Degenerative eye issues are a growing concern for individuals as they age, with conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy becoming increasingly prevalent. While these conditions can affect both men and women, some studies have suggested that women may be more susceptible to certain conditions than men. As such, it is essential to understand the prevalence of degenerative eye issues in both genders to identify potential risk factors, develop preventative strategies, and provide appropriate treatment. In this article, we will examine the types of degenerative eye issues that are common in men and women, along with the latest research and statistics on their prevalence. We will draw on peer-reviewed sources to provide a comprehensive overview of these conditions and their impact on vision health.
There are several types of degenerative eye issues that are common for both men and women. These include:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): This is a condition where the macula, which is the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision, deteriorates over time. It is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50.
- Cataracts: This is a condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing blurred vision. It is a common condition associated with aging and can affect both men and women.
- Glaucoma: This is a condition where the optic nerve, which carries visual information from the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. It is often associated with increased pressure in the eye and can lead to vision loss if left untreated.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: This is a complication of diabetes where high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, causing vision loss. Both men and women with diabetes are at risk for this condition.
While these degenerative eye issues can affect both men and women, some studies have suggested that women may be more susceptible to certain conditions, such as AMD and cataracts. However, more research is needed to fully understand the gender differences in eye health.
Here are some statistics and peer-reviewed sources on the prevalence of degenerative eye issues in men and women:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD):
- AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 in the developed world. (1)
- The prevalence of AMD in adults over 40 years old is estimated to be 6.5% worldwide. (2)
- In the United States, the prevalence of AMD in adults over 40 years old is estimated to be 11 million, with women having a slightly higher prevalence than men. (3)
- Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and affect approximately 20 million people. (4)
- The prevalence of cataracts increases with age, with an estimated 50% of people over the age of 75 having cataracts. (5)
- Women are more likely than men to develop cataracts, with one study finding that women have a 50% higher risk of developing cataracts than men. (6)
- Glaucoma affects approximately 70 million people worldwide and is the second leading cause of blindness globally. (7)
- The prevalence of glaucoma increases with age, with an estimated 3% of people over the age of 65 having the condition. (8)
- Women may be more susceptible to certain types of glaucoma, such as primary open-angle glaucoma, although more research is needed to fully understand the gender differences in glaucoma risk. (9)
- Diabetic retinopathy:
- Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and is estimated to affect approximately one-third of people with diabetes. (10)
- Women with diabetes may be at higher risk for developing diabetic retinopathy than men, although the reasons for this are not yet fully understood. (11)
If you’re concerned about degenerative eye issues or simply due for an eye exam, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with The Monroe Eye Center today. Our experienced team of eye care professionals can help identify potential risk factors and provide preventative measures and treatment options to ensure your vision remains clear and healthy for years to come. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take the first step towards protecting your vision by calling us to schedule your appointment today.
- Wong WL, Su X, Li X, et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2014;2(2):e106-e116.
- Jonas JB, Cheung CM, Panda-Jonas S. Updates on the epidemiology of age-related macular degeneration. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2017;6(6):493-497.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data and Statistics for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Accessed February 24, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/data/macular.htm
- World Health Organization. Priority Eye Diseases. Accessed February 24, 2023. https://www.who.int/blindness/causes/priority/en/index1.html
- National Eye Institute. Facts About Cataract. Accessed February 24, 2023. https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts
- Söderberg PG, Lindblad BE, Wingren G. Cataract in a population-based series of women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Ophthalmology. 2007;114(10):1914-1918.
- Tham YC, Li X, Wong TY, Quigley HA, Aung T, Cheng CY. Global prevalence of glaucoma and projections of glaucoma burden through 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology. 2014;121(11):2081-2090.
- Quigley HA, Broman AT. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006;90(3):262-267.
- Wittenborn JS, Zhang X, Feagan CW, et al. The economic burden of vision loss and eye disorders among the United States population younger than 40 years. Ophthalmology. 2013;120(9):1728-1735.
- International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas. 9th ed. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation; 2019. Accessed February 24, 2023. https://www.diabetesatlas.org
- Ruta LM, Magliano DJ, Lemesurier R, et al. Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in Type 2 diabetes in developing and developed countries. Diabet Med. 2013;30(4):387-398.