-- Alan Mozes
THURSDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to attitudes,
habits and experience regarding eye health, it appears men really
are from Mars and women are from Venus, a new survey reveals.
"The good news is the majority of both men and women understand the importance of maintaining eye and visual health through regular comprehensive eye exams," said Dori Carlson, president-elect of the American Optometric Association, which conducted an online survey over the course of a week last April.
Most people, regardless of gender, have seen an eye doctor in
the last two years, the poll indicates.
But based on the responses from a nationally representative
sampling of more than 1,000 American adults, that is where gender
agreement on all things visual gets a little fuzzy.
For example, more women than men say they suffer from seasonal
eye allergies that lead to itchy, watery eyes (73 percent versus 67
percent). More men, however, miss work because of such eye
allergies (16 percent versus 9 percent).
Although both men and women said the worst result of such
allergies was difficulty participating in outdoor recreational
activities, men said their number two problem was interference with
sleep, while women cited difficulty with thinking and
The sexes have a different approach when it comes to buying
sunglasses, as well. Men are more likely than women to make the
mistake of thinking that name-brand glasses are better for the eyes
(36 percent versus 27 percent). And women are slightly more focused
than men on making sure a pair of sunglasses offers UV protection
(35 percent versus 28 percent).
Men and women do agree, however, on what foods are good for eye
health. A majority of both point to carrots as the best food for
eyes, although more men (14 percent) were likely to correctly
identify spinach as the better food for promoting eye health than
women (11 percent).
More men than women say they have vision issues from sitting in
front of their computers for too long (59 percent versus 53
percent). And although a majority of both genders say they take
computer breaks every 30 to 60 minutes, more women (17 percent)
than men (13 percent) say they take a vision break every 20
However, on some issues there was universal agreement: Both men
and women say they have worn their daily-wear contact lenses longer
than eye experts advise.
The poll also revealed that at age 40 most Americans begin to
experience some eyesight changes, but, again, the way men and women
respond to age-related issues differs. While more than a third of
men turn to brighter lights to solve their problems, a third of
women choose to cut back on night driving.
The loss of good vision over time leads women to worry about
being unable to read, while men fear being unable to see the people
they love. Both sexes, however, agree on one thing: Their biggest
vision concern is that bad eyesight could render them unable to
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