A survey suggests that more than half of menopausal women experience the symptoms of dry eye.
Changing hormone levels at the menopause can produce many symptoms – such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and insomnia. To this list can also be added dry eye – an uncomfortable condition resulting from insufficient tear production. Left untreated, dry eye can lead to infection or visual impairment. A team supported by the Society for Women’s Health Research has surveyed a group of 304 women in the perimenopause or the menopause and learned that 61 per cent had symptoms of dry eye.
Yet only 16 per cent of those with dry eye knew there was a link to the menopause. Most had not sought medical attention for the problem although around half had used over-the-counter eye drops. There are other options, though, such as prescription eye drops containing cyclosporine. An eye specialist may also be able to advise on whether other medication or dietary intake could be causing the problem. Inflammation is often the underlying cause of dry eye and one of the latest treatments addresses this by increasing tear production.
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