Why do women need glasses earlier than men?

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London - If you’re a woman who always has her nose in a book don’t hold it so close – it could weaken your eyesight.

Women tend to hold reading material closer to their eyes than men and this may be why they need reading glasses earlier, a study has suggested.

The researchers found no difference in the ability of men and women to focus on objects at near distance.

This suggests that the reason women need bifocals earlier may be down to other factors, including having shorter arms, which means they hold things closer, raising their odds of things appearing blurred as they age.

Writing in the journal Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science, scientists from the University of California said women’s need for reading glasses earlier was ‘likely due to differences in preferred reading distances or arm length as women tend to hold reading materials closer than men do.’

The researchers were studying presbyopia – the loss of near vision that occurs with age.

The deterioration results from the stiffening of the eyeball’s lens, which makes zooming in on close objects more difficult, leading to blurred vision and the need for reading glasses.

The researchers added: “These findings could impact global vision care in multiple ways.

“The findings reinforce the need for presbyopia correction programmes for women – a group that often has greater unmet vision needs in developing countries.

“It also points out that presbyopia is a multi-faceted problem and requires solutions that are tailored to each individual.” - Daily Mail

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