Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can Menopause Cause Dry Eye Syndrome?

When women start menopause their hormone levels begin to change. Studies have shown that there is an increase in dry eye syndrome in menopausal women due to the hormone fluctuations. Besides the normal hot flashes and night sweats, some women may experience some of these dry eye related symptoms…

- Scratchy or gritty feeling in the eyes (like sand in eyes)
- Itchy eyes
- Tears flowing down cheeks
- Mucus
- Sensitive to light
- Problems wearing contact lenses
- Blurriness

If dry eyes are left untreated the cornea can become scarred or develop ulcers. The syndrome may also cause a person’s vision to be affected and they could be more susceptible to eye infections due to the lack of tears that are needed wash out the eye.

Below are a few things to keep in mind to help maintain excellent eye health:
- A healthy diet with the proper intake of Omega 3’s
- Keeping your hormones balanced, simple endocrine treatments can help balance hormone levels
- Medication may need reviewing with your doctor, some meds can contribute to dry eyes
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid touching eyes, too much rubbing can cause a loss of moisture and can promote bacteria growth in the eye
- Contact lenses should always be worn with proper care, they also can cause bacterial growth and protein build up, not to mention they absorb eye fluids.
-Sleep…Being well rested will relieve stress levels that cause hormonal imbalance, while giving those eyes the rest they need as well.
-Punctal plugs are another alternative to reduce the loss of tears.
-Drink plenty of liquids

Taking note of the symptoms and taking the proper steps to look after your eyes might be the difference between a mild irritation and a long-term problem. Talk to your doctor, maintain healthy lifestyle habits and be sure to go for regular eye exams.

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