Much has been studied and said about the known, perceived, and changing differences and similarities between men and women. Did you know that, among other physical differences, men and women have some differences when it comes to eye health and vision, as well? Lets take a look at some of the differences when it comes to gender and vision.
Gender and Vision
Yes, the joy of hormonal changes in puberty extends to the way that even our eyes grow! Adolescence is often the time when millions of kids are found to be farsighted or nearsighted – it’s the most common vision problem of the teenage years. As boys and girls hit growth spurts at different times due to hormones and genes, they may even find themselves with blurred vision temporarily as their eye growth catches up to their body’s growth and vice versa. As boys’ growth spurts tend to be more dramatic, these vision changes often are, too.
Sorry, guys – men are up to sixteen times more likely than women to be color blind. This is because the genes responsible for the most common genetic color blindness are on the X chromosome. Men have just one X chromosome while women have two. While this sounds like it may cause more color blindness in women, it actually lowers the risk because a functional gene on just one of the X chromosomes will compensate for the loss on the other chromosome. Some have theorized that women may be better at distinguishing color because of their ancient roots as foragers in the hunter/gatherer hypothesis…
It’s All in the Details
…which would be supported by the fact that men are, actually, better than women at spotting rapid movement and fine details. This ability to identify small, quick movements from a distance would be an important advantage for hunters, while women’s ability to better identify differences such as color in close, static objects would work well in gathering wild berries and edible plants.
Risk of Injury
Here’s one where men and women differ in number only: in general, men suffer from nearly three times as many injuries of the eyes as women! Often, it is common household chores and even sports that are the cause of these injuries, as about half of all eye injuries take place in the home. Now, is it that men are more active or do more of the household duties? Not necessarily: studies show that men are more likely to forego protective eye gear than women.
While there are some interesting differences when it comes to gender and vision, protective eye wear, good habits, and an annual comprehensive eye exam can help ensure healthy eyes and good vision for all.