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Why Men and Women Don’t See Eye to Eye

Why Men and Women Don’t See Eye to Eye

No two eyes are the same. They are a literal visual fingerprint for our unique look and how we look at the world. Affected by a host of genetic markers, hormonal changes, and environmental factors, their development and health can vary widely from individual to individual. 

A large share of those differences comes down to your biological sex. In other words, men and women do quite literally see the world differently.


How Men and Women’s Eyesight is Different

A quick glance in the mirror might leave you thinking there can’t be much difference between eyes. Sure we have different iris colors, but pupil and corneas are basically the same, right? Not really. Our DNA, fetal development, and puberty significantly affect our eyes' development. 

Not to mention the hobbies or professions we choose can also profoundly impact the health of our eyesight moving into and through adulthood.

These differences can leave men and women seeing and processing visual information differently.

1. Visual Processing

We have all probably had the color argument with someone of the opposite sex at one point in our lives. Where you might see blue, someone else sees a clear purple shade. 

Putting aside the chance of colorblindness, which men do have sixteen times the chance of developing over women, our visual receptors and nerves quite literally process visual information differently.

While women can discern subtle changes in color hue with more accuracy, men process contrast and rapid movements better. Subtle changes during development caused by the hormones androgen and testosterone are thought to be responsible for the differences. 

So the next time you discuss bathroom color, you may have to agree to disagree on what the color is called and just settle for whether or not you both like it.

2. Eye Disease

Unfortunately, those biological differences that give women a leg up on color differentiation also seem to leave them more prone to developing visual impairments or eye diseases later in life. Conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, thyroid eye disease, and cataracts crop up statistically more frequently for women. All of which can eventually lead to permanent blindness.

Most eye problems, whether they develop later in life or through puberty, such as with the onset of near or farsightedness, tend to be gradual and hard to spot. Our brains are experts at compensating for small failures in visual acuity that can make noticing issues difficult. 

You may be at even greater risk regardless of sex and gender if you know you have a family history of eye disease.

3. Injury Risk

Genetic and developmental differences aren’t the only things leading to the differences in visual perception. Our environment, chiefly what we subject our eyes to, can significantly affect our eye health throughout our lives well into adulthood. 

It may seem like a stereotype, but men are almost three times as likely as women to suffer a severe injury in their lifetime. Hobbies, contact sports, and manual labor all increase the risk of an injury. Culturally these pursuits tend to lean towards men, who are also more likely to skip out on protective gear than their female counterparts.

Blunt trauma from an elbow or getting hit with a ball can deform and cause pressure build-up, altering the lens and potentially causing glaucoma. Working around machinery or saws that might throw off liquid drops, aerosols, or splinters can wreak havoc on vision. So as much as you might think you are being safe, don’t forgo those safety glasses. 

On the flip side, women also need to be careful if and when they apply makeup. Getting eye shadow and especially eyeliner onto the eye is more than just a temporary nuisance. The chemicals and abrasive nature of powders can slowly cause damage to your vision. Ensure to take care when applying, and regularly change out applicators and old products to reduce the risk of infection.

Maintain Healthy Vision

Whether you are more skilled at picking out color hues or spotting differences in contrast, our vision is vital to our health and happiness. It is crucial to protect the health of our eyes from environmental injury and the wear of age. Regular comprehensive eye exams are recommended for everyone over the age of 40. 

By checking your vision's current state, any developing issues can be caught and treated early enough to help save or maintain visual acuity. You can also help prevent the onset of certain eye diseases by physically protecting your eyes from injury and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It may seem like beating a dead horse, but a healthy diet and exercise keep your entire body healthy, including your eyes. 

If you are someone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer for work or hobbies, make sure to give your eyes regular breaks from looking at the screen. Make sure to look away at close and far objects at least a few times an hour, and consider investing in anti-glare screens or glasses to reduce strain.

Eye Vision and Wellness Care

No matter your age, gender, or professional interests, you must have an eye care provider you trust. Asheville Vision and Wellness are the experienced professionals in western North Carolina. We provide services ranging from comprehensive eye exams, eye care treatments, and custom corrective lenses.

Schedule an appointment to get started taking care of your eye health today and discover why we are the go-to experts for eye care in Asheville and surrounding counties.