Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai focuses on Women’s Eye heath for International Women’s Day celebrations

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Dr. Luisa M. Sastre, Specialist Ophthalmologist in Medical Retina and Cataract Surgery

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Research indicates that women are at greater risk than men for most eye diseases and leading Opthalmologists at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai urge ladies to make eye health a top priority as a key message for International Women’s Day.

Dr. Luisa M. Sastre, Specialist Ophthalmologist in Medical Retina and Cataract Surgery  highlights that blindness or vision impairment can disrupt quality of life, affecting the ability to work, travel, care for one’s family and since women tend to have a higher risk of eye disease than men, regular eye checkups are essential.

According to Dr. Luisa, the most common eye diseases among women includes Dry eye disease (DED), a highly prevalent ocular disorder that predominantly affects women with symptoms of ocular discomfort, dryness, fluctuating vision, and sensitivity to light progressing with age.  

She reiterates, “Dry eye disease can occur due to tear film deficiency, increased evaporation of existing tears, or a combination of both.  It can also result from iatrogenic factors such as medication use, contact lens wear, or ocular surgery. Cosmetics (mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner, eyelid creams, glue from eyelash extensions, etc.) contain numerous chemicals that can migrate into the tear film and affect ocular tissues, inducing or exacerbating DED.” 

According to Dr. Luisa, Cataracts, a disorder that causes cloudiness in the lens of the eye and leading to reduced vision, is the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide and is strongly correlated with age, affecting women more than men. Despite limitations of access to surgery in many countries, more women have cataract surgery than do men. 

Other common increased risks for women’s eye health include Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that does damage to the macula which is responsible for clear central vision. Data from several large population-based studies, have suggested that women are at increased risk for AMD compared with men.

Moreover, disorders of the thyroid, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goiter, Graves disease, and Hashimoto disease, predominantly affect women Graves ophthalmopathy affects women five times more than men and its associated symptoms, such as bulging eyes (exophthalmos) and ocular discomfort (grittiness, sensitivity, dryness), are common reasons for seeking treatment..

Another leading cause of eye problems is Diabetes. Complications include diabetic retinopathy which is the most common eye problem in diabetics, although other issues are also regularly detected and treated.

With almost one fifth of the UAE population suffering from diabetes, according to figures from the International Diabetes Federation, the need for proper eye care among diabetic patients is a serious and growing concern for doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital in Dubai 

Dr Luisa said, “Diabetic women are also prone to suffering from glaucoma, which causes damage to the optic nerve, resulting in the loss of vision in your peripheral field and can be difficult to detect in the early stages. If untreated, the central vision will also be affected resulting in blindness”.

“They can also develop occlusions of the retinal vessels that will cause impairment of the blood supply and can cause loss of vision, as well as paralysis of the nerves involved in the movement of your eyes. Maintaining near- normal glucose levels and near-normal blood pressure reduces the risk of retinopathy and other eye complications, as well as renal and foot complications, added Dr Luisa.

For women, Eye health is also important during pregnancy when the visual system is affected, with tear film changes, corneal swelling, decreased corneal sensitivity, and myopic shifts. Key ocular issues affecting pregnant women include blurry vision, Dry eye disease, and intolerance to contact lenses.

Finally, Dr. Luisa urges women to have regular eye checkups, at least once a year, to detect eye disorders if any and start treatment to avoid any further damage that can be caused by these disorders. 

Moorfields Eye Hospital in Dubai, provides a comprehensive range for eye care services by specialist teams of consultant ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists, for both adults and children, all under one roof in a state-of-the-art facility.

About Moorfields:

Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (MEHD) is the first overseas branch of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the oldest and one of the largest centres for ophthalmic treatment, teaching and research in the world. Located at the Al Razi Medical Complex in Dubai Health Care City, the facility provides day case surgery and outpatient diagnostic and treatment services, for a variety of surgical and non-surgical eye conditions. MEHD will also raise standards for research and teaching in the region. MEHD is owned and managed by the NHS Foundation Trust, and maintains close links with London, to ensure that patients in the GCC receive the best eye care treatment in the world.