Presbyopia, or aging-related vision loss, is not a matter of gender, according to researchers from Texas and California who conducted a meta-analysis on nine studies concerning the topic. If that’s the case, then why do women so often need glasses or contact lenses earlier than men do?

One possible answer, according to a study published in the journal Investigative Ophthamology and Visual Science, is that women have shorter arms. Apparently, shorter arms mean bringing books and other reading materials closer to your eyes, which unfortunately affects focusing ability.

"The findings reinforce the need for presbyopia correction programs for women--a group that often has greater unmet vision needs in developing countries," says Adam Hickenbotham of the University of California-Berkeley. "It also points out that presbyopia is a multi-factorial problem and requires solutions that are tailored to each individual."

Short arms or not, it’s important for everyone to take care of their eyesight. If your job has you looking at a computer screen for hours every day, give your eyes a rest at home. Checking out who has liked your pictures can wait another day. Remember to read in ample light and not to hold those books too close to your eyes. And if you think there’s something wrong with your eyesight, see an opthalmologist at the first opportunity.

(Photo by rachel a. k. via Flickr Creative Commons)

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