Menopause can come with unpleasant symptoms, and many women are surprised to discover how their eyes are affected. During menopause, hormones in the body change. While hot flashes and mood swings are often discussed, dry eyes are one of the lesser-known symptoms of menopause.
Why Does Menopause Cause Dry Eyes?
The medical jury is still out on exactly why many women experience dry eyes as a symptom of menopause. Chemical signals in the body allow the eyes to stay well-hydrated, and some doctors believe that menopause causes changes in these signals. Androgen, a hormone associated with menopause, may be a part of the reason some menopausal women experience dry eyes.
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If you’re experiencing dry eyes during menopause, it’s normal to feel frustrated. Here, we’ll go over some of the things that you can do to help your eyes feel comfortable as the hormones in your body continue to change.
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If you’d prefer to try to manage your dry eyes at home, there are many treatments that you can try. Some women find that limiting screen time can be helpful, as looking at a cell phone, tablet, or computer for a long period of time can make dry eyes worse. You may also find that warm compresses help your eyes stay moist. If you wear contact lenses, you may be more comfortable wearing glasses until your eyes begin to adjust to their new normal.
Over-the-counter eye drops may be all that you need to help your eyes feel relaxed and comfortable during the day. You may need to try a few different kinds of over-the-counter eye drops to find the type that works best for you. If you’re not sure what type of over-the-counter eye drops are a good fit for you, be sure to reach out to your eye doctor for a recommendation.
You may want to talk with your eye doctor about prescription medications that can help you manage your dry eye symptoms. Oral antibiotics may help reduce swelling of your eyelids, which can help your eyes produce natural tears more easily. Prescription eye drops can also help you alleviate dry eyes. Your eye doctor may also talk with you about using eye inserts, a tiny piece of material that sits between your eyelid and the surface of your eye that artificially lubricates your eyes throughout the day.
When To Call The Doctor
If home remedies aren’t working, there’s no need to continue to suffer. Reach out to your eye doctor to schedule an appointment to find a solution for your dry eyes.