Red, Watery, Itchy, Ugly Eyes? It’s Menopause and Dry Eye Syndrome
Do your eyes feel gritty – like there’s a piece of sand in the corner of your eye all the time? Or the whole surface of your eye feels scratchy and burns? Maybe you have red eyes that water and tear all the time, especially when you walk out into cold or wind making your vision so blurry that it’s practically impossible to see.
60% of Menopausal Women Have Dry Eyes Syndrome
If you are somewhere between the age of 41 and 60, it’s probably blurred vision caused by Dry Eyes Syndrome. You are not making enough tears anymore.
Can Menopause Cause Dry Eyes? Yes
Yup. Add Dry Eyes Syndrome to the list of menopause symptoms.
Dr. Beth A. Handwerger, MD believes that “Dry eye syndrome is caused by eyelid inflammation, lacrimal gland dysfunction, medications and possibly changes in sex hormones due to menopause or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).”
What Else Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
- Cold air and wind
- Low humidity
- Contact lenses
- Light sensitivity
- Your health – arthritis, diabetes, thyroid conditions and LASIK surgery can reduce the amount of tears your eyes produce
Dry Eye Symptoms
- Painful eyes
- Red eyes
- Foreign-body sensation (in your eye it’s a bad thing, otherwise, maybe not)
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity and night blindness
- Tearing, watering
Treatments for Chronic Dry Eyes
- Up the humidity in your home and office by using a humidifier.
It’s kind of obvious that the first thing you might want to do is raise the humidity in your environment. Consumer Reports recommends that indoor humidity be somewhere between 30% and 50%. In cold weather, humidity can drop as low as 10% and dry winter air can cause dry eyes.
The PureGuardian Ultrasonic Table Top Humidifier is a highly rated portable humidifier that doesn’t require filters.
Humidifiers can be really noisy but this one is really quiet and it’s one of the top 10 humidifiers of 2014: the Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic Humidifier with warm & cool mist.
Just for fun…thermometers!
For you data-hungry women out there, the AcuRite Indoor Humidity Monitor displays indoor humidity, the barometric pressure and the weather forecast.
- Change the air filters in your heaters and air conditioners regularly.
Limit your use of contact lenses.
If you have a special occasion and you don’t want to wear your glasses, try these contacts for dry eyes. Silicone hydrogel contact lenses are made to absorb moisture from the air thus keeping your lenses moist. Proclear Compatibles Contact Lenses got 5 stars and was one of the best contact lenses for dry eye syndrome.
- Use preservative-free lubricating eye drops.
The first two are quick-acting eye drops but will only give you temporary relief:
Soothe Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops by Bausch & Lomb and Tears Naturale Free Lubricant Eye Drops.
For a longer acting remedy try Soothe Lubricant Eye Ointment, Night Time. Really. Only at night — they blur your vision. Once again, go for preservative free products.
Wear Polaroid sunglasses –
Yes, wear polaroids, especially the ones that wrap around your face. Not only will they block the glare that can cause you to tear up, but they will block the wind as well. These Ray Ban women’s oversized wrap sunglasses are pretty cool — big and in style.
We recommend polaroid glasses that self-adjust to the light. Not only do they help in the sun, but they really cut out the headlight glare at night.
Take Omega-3 fatty acids daily –
We like and recommend this Nature’s Way Krill Oil
Our Next Post……You Might Need New Glasses
Our next post will be about how you probably need new glasses — another cause of blurry vision during menopause.
Until then, don’t leave home without your polaroid sunglasses and maybe a few kleenex in the pocket of your coat.
Here’s a good book about Dry Eyes Syndrome
The Dry Eye Remedy by Robert Latkany, MD
For More Information on Dry Eyes Syndrome: