Menopause & Dry Eyes

This is Dr. Anin Sethi, and today we will be talking about dry eyes due to menopause. For those of you who are unaware of this situation. It is seen that menopausal females, after the age of 50, experience dry eyes because of it. About 60% of the females after menopause experience symptoms of dry eye disease. 

What are the symptoms of dry eyes disease? 

Now, in dry eye disease, the quality of the tears formed in the eyes changes. The component changes or the quantity decreases. Due to this, the patient commonly experiences dry, itchy eyes, an uncomfortable pricking sensation, or redness of eyes. 

What are the causes? 

The balance of sex organs like estrogen, progesterone, and androgens regulates the eyes’ tear secretion. Therefore it is seen that around the time of menopause or even 2-3 years before it, these hormones start to imbalance. This imbalance causes various symptoms, like hot flashes, weakness in bones, and dry eye disease. 

It is seen and proven that the balance of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen helps tear production in the eye. And the imbalance in these hormones brings about the change in the quantity and quality of the tear produced. 

So any condition that causes this imbalance in these hormones can cause symptoms to dry eye disease. For example, during pregnancy, specific proteins are present in the blood that bind these hormones together. So the decrease in the number of free hormones can cause symptoms of dry eyes disease. The usage of oral contraceptive pills can also cause dey eye disease. 

Treatment of Dry Eyes? 

Patients ask to be put on hormone replacement therapy. Or they suggest taking hormones to cure dry eyes. But these methods have not yet been proven to be effective. The research that has been done over the years shows variable results. Some papers claim that hormone replacement therapy cures dry eye disease, but on the other hand, some research indicates that it can adversely affect the patient. 

If the patient is at the menopausal age, or pregnant, or has breast cancer, there are medicines called Aromatase inhibitors like Anastrozole or Letrozole is given to the cancer patient. But, unfortunately, these medicines also cause hormonal imbalance that may cause dry eyes disease. 

I wouldn’t suggest the patient take any hormonal medication but go for the prevalent dry eye therapy, i.e., artificial tears, low dose steroids, and anti-allergic medicines. 

Or one can modify their lifestyle.

  • Reduce your screentime
  • Do not sit directly in front of the AC, as it can increase the dry eyes
  • You can use warm compresses for your eyes. 
  • If you work on your laptop for a long time, you should take a break for 5-10 mins. 
  • You can use humidifiers to maintain the moisture in the room. 
  • All these modifications will help you prevent dry or reduce the symptoms of dry eye disease. 

The menopause that happens at a certain age is a physiological thing, part of a natural life cycle. So you can’t change it nut you can tackle your dry eyes differently. 

So with the help of conventional therapy, dry eye disease can be tackled. I hope this was informative for you. 

Thank you.

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