Is There a Link Between Dry Eye Syndrome and Hormonal Changes in Women?
It comes as no surprise that as any person ages, their body changes. This is particularly true for women which is one of the reasons why there is a link between dry eye syndrome and hormonal changes. Hormonal fluctuations in women, particularly those related to menopause, can contribute to dry eye syndrome.
During menopause, the decrease in estrogen levels can lead to changes in the composition of tears and reduced tear production. Estrogen helps to regulate the production of tears and maintain the health of the ocular surface. As a result, a decrease in estrogen levels can lead to dry eyes and other ocular surface diseases.
Other hormonal changes in women, such as those related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives, can also affect tear production and lead to dry eye syndrome. Additionally, some medications used to treat hormonal imbalances, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), can also have an impact on tear production and contribute to dry eyes. Therefore, women who are experiencing hormonal changes should be aware of the potential impact on their ocular health.
When Can Dry Eye Syndrome Part to Appear in Women
Dry eye syndrome can arise in women at any age, but it is more common in women who are 50 years or older. As women age, hormonal changes can lead to a decrease in tear production and changes in the composition of tears, which can contribute to dry eye syndrome.
However, dry eye syndrome can also affect younger women, particularly those who wear contact lenses or have undergone certain types of eye surgery.
In addition, women who take certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, or antidepressants, may be more susceptible to dry eye syndrome. Women who work in environments with low humidity or with a lot of air conditioning or heating may also be more prone to dry eyes. Finally, certain autoimmune medical conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus, can contribute to dry eye syndrome in women.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome in Women
There are several symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome in women which means that you may feel all or only one of them at any given time. Some of the common examples of symptoms of dry eye can include:
- Dryness or grittiness: The most common symptom of dry eye syndrome is a feeling of dryness, scratchiness, or grittiness in the eyes.
- Redness: Dry eyes can cause redness and inflammation of the eyes.
- Blurry vision: Blurred vision or difficulty focusing is also a common symptom of dry eye syndrome.
- Sensitivity to light: Women with dry eyes may experience increased sensitivity to light, making it difficult to work or read in bright light.
- Watery eyes: While it may seem counterintuitive, dry eyes can actually cause an overproduction of tears as the eyes attempt to compensate for the dryness.
- Eye fatigue: Dry eyes can cause eye fatigue, making it difficult to focus for extended periods of time.
- Eye discomfort: Women with dry eyes may experience discomfort or pain in the eyes, particularly after extended periods of reading or computer use.
- Eye infections: In severe cases, dry eye syndrome can lead to an increased risk of eye infections or potential damage to the cornea.
What Treatment Options are Available for Dry Eye Syndrome
Although dry eye syndrome can be an irritating condition, there are several treatment options that are available to combat it including:
- Artificial tears: Over-the-counter artificial tears can help to lubricate the eyes and relieve dryness. There are many different types of artificial tears available, so it is important to speak with an eye doctor to determine which type is best for your individual needs.
- Prescription eye drops: If artificial tears are not effective, an eye doctor may prescribe prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation and increase tear production.
- Scleral lenses: Scleral lenses are one of the best treatment options for dry eye syndrome because of their custom-made design. By vaulting over the cornea, scleral lenses create a hydrating layer which removes the itchy or gritty feeling that dry eye can cause.
- Lifestyle changes: Simple changes, such as taking frequent breaks when reading or using a computer, using a humidifier, and avoiding environments with low humidity or air conditioning, can help to reduce dryness in the eyes.
Keep in mind that our office also offers a wide arrange of in office treatments for dry eye including TearCare and Lipiflow. During your appointment, your doctor will discuss the best treatment option for you.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you believe that you’re struggling with dry eye syndrome, we encourage you to reach out and schedule an appointment. Put the discomfort of dry eyes in the past and focus on clear and comfortable vision in the future!