Protecting eyes is serious business
That "come hither" look so many women cultivate is at risk after 50. Seriously.

Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with vision-threatening diseases each year, according to the National Eye Institute.

And, as you would expect, the number diagnosed increases with age. Add the growing-older boomer generation to that standing statistic, and the conclusion is obvious: There are more than eyeglasses in the future for many women.

Technology has improved optic solutions, of course. Optelec US is one company producing assistance technologies, such as desktop electronic video magnifiers, hand-held portable and compact video magnifiers and USB video magnifiers.

While these new technologies improve the quality of life for more than 16 million Americans living with vision impairment or low vision, the better solution is to not need the products at all.

"Women should have a yearly eye exam, like a regular physical," says Andre Hardy, vice president of Optelec. "An evaluation process by an optometrist will catch abnormalities, diseases peculiar to our business such as macular degeneration. That is a silent and sneaky disease and the relationship between the eyes and the brain - our innate ability to compensate for eye inabilities - can delay its diagnosis."

Hardy shares some healthy eye tips - good for women:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. A poor diet can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. All these risk factors can affect vision and lead to vision loss.

  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunglasses. More importantly, wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV ray protection.

  • Check your computer screens. Don't have the screen too close but also not too far away. Talk with your eye doctor to determine the best distance for you.

  • Don't smoke. Smoking is bad for your health and can cause blood vessels to constrict, which could lead to tissue damage in the eye.

  • Schedule an eye exam. Don't wait until a problem comes up.