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Menopause can be a very difficult time for some women. There are adjustments to be made after menopause while women start noticing the changes taking place in their bodies. While you are going through menopause your body will be going through an abundance of hormonal changes.
After menopause, certain hormones will be created in much lower levels, such as your estrogen and progesterone. There are various side effects that can come about with lower levels of estrogen and progesterone that you should inform yourself about and be prepared for handling.
One of the symptoms that can come alongside these lower reproductive hormone levels is dry eyes. Although dry eyes are a common eye condition in itself, it is one of the less commonly occurring symptoms prior to menopause, however it does still happen to some women. Suffering from dry eyes is very common in the natural aging process, especially in females.
Symptoms of dry eyes
If you are suffering from dry eyes, you may be experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
- Itchy eyes
- Irritated eyes
- A desire to rub one’s eyes
- Frequent blinking
- Burning of the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
Contributing factors to dry eyes
Dry eye is an eye condition that is referred to by eye doctors as a multifactorial disease. This simply means that the condition can be caused by several factors. If you are suffering from dry eyes, you are likely also experiencing a decreased production of tears, ineffective tears (tears that aren’t keeping your eyes lubricated), or tear evaporation.
Various factors that can contribute to or worsen dry eyes include:
- Hormonal changes
- Contact lenses
- Dry air
- Air-conditioning and heating
- Outdoor activities such as running, boating, etc.
How to relieve dry eyes
If you are suffering from dry eyes after menopause, there are several actions that you can take in order to try and relieve your symptoms. Some women look to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help alleviate their symptoms of menopause, however there are conflicting studies as to whether or not this therapy helps with dry eyes.
There are several over-the-counter medications developed for the treatment of dry eyes, and this may be the first step you want to take to help relieve your symptoms. Artificial tears are often all women need to help with their dry eyes. It is best to ask your Arlington optometrist what she recommends in terms of treatment, including over-the-counter (OTC) medications. If OTC medications are not helping, your doctor may suggest trying out a prescription medication to help with inflammation and tear production.
For some natural at-home dry eye remedies you might want to try the following:
- Eat a healthy diet full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and stay hydrated.
- Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, wind, and debris by wearing sunglasses
- Avoid allergy triggers such as pollen and smoke
- Switch to glasses rather than contact lenses
- Sleep with a humidifier in your bedroom at night
If you are suffering from dry eyes and can’t seem to find relief, it is important to turn to your eye doctor for help. He or she will know what is best for you and your eyes and alleviating symptoms.
First Eye Care is an Arlington vision center that can help with all of your visual needs. Come see one of our trusted and highly-recommended doctors and pick out your glasses or lenses right in office. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.