Difficulty seeing is 50% greater in women

Survey shows COVID-19 is reducing eye care in Brazil. Women take better care of themselves. To understand.

A survey by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) highlights the alarm signal for the eye health of the female population. Indeed, he points out that the great difficulty in seeing and the loss of vision are 50% greater in them. According to ophthalmologist Leôncio Queiroz Neto of the Penido Burnier de Campinas Institute, the research confirms an investigation he carried out at the hospital a few years ago. For him, a woman’s greatest difficulty in seeing is a cascading effect of constant hormonal fluctuations that increase the production of free radicals in the eyes, and systemic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, more prevalent among them. .

Most common refractive errors in women

The good news is that women are placing more importance on eye health. An ophthalmologist’s survey of 2,100 hospital records reveals that, since the start of the pandemic, ophthalmological follow-up was 30% more regular among the 1,200 women in the group than among the 800 men. The bad news is that COVID-19 has increased erratic eye monitoring by 65% ​​to 75% among those with difficulty seeing.

For Queiroz Neto, the greater attention of women to their eyesight is associated with the psychological profile of the female population and the signaling of alterations such as myopia, difficulty in seeing at a distance, which is 20% higher in them, because they spend more time working on the computer or doing nearby activities.

“The greater contact of the eyes with the evaporation of cleaning agents, cosmetics and makeup in the eye area also stimulates allergic processes between them,” he points out. This causes them to have 15% more astigmatism. “By dint of rubbing or scratching your eyes, the cornea, the outer lens of the eye, becomes irregular and forms multiple foci on the retina, leaving blurred vision both near and far,” he explains. he.


The ophthalmologist specifies that myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia, difficulty in seeing up close, can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Many do not adapt well to contact lenses and would like to say goodbye to glasses. One in two people spend most of their time without their glasses out of vanity. They therefore represent 2/3 of refractive surgeries, including during the pandemic which recorded a 7.5% drop in interventions. For Queiroz Neto, the number of surgeries is not higher in Brazil because part of the population is afraid to operate. It’s clear, he reflects, that every procedure has risks and with refraction it’s no different. The greatest danger of the operation is contaminating the cornea. The specialist points out that the contamination occurs in 0.24% of the refractions carried out in the world. A meta-analysis carried out in the USA shows that the use of contact lenses for one year is 3 times more contaminated and in 5 years the contamination is 7 times greater.


Queiroz Neto points out that refractive therapy to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism is one of the procedures that has added the most technology in recent years. There are 4 different techniques and they are all good. The most appropriate depends on lifestyle, corneal thickness, intensity of refractive error, and individual patient expectations. Are they:

Lens implant for the correction of high refractive errors – It is reversible and consists of implanting a lens between the iris and the lens without removing the lens. It allows the correction of up to 20 myopias, 10 hyperopias and 6 astigmatisms.

smile – With nanoscale precision, the surgery is all laser, from cutting to shaping the cornea, he says. Therefore, it allows faster recovery, better healing and more postoperative comfort. The surgeon explains that the laser is applied point by point and removes 20% less tissue. Therefore, surgery can be performed on thinner corneas.

LASIK- Queiroz Neto explains that a manual cut is made in the outer layer of the cornea, to correct the refraction by applying the laser in the intermediate layer and ending with the replacement of the cut lamella in the same place.

PRK – Yeah a more traumatic procedure in which the laser removes cells from the epithelium, the outer layer of the cornea to model its shape with pulses of light. PRK has a slower recovery, but like all other techniques, it is painless. Indeed, whatever the technique, all surgery is performed with anesthetic eye drops.

dry eye

Queiroz Neto says it’s normal to have dry eyes right after surgery. This happens because the laser changes the distribution of tears on the surface of the eye. To avoid any discomfort, each patient leaves the office with a bottle of lubricating eye drops, he explains. Between 1 to 3 months, the eyes are completely recovered, regardless of the technique. That doesn’t mean they’ll never dry out again, but if it does, a full eye lubrication assessment is needed. “Today the diagnosis and treatment are automated and allow the patient to visualize the improvement of the tear film and to adhere to the treatment”, he specifies. Those who are tired of using eye drops can feel comfort in their eyes again with just three IPL sessions.

If you are thinking of getting rid of your glasses, you must be over 21 and have a prescription stabilized for one year. Pregnancy which makes refraction unstable, dry eye, glaucoma, thin cornea and retinal changes are contraindications. Therefore, he must undergo a full battery of tests and hope to be able to have surgery, he concludes.

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