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Women and Vision Loss

Fewer than 1 in 10 U.S. Women Know That Women Are at Greater Risk of Permanent Vision Loss Than Men – According to New National Survey

 A new national survey has revealed that only 9 percent of American women realize that women are at a greater risk of suffering permanent vision loss than men. 86 percent incorrectly believe that men and women are at equal risk and 5 percent believe that men are at greater risk.  This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Prevent Blindness from January 24-28, 2014 among 2,039 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

“These responses indicate an alarming lack of knowledge regarding women’s vision,” said Prevent Blindness volunteer adviser and spokesperson Dr. Mildred M.G. Olivier, a leading expert on women and minority eye health.  “It’s apparent that a vast majority of women are unaware of the gender specific symptoms, conditions and risks associated with vision health.”

Prevent Blindness, a national non-profit organization, sponsored the survey to gain insight into the public’s perceptions about women's eye and vision health.   The group is releasing the data as part of April’s Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month to promote the importance of educating women about the vision related symptoms, conditions and treatments unique to them. 

Data illustrating women’s prevalence of major vision disorders is available in the 2012 study entitled Vision Problems in the US (, where it was revealed that 66 percent of those experiencing blindness are women, 61 percent of those suffering with cataracts are women and 65 percent of those with Age-Related Macular Degeneration are women, almost double that of their male counterparts. 

To address these issues, Prevent Blindness has created a new program, See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now, to provide free education and resources on everything from eye disease to cosmetic safety to vision changes during pregnancy.  Valuable information and new data on a range of topics related to women’s vision health at every stage of her life can be found at

“It is imperative that we inform women about protecting their vision today in order to save sight for tomorrow,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.  “By creating the See Jane See program, we are able to provide a place where women can find current news and invaluable information that’s dedicated specifically to them and their needs.”

For more information about the survey, including informative reports and fact sheets that address a wide range of eye health and safety topics, please visit or call (800) 331-2020.