Menopause and Dry Eyes
Many women are familiar with more common menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. Fewer are familiar with dry eyes as a symptom of menopause. However, this condition can be not just uncomfortable but also potentially dangerous. Chronic dry eye can increase a woman’s risk of visual impairment. More than 60 percent of women experience eye discomfort during menopause or perimenopause, but few of them are aware the dryness is linked to their hormonal changes.
The hormonal imbalance associated with menopause interferes with the eye’s ability to create tears. Symptoms of chronic dry eye include itching, irritation, blurry vision, burning sensations, dryness, grittiness, soreness, inflammation or tired eyes. Warm compresses may be used to stimulate the eyes’ oil glands, and High Potency omega-3 supplements may help ease the irritation. A well-balanced diet and increased hydration are important ways to help ease overall symptoms of menopause. Increased rest may also be beneficial.
Recognizing triggers can help you reduce the discomfort associated with eye dryness. Sitting under a vent or near a fan may exacerbate symptoms. Spending hours in front of a computer, watching television or reading may also weary your eyes and leave them feeling dry and irritated. Give your eyes frequent breaks, and avoid drafty or dusty environments.
Because chronic dry eye causes discomfort, affects your vision and increases your risk of eye infection, symptoms that are not alleviated with home care may need to be addressed with an eye care professional.
Dry eye is extremely treatable, often with simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter or prescription tear-replacement products.
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