The second sunday in May


The second Sunday in May is most often marked for celebrating a wonderful person, Mom!  Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood and celebrated differently depending on the country. In the United States Sunday, May 8, 2016 is Mother’s Day this year.

While Moms are incredible and deserve recognition, all women should know they are also more at risk for certain eye health issues or conditions simply on gender.   For example, statistically women live longer, and therefore would be at risk for conditions with potential for irreversible vision loss (Glaucoma and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)) or reversible conditions like Cataract development.

Smoking increases the risk of both Cataract and AMD development. While historically men use tobacco much more than women, statistically worldwide 40% of men to around 9% of women, a surge is occurring with women engaging in tobacco use.

Further, issues with regard to pregnancy, use of birth control, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and menopause can all have impact on the overall eye health of women.  Nearly 60% of women transitioning to and in menopause suffer from varying forms of Dry Eye Syndrome.  Potential side effects to pregnancy, besides high blood pressure and diabetes, include visual migraines, photophobia (light sensitivity) and shifts in spectacle prescription. Finally, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can offer vascular side effects, which indirectly cause vision loss.

So what can be done to help Mom and her vision.  First, make sure she gets a thorough eye evaluation.  So many eye conditions, and body health issues can be detected and prevented with a thorough eye exam.  Splurge on her and give her quality sunglasses.  Certain medications, such as birth control, can increase sensitivity to the sun’s rays.

In addition, good diet, exercise and well health evaluations with the doctor are all vital for women’s health.  Finally, one of the greatest gifts for Mom, really everyone, is to stop tobacco use!

In America, Mother’s Day can be credited to Anna Jarvis who started it in 1908 and made it official in 1914.  Estimates indicate some 14 billion dollars are spent on Mother’s Day.  Some Moms may say a hug and a kiss might be the most valuable gift, but remember keeping Mom seeing well is also very important!    Happy Mother’s Day!