What You Should Know About Dry Eyes and Menopause
Guest Post By Aaron Barriga
Dry eyes typically get worse as we age and they are a chronic condition that requires chronic treatment. There are several conditions associated with dry eyes – either underproduction of tears or over evaporation of tears. Every day, if you experience a burn, irritation, stinging, and dryness every time they try to function, it would be a visual disturbance that is caused due to blurry eyes. This awareness on a chronic basis is what dry eyes are and it’s because of the problem of the quantity or quality of their tears.
Anybody can get dry eyes and our eyes get drier as we age. Environment, oral medications, computer use are all factors that lead to dry eye syndrome, but there also is a relationship between menopause and dry eyes that most women experience. Let’s find out how it’s tied to hormonal changes and menopause.
Women of older ages experience dry eyes because of hormonal changes. And there is a very complex interaction between estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The amount and the interaction occur between these three hormones and as we get older, lead to chronic dry eye and in women in particular. Vaginal dryness is very common, but it can affect the eyes and the mouth as well. Low estrogen can also affect your eyesight. So if you feel that your eyes are getting sore, irritated, and you have trouble reading a book or threading a needle, you may have blurry eyes which make it important to get your eyes tested. Make sure you tell them you’re going into menopause, since it will be taken into account.
Women over the age of 50 are at a higher risk of developing dry eyes as opposed to men. Interestingly, only 60% of premenopausal and postmenopausal women will experience dry eyes, but only 16% of them are actually aware that it is hormonally related.
A lot of menopausal women are getting hay fever and this can be due to a number of factors such as low immune function, stress, and dry eyes. And because your eyes are a little drier, they are being affected a little more by the atmosphere, pollution, and pollen.
Without treatment, dry eyes can get worse over time. Here are some treatment options that can put your irritated eyes to rest.
Menopause and Dry Eyes Treatment Options:
- The pillar of dry eye treatment is to have a good artificial tear and these are available over the counter and treat all three layers of the natural tear film.
- If artificial tears don’t work, you could use eye inserts that are inserted between your eyelid and eyeball that gradually release a lubricating substance
- There are also topical prescription medications besides an artificial tear that can be used as nutritional supplements and ointments at night.
- Special contact lenses that trap moisture and protect your eyes from feeling irritated.
- Hormonal replacement therapy is used in treating menopause but does not reduce the risk of dry eyes.
- Limit your screen time and take regular breaks. While taking a break, either close your eyes for a few minutes or remind yourself to blink a few times. Do some eye exercises to improve vision and relieve eye strain.
- Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block wind and dry air, especially while you’re driving.
- Eat a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A which will boost tear production.
Author Bio: Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care and eye health. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.