SWHR Patient Toolkit: A Guide to Women’s Eye Health


Published 1/10/22

Age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, thyroid eye disease, and diabetic retinopathy occur more frequently in women than men. It is important for women to understand these diseases and how to take care of their eye health.

While risk for certain eye conditions may increase with age, vision loss should not be considered a natural part of aging. Many common eye diseases progress gradually over time and may not have symptoms right away. Having regular eye exams as you get older makes sure your eye care provider has a chance to see early signs of eye damage or disease. Often, when caught early, eye conditions can be significantly delayed or prevented entirely.

SWHR’s toolkit is designed to empower individuals to navigate their eye health and eye care as they age.

The toolkit provides easy-to-understand information on eye health, including common eye symptoms and diseases that disproportionately affect women. The toolkit aims to facilitate productive conversations between patients and health care providers at all stages of eye health.

Download Toolkit

What’s in the Toolkit?

You can access the entire Guide to Women’s Eye Health Toolkit above or download these individual toolkit pieces:

Understanding Eye Health And Vision Care

Common Eye Symptoms In Women

Age-related Macular Degeneration


Diabetic Retinopathy


Thyroid Eye Disease

Talking To Your Health Care Provider

Navigating Insurance Coverage

Living Well With Eye Disease

Doctor’s Visit Worksheet

For more information, see the Women’s Eye Health Toolkit’s GlossaryResources and Support Groups, and References sections.

The toolkit is a project of SWHR’s Eye Health Program that engages patients, clinicians, researchers, and health care decision-makers in discussion about the burden of vision care and eye diseases and promotes science-based health care policies to improve patient outcomes. The Program was launched in 2020 to address the impact of sex and gender on women’s eye health across the lifespan.

This document is intended to serve as an educational and informative resource and is not intended or implied to serve as a substitute for medical or professional advice. The Society for Women’s Health Research does not make medical, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations, nor does it endorse or promote specific screening or diagnostic tests. Patients and consumers should confirm information and consult a professional health care provider to determine individual needs. The Society will not be liable for any direct, indirect, or other damages arising therefrom.  

This material was created by the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) and is intended to serve as a public educational and informative resource. This material may be cited or shared on external channels, websites, and blogs, with attribution given to SWHR, or printed and displayed in its original formatted version. SWHR encourages the sharing and reposting of its content in order to spread awareness around women’s health issues. For specific questions about sharing SWHR content, please reach out to communications@swhr.org.  


SWHR’s Eye Health Program is supported by an educational sponsorship from Horizon Therapeutics. SWHR maintains editorial control and independence over educational content.

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