Itching, burning eyes are commonly associated with seasonal allergies, illnesses, and minor injuries. But there’s one more cause of dry eye that many people do not know: menopause. Post-menopausal dry eye can be very frustrating because it’s a persistent problem. Women may attempt to simply live with the symptoms without realizing that there’s help.
Research and Facts About Post-Menopausal Dry Eye
Tear production naturally decreases as you age, so both men and women over the age of 50 tend to experience dry eye symptoms more frequently than younger individuals.
Post-menopausal dry eye symptoms can add to the problem for women, but it’s not exactly clear what goes on to make this happen. Hormones like androgens and estrogen decrease after menopause, and both of these may have a role in tear production. Another possibility is that chemical signals that maintain a healthy tear film are disrupted.
Unfortunately, hormone replacement therapy does not seem to help, and it can even worsen the symptoms. Additionally, women who are just beginning to experience menopausal symptoms should consult with one of our eye doctors in Genesee County before undergoing laser eye surgery, as the procedure can dry your eyes.
Contact lens wearers who regularly experience dry eye symptoms should also make sure they use proper cleaning and lubrication techniques in order to avoid further complications. If your eyes are too dry, contact lenses could scratch them, so ask your eye doctor how to properly care for your contact lenses and your eyes, including recommending the right eye drops for your particular condition.
Dry Eye Treatment after Menopause
If you are experiencing regular dry eye symptoms, don’t “just live with it.” Ignoring the problem could make it worse. If dry eyes persist over a long period of time, the condition could lead to damaged eye tissue, impaired vision, and scarred corneas.
Improving your dry eye symptoms may be easier than you think. Our eye doctors in Lapeer, Flint, Fenton, Oxford, and Grand Blanc can offer several options for post-menopausal dry eye treatment and suggest the ones that are best for you. Treatments may include identification of the right eye drops, self-care tips, recommendations for vitamins that lubricate eyes, the use of warm compresses, and clinical procedures.
Make an appointment to see one of our eye care professionals to learn more about these options. Our doctors can also thoroughly examine your eyes to identify any other eye conditions that could be contributing to your symptoms.