When we think about sex differences in health, we do not normally think about our eyes.   While some clinical conditions are well known to affect the visual systems of men and women differentially, the sex-dependent effects on the visual system of other clinical conditions may be more subtle or more sporadic and hence less documented. Researchers are now discovering that sex differences exist in a wide range of eye disorders.  In some cases, the differences can be related to the hormone milieu.  In others, they are intertwined with other bodily systems such as neurotransmitter activity and blood flow. 

The visual system is especially amenable to assessment and examination because it has an organ-- the eye , that provides a "window" for interior inspection and study.     All these sex-dependent effects need to be better understood – from the front surface of the eye, to its interior, and to those parts of the visual system behind the eye.

A special issue of Current Eye Research includes a series of 12 review articles, solicited from experts in their respective fields, with most articles focused on different opthalmology subspecialtes. These articles collectively serve as a resource for eye care professionals as well as health care providers in other fields, especially those fields pertaining to women’s health.  In addition to helping improve care, the information in this special issue will provide timely foundations for future research projects reflecting the new NIH mandates that concern the inclusion of sex variables into preclinical studies.While this special issue centers on ophthalmic disorders, it aims to bridge existing specialties and it takes the view that women’s health concerns more than obstetrics and gynecology.

To learn more, visit:  Sex, Eyes, and Vision:   Male/female Distinctions in Opthalmic Disorders