Eye Health

Woman holding glasses rubbing her eyes

Vision impairment is one of the most common causes of disability in the United States, and women are disproportionately affected by some of the most common eye diseases. Sixty-seven percent of individuals in the United States with glaucoma are women; thyroid eye disease is five to six times more common in women than men; and 65% of individuals in the United States with age-related macular degeneration are women. Social determinants of health, gaps in research data, insufficient provider and patient education, and limitations in screening and treatment options exacerbate disparities in women’s eye health and care. Improving women’s eye health requires addressing the clinical, social, and economic impacts of eye diseases that disproportionately affect women throughout the lifespan.

Eye Health (Vision) is part of the SWHR Eye Health Network.

Program Goals

  • Address the impact of eye diseases on women’s health across the lifespan, specifically for glaucoma, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, thyroid eye disease, and diabetic retinopathy 
  • Review the state of science and explore the best means to further research and develop comprehensive diagnosis and treatment strategies 
  • Identify opportunities to leverage innovation and increase access, quality of care, and health equity for women 
  • Promote science-based health care policies around eye health and vision to reduce disparities and improve patient outcomes 
  • Develop materials to expand education and raise awareness about women’s eye health among women, health care providers, and policy stakeholders

Facts about Eye Health

Women are 5% more likely

to have moderate to severe vision impairment

~12 million

Americans ages 40+ are visually impaired or blind – more than half being women


of patients experiencing age-related macular degeneration are women

More about Eye Health