Women’s Eye Health & Safety Month — For Nanodropper, It’s Personal
For the women of Nanodropper, the company’s mission to provide better access to vision-saving medications is personal. Co-founders Allisa Song, Dr. Jennifer Steger, and Mackenzie Andrews have each experienced problems related to their eye health. Two of every three people living with vision problems are women, and with April being Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, the team decided to shed light on their own brushes with the healthcare system and how daunting it can be to seek out proper eye care.
Our hope is these stories will inspire you to go get your annual eye exam, and prioritize your overall health, which includes your eye health!
Allisa, who has worn both contacts and glasses since second-grade, says that growing up, having the means to visit an eye doctor was not a given for her. She had difficulty getting her glasses prescription renewed appropriately as her vision changed when she was younger, so contact lenses were simply out of the question.
“I wanted to transition to contact lenses as my glasses got heavier and heavier with increasing prescription strength, but alas, I have the distinctive memory of playing basketball with glasses for a full season.”
Several years ago, she had a condition where if left untreated, she could have lost her vision.
“I needed to see an ophthalmologist and pay out-of-pocket for expensive medications I needed. Vision is our primary sense, so the thought of losing my sight was terrifying. I had to make a difficult sacrifice to prevent that from happening — thinking back on that experience, people should never have to make the choice between their vision and paying their rent that month.”
This experience is one of the many reasons Allisa co-founded Nanodropper, providing a tool for others to regain power over their healthcare.
Dr. Jenny, who wears glasses and contacts, recently learned that she has a condition called tinnitus. Caused by hereditary mild hearing loss, which she was diagnosed with in her mid-twenties, she experiences a constant ringing sound in both ears. In pre-COVID times, she would have trouble hearing conversations in loud or crowded environments.
“I subconsciously learned to compensate for my hearing loss by relying more on my visual system in the form of lip reading and using closed captions while watching TV,” she says. “I’ve gained a new appreciation for my visual system and have made a concerted effort to prioritize my overall health, which includes my eye health.”
Dr. Jenny’s story is a great example of why it’s always important to regard eye health as part of your overall health. If you wait for symptoms to arrive before getting your eyes checked, with eye-related diseases like glaucoma it can sometimes be too late.
Mackenzie was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis when she was 10 years old. It’s an autoimmune disorder and the most common type of arthritis in children, causing inflammation and pain in the joints — but it can also have other symptoms, like blurry vision or dry, gritty eyes.
Because of this, Mackenzie had to get an eye exam every 6 months. These exams revealed a refractive error in her vision, causing her to wear glasses as a child. Luckily she grew out of this error and no longer needs glasses.
“Our overall health is linked to eye health in ways we don’t talk about enough,” Mackenzie says of her experience. “Because of this experience, I will never take my vision for granted. I make sure I get my annual eye exam every year!”
Nanodropper is committed to providing patients with a lifeline to proper eye care through its educational initiatives. We encourage you to visit our patient resources archive featuring articles about various aspects of eye health, and places you can go to seek assistance for eye care.