What You Need to Know About Men’s Vision Health
Men are 16 times more likely to be colorblind than women. There's actually a gene to tell the difference between red and green. It's located in the X chromosome. Women have two of these. Men only have one. This is why men deal with such a higher rate of colorblindness.
Teenage boys can become nearsighted during puberty. Remember that nearsightedness means that you can see what's close to your eyes, but things in the distance are blurrier. This is because the eye often grows longer during puberty. For some, this nearsightedness is temporary. For others, it's permanent.
One thing this makes clear is how crucial it is to get regular check-ups. Prescriptions can always change over time, but particularly during male puberty. The eye keeps growing and changing shape during this time, so a prescription that's accurate one year may very well need updating to keep a boy's vision clear the next.
Eye injuries happen for a number of reasons. More contact sports are offered for men. Certain industries are more likely to recruit and hire men. For instance, the construction industry is composed of more than 90% of men. This is changing over time, but the reality is that men are more likely to work in industries that risk eye injury. Beyond this, men are less likely to wear protective gear. This is why men are almost three times as likely to suffer eye injuries as women.
Everyone can reduce their risk of eye injury by ensuring safety rules are followed at their job. Remember, nearly every safety rule exists because someone was once injured in a way the rule prevents. If protective eyewear is required at your job, it's because someone once suffered an eye injury doing exactly what you're doing. Don't be the person who fails to learn from that. Wear protective eyewear.
Men are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes. What does this have to do with vision? Diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults aged 20 to 74. It severely increases the risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.
Cataracts are areas in the lens of your eye that become cloudy and sensitive to light. Glaucoma covers a number of conditions that damage your optic nerve. Retinopathy is a disease that damages the blood vessels in the back of your eye and causes black spots in your vision.
Digital Eye Strain
This is common in both men and women, but it's important to mention. Digital eye strain results from spending long periods of time looking at screens and digital devices. We're not going to tell you to get off the screen – people rely on these devices for work and relaxation. There are a number of good practices that you can use to reduce eye strain while you're using screens, though:
It's important to minimize glare on the screen and to follow a 20-20-20 rule. This means that you take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something at least 20 feet away. That's a pretty easy habit to practice. You can reduce the brightness of your display, change the background so that it's darker, use dark mode on apps that have it, use a blue light filter, and/or increase the size of text on the screen. Just taking a few of these steps can reduce your eye strain substantially.
Finally, remember to blink. People blink up to 66% fewer times when using a screen, and that can dry your eyes out – which damages your eye health. Blinking keeps your eyes lubricated.
Schedule Regular Vision Check-ups
Prescriptions change over time. So does eye health. People think they only need to come in if there's a problem, but the thing about your eyes is that by the time something's a problem it's become a big risk to your vision.
Regular check-ups help identify problems before they become a serious risk to your vision. That can help us treat the problem in simpler, less stressful, and less expensive ways. See something early and it can often be addressed by changing a few habits. Catch something late, and it may require surgery to save your vision.
An eye exam is an easy way to ensure that you keep your vision healthy and that you give yourself the best chance to avoid any big risks to your eyesight. Contact Asheville Vision Associates to schedule your appointment!