SCENE + HEARD: Today's Read The Optical Community Takes to Instagram to Mark Women’s Eye Health & Safety Month By Gwendolyn Plummer Friday, April 9, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—For many of us, April is when Spring truly begins. It’s a month of more sunlight, warmer days, blooming flowers, and a look toward what summer might have in store. And in the optical world, April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, too. Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, as declared by Prevent Blindness, is an effort to raise awareness of women’s increased risk of vision health issues, as well as the steps that they can take to prevent vision loss. According to the National Eye Institute, two out of every three people living with blindness or vision problems are women, and according to The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems, women are at a higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions. Prevent Blindness also reports that women have a higher prevalence of major vision problems, including age-related macular degeneration, autoimmune diseases, cataract, dry eye, glaucoma, low vision, thyroid eye disease and refractive error. The World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision found that women, on average, live longer than men and are thus at greater risk of developing eye conditions associating with aging. Even after controlling for age, though, global estimates suggest that women with moderate and severe presenting distance vision impairment outnumber men by about 7 percent. There also are gender and financial issues that create barriers to eyecare for women, Prevent Blindness says—a JAMA Ophthalmology study found that women are more likely to report difficulty affording eyeglasses than men. And, of course, women experience unique health issues due to pregnancy and menopause, and some of these effect vision—some women might notice changes in their vision during pregnancy, and anyone who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant should alert their eye doctor. So, it’s no question that women face unique experiences when it comes to vision and eye health—which makes this month of awareness a particularly important one. This weekend, we’re taking a look at how some retailers, organizations, manufactures, and doctors are honoring Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month—feel free to adapt these ideas to your own practice, too, if you’re still looking for ways to get involved. Tiffany Ann Rea, Miss United States, is teaming up with Nanodropper for “Breakfast With Tiffany,” a discussion to highlight the importance of women’s eye health—and in benefit of Prevent Blindness. Image via tiffanyannrea on Instagram Hayley Williams, OD, in Wichita, Kan., is sharing weekly tips all month to help women protect their vision. This week’s tip covers being careful with makeup near the eyes. Image via millennialeyecare on Instagram. The informative Instagram account Dose of Eyes is also sharing important information about women’s eye health this month. This week is focused on dry eye in women. Image via dose.of.eyes on Instagram.WV Eye Consultants, located throughout West Virginia, put together a post noting five key things to know about women’s eye health. Image via wveyeconsultants on Instagram. The Vision Council is sharing information and resources about the increased risk for vision health issues in women and how to prevent them on its website. Image via thevisioncouncil on Instagram. In Nigeria, optometrist Ubani Oluchi Gloria appeared on national news channel TVC News to discuss women’s eye health. Image via ubanigloria on Instagram.The team at Copper View Eye Care in South Jordan, Utah, took to Instagram to encourage women to book a comprehensive eye exam as soon as they can. Image via coppervieweyecare on Instagram. Eye Vision Associates, in Nesconset, N.Y., celebrated the women in its office this month, including Gwen Gnadt, DO, MPH, FAAO, pictured here. Image via eye_vision_associates on Instagram.Fatima B Ibrahim, OD, in Dallas, Texas, put together a beautiful slide show sharing all the important information about women’s eye health. Image via fatima.b.ibrahim on Instagram.