Skip to main content

 

Our Location

4137 Petrolia Line
Petrolia, ON N0N 1R0

Book an Exam 226-778-2166 COVID-19 Updates
Child-page-Images-Sevices
Home » Eye Care Services » Eye Library » Vision Over 40 » Dry Eye After Menopause

Dry Eye After Menopause

Dry Eye Disease is a common eye condition – studies show that nearly 20% of North Americans middle aged and older suffer from dry eye disease. The probability of you developing dry eye if you are a woman, and older than 50, increases. Hormonal changes that older women undergo make it much more likely that they will suffer from dry eye as they age, including symptoms such as blurry vision and irritation of the eyes, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

What are the biological changes that happen during menopause which affect your eyes? The tear film in the eyes relies on certain chemical signals to remain stable, and these signals get disrupted during and after menopause. Some doctors believe that androgen, a hormone implicated in menopause, may be the culprit causing dry eye problems for menopausal women. Eyes may become inflamed, which leads to decreased tear production, and possibly dry eye disease. Add in a dry environment and many medications and the risk factors for menopausal women increases exponentially.

Treatments for Dry Eye in Menopausal Women

Estrogen hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is sometimes used to treat menopausal symptoms, as the female hormone estrogen is one of the hormones that decreases during and after menopause. However, studies have shown that this treatment does not relieve symptoms of dry eye.

Refractive Eye Surgery

Refractive eye surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, may not be advised if you are 40 or older, and have dry eye disease. These procedures can affect nerve function in your cornea (the clear surface of your eye), which could worsen your dry eye problem. If you want to have a consultation regarding LASIK or PRK, it’s important that your eye doctor know about your dry eye condition. In that case, your eye doctor will know to do the appropriate tests to make sure that there is enough moisture in your eyes for laser vision correction.

There are other health conditions that are associated with dry eye and aging. These conditions include thyroid autoimmune disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you suffer from dry eye, make sure your doctor screens you for these diseases.

Allergies may cause eye inflammation, and may be the cause of your dry eye. Prescription and over-the-counter eye drops might relieve your dry eye and allergy problem. Your eye doctor will advise you as to which eye drops would be best for you.

Sometimes commonly prescribed medications can worsen, or even cause, dry eyes. Some of these medications are antidepressants and diuretics, which are often prescribed if you have a heart condition. Make sure to talk about this with your doctor if you suspect that one of the medications you are taking may be causing your dry eye problems. Perhaps changing your medication will be as effective, and won’t cause dry eye disease.

x

We are open for general eyecare! Our hours – Monday – Friday, 8:30 to 5. When shopping for glasses, you will enjoy the attention of a Personal Shopper as one of our enhanced hygienic measures! Please click here to read our new hygiene protocol.

An important notice from Dr. St. Pierre: Today, optometrists in Ontario start Job Action. Ever ytime a patient walks through my door for an exam, it costs me on average $80 (staff, PPE, office supplies, occupation costs) to see that person. That’s before I get paid for my time. The Ontario government pays me $25.15 to perform a partial exam and does not allow me to bill the patient any more. That means every time I see a patient for an OHIP covered eye exam, I am subsidizing the cost of that eye exam out of my own pocket. This is not sustainable. As a small business owner in the time of COVID-19, I am struggling to provide quality eyecare to my community with the current OHIP funding agreement. As of today, all patient driven partial exams and MEE exams will no longer be booked in my clinic, but referred elsewhere. Thank you for your understanding.