Hot flashes, fatigue and irritability aren’t the only signs of menopause. Burning, itchy eyes is very common in menopausal women, but is often overlooked and not thought as connected to menopause.
“Both men and women past the age of 50 experience increased dryness in their eyes, but the condition is nearly twice as likely to occur in women,” says Sean Mulqueeny, O.D. of Mulqueeny Eye Centers in St. Louis. “It’s a result of the decrease of the hormone androgen, which causes the eyes to lose moisture.”
Although aging can cause occasional dry eye in general, many of Mulqueeny’s patients don’t know they have options to improve their discomfort. With this in mind, he routinely performs dry eye screenings for all women over 40 years old.
Occasional dry eye can cause redness and scratchy eyes that feel as if something is in them. Some experience difficulty in keeping focus while reading or working on a digital device as words can look blurry. These symptoms also can lead to eyestrain, Mulqueeny explains. Patients with occasional dry eye also can become increasingly intolerant to contact lenses.
If occasional dry eye is repeatedly ignored, it can become much worse.
“Extreme cases can lead to significant pain and a decreased quality of life. The most severe cases can result in scarring of the cornea (the clear front wall of the eye) and even permanent sight loss,” Mulqueeny adds. Leaving occasional dry eye untreated also increases your susceptibility to eye infections.
Fortunately, there is a way to relieve occasional dry eye. Eye vitamins with the right amounts of vitamins A, D3, E, as well as premium Omega 3 can help relieve dry eye from the inside and help naturally lubricate your eyes.