As a woman who is young or approaching menopause, what are some of the eye conditions that I should be more concerned about?
DR. SMITH: The most common causes of visual impairment are cataract, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. While those are more common in older women, they can occur in younger women, even at the age of 20 to 40. It’s very important for women to have their eyes examined regularly to pick up early signs of these serious eye diseases. The second aspect is that many diseases of the rest of the body can manifest in the eye. For example, diabetes can result in abnormal blood vessels in the retina which can bleed into the eye, a condition called diabetic retinopathy. In fact, that may be the first sign of diabetes. So if a woman presents to an eye care provider and is picked up with early signs of diabetic retinopathy, she can then be seen by her primary care provider and have appropriate testing to evaluate her blood sugar levels. Early treatment of diabetes can result in less severe organ damage to the eye, the kidney, the brain, the heart and the rest of the body. DR. PINN: When