population's increasing lifespan.

As a woman, the first step to take to ensure strong sight is to schedule a routine eye exam. Be sure that you have a full eye test before you hit forty, and that you don't forget to adhere to the care your eye care professional recommends. Additionally, know your family medical history, as your genetics are a highly relevant part of understanding, diagnosing and stopping vision loss. Don't forget to look into your family's eye and health history and alert your eye doctor of any diseases that may present themselves.

In addition, eat a healthy, varied diet and be sure to include foods containing beta carotene, lutein, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, which all help prevent vision loss from eye disease. If you have a healthy diet and have good control of any medical conditions, often vitamin supplements may not be required. However, many people do not follow Food Guide recommendations so vitamin supplements are often added. In terms of eye vitamins, it is best to consult your optometrist before starting any supplements, as some adverse effects can occur with some medications or with overdosing vitamins.

For smokers, make a commitment to stop, because even second-hand smoke can increase the danger of eye disease and is a proven factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. UV rays, which can also cause the development of cataracts and AMD, are extremely dangerous for your eyes. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, be sure to wear complete UV blocking glasses which can be clear lenses or sunglasses. Also, remember to wear a sun hat to protect your eyes from the sun.

Changes in hormone levels, such as what might take place due to pregnancy and menopause, can also influence your sight. Sometimes, these changes can even make the use of contact lenses less effective or slightly painful to wear. If you're pregnant, you may want to reduce contact lens wearing time. Your prescription is subject to change unpredictably when pregnant, so be aware that temporary vision changes can be expected. Avoid obtaining a new prescription for glasses until 6 weeks after breastfeeding the baby to ensure the hormonal changes have settled down. Women that are diabetic and pregnant should set an appointment with their eye doctor during the pregnancy to monitor for damage to the retina from likely diabetic progression.

It is also important to shield your eyes from dangers at home, such as domestic cleaners. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaners, bleach and pesticides are kept safely and properly, and are out of reach of small children. Wash your hands well after working with all chemicals and use eye protection when employing the use of toxic chemicals. Wear safety goggles when repairing things in your house, especially when working with wood, metal or tools.

Women need to be educated about the dangers and options when it comes to looking after your vision. And also, it can't hurt to educate the other women you know, like your daughters and friends, on the best ways to look after their eye health.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan