Baby boomers, make sure you get your eyes checked annually. The National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America report that such vision threatening diseases as glaucoma and cataracts are increasing—and are hitting women the hardest. Researchers from both groups have found that 3.6 million Americans over the age of 40 have some form of visual impairment, and that 2.3 million of those are women.

“Some may be under the impression that losing vision is just a simple part of the aging process, but these numbers include many women in their 40s,” says Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of Prevent Blindness America. “It’s never too early to start caring for our eyes, and we strongly encourage women to make eye health a priority for themselves and their families today.”

African Americans of either gender are five times more likely to develop glaucoma than white Americans. To learn more about eye health, read RH Spring feature “Sight for Sore Eyes.”