Dry eyes are the least likely symptom of early menopause and menopause that you would think of. It is not often mentioned as being a menopausal symptom most of the time. Menopausal and post-menopausal women often complain of dry eyes but it is with some
‘digging’ that a connection might be made. There are symptoms and causes of dry eye. There are treatments for early menopause symptoms including dry eye.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Though dry eyes are not usually connected to menopause, it will take some checking things out to determine this. Symptoms include itchiness, scratchiness, grittiness, and/or tears running down your cheeks. Your eyes may get more ‘tired’ throughout the day, become irritated from smoke, wind, or air movement and you may get stringy mucus in the eye. Light sensitivity, blurriness, and problems with your contacts may occur.
If dry eyes are not treated, your eyes could become ulcerated, the cornea can be scarred, or they may become seriously infected.
Causes of Dry Eye
There are two main reasons for dry occurring. The Meibomian Gland (in the inner eyelids), does not have enough oil being produced or the watery tears may evaporate too quickly. Most people have both low production of oil and excessive evaporation of tears.
There are lifestyle events that might contribute to having dry eye. When you are looking at a computer screen or reading a book and you don’t blink enough to spread the eye fluid may cause dry eye. Other life events that may be connected to dry eye include wearing contacts that absorb fluids, having Lasik surgery, which cuts nerves and reduces your impulse to blink, and taking some medications such as allergy medications diuretics – birth control pills can dry out your eyes also.
A fatty acid deficiency or a deficiency of anti-inflammatory foods and auto immune diseases such as Diabetes, Arthritis, and Lupus may also cause dry mouth.
Dry eyes may affect you if you are in perimenopause, specifically because this is the time when hormones do the most fluctuation. The greater the estrogen in your system, the less tear production you will have. There is a definite hormonal connection to dry eyes and hormonal imbalances.
The inflammation of dry eye may be connected to an overall minor inflammation. An inflammation will absorb any lubricants including eye fluids. This is a belief of TCM – traditional Chinese medicine that also holds that your purest energy is shown in your eyes. If there is any imbalance or deficiency, it will show in your eyes. In TCM the liver (a detoxifying organ) rules the eyes. Increased intake of fatty acids such as Omega 3’s that can be found in fish such as mackerel, tuna, or wild salmon can be beneficial for this. It can also be found some seeds and nuts. Omega 3’s help relieve inflammation, aid tear production, and aid in oil production in your tears.
Treatments of Early Menopause Dry Eyes
Artificial tears (eye drops) are the usual treatment for early menopause dry eyes. Eat a diet that includes Omega 3 fatty acids that can be found in fish, nuts, and seeds, and if necessary, natural supplements can benefit dry eyes and your over-all health. Make sure your hormones are balanced; this will likely be determined by a physical exam and blood work.
Have your doctor review your medications to see if a medication might not be contributing to your dry eyes. Try to avoid anything that might be irritating to your eyes such as smoke.
Blink – it is important for your eye health. Keep your body hydrated by drinking water, pure juices, milk, and herbal teas. A humidifier may help.
Take good care of your contacts if you wear them.
Natural herbal supplements may also benefit dry eyes because they are effective in relieving early menopausal symptoms. To be of high quality they should be made of standardized herbal extracts and be extensively tested to ensure quality, safety, effectiveness, and purity.
Early menopause dry eyes are often attributed to anything but menopause. With a little searching and life style inventory, your dry eyes might be connected to your menopause.
You may have itchy, gritty, redness, and irritated eyes. Treatments may include artificial tears, hydration, and including Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet may add lubrication to your eyes. There is a belief in Traditional Chinese Medicine that says the eyes will show imbalances because they channel your purest energy. The liver – the detoxification organ rules the eyes. Early menopause dry eyes are a real symptom of menopause.