Women's Health: Things to know in your 40s

Eyes are the window to the soul, doctors say


Many women in their 40s are pulled between caring for their children and parents at the same time, but doctors say that they shouldn't forget to care for their own health.

Missy Ayala, 40, is mother to 1-year-old triplets Nia, Isa and Max.

"Life at this point is very scheduled. It's all about schedules when you have triplets," Ayala said.

Although she has a busy schedule, Ayala said she makes sure to include routine annual check-ups for herself.

"I want to be around to see these guys grow up," she said.

Many women may be surprised to learn that a vision test is part of a growing list of recommended screenings for women in their 40s.

Optometrist Jeremy Ciano said that multiple sclerosis typically strikes between the ages of 20 and 40 and an eye exam can help detect symptoms.

"The eye is the window to the soul," Dr. Ciano said. "From a medical perspective, there are a lot of things that we check out such as diabetes and hypertension."

Symptoms that a patient notices include numbness, tingling and loss of balance.

"Our responsibility as optometrists, is to make sure people are healthy as well as seeing well," Ciano said.

Ayala said she had never considered an eye exam since Lasik surgery corrected her vision eight years ago.

"It's not like an annual mammogram. There's no communication out there that by the age you turn 35 you need to have a mammogram. With the eyes, you just don't hear that," Ayala said.

Medical experts advise that women in their 40s get tested for diabetes and vitamin D deficiency.

"I will schedule an appointment, absolutely. It's very important," Ayala said.

The eye exam can also spot vision problem women may not realize they have including depth perception and color blindness.


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