Skip to main content
Home » Your Eye Health » 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.

To all True Vision patients, customers and friends:

Dr Hopkins and the staff of True Vision want to say thank you for both your patronage and especially your patience during this uncertain time. The AOA and CDC have recommended that we reduce our services to emergencies only for the time being. We will remain available by phone to answer questions, place contact lens orders and schedule appointments for any emergency situations.  Dr. Hopkins is also available by way of FaceTime and Skype for Telemedicine.

Our service hours will be Tuesday and Friday ONLY 10 am-4 pm beginning Tuesday, April 7th until further notice. The office phone number is 740-277-7550 and voicemail is available for any questions or concerns outside of these hours. However, the office is closed to all walk-in traffic.

For our contact lens wearers:

If you need a supply of contacts for the next 2-3 months, we suggest placing an order ASAP as we can not predict how long suppliers will be filling orders. Also, Dr Hopkins will be extending contact lens prescriptions if necessary for 3 additional months without a new exam and fitting on a case by case basis. Lastly, orders of 2 or more boxes can be shipped to you at no additional cost if you prefer.

For our outstanding glasses orders:

You may either pick up your glasses on a drive-by/handoff basis (no adjustments) or we can mail them to you at no additional charge. This is not an ideal way to dispense eyewear but we are trying to follow social distancing guidelines.

We have more detailed information available on our website at drannahopkins.com

Finally, we are so grateful for all of our patients, customers and friends. Dr Hopkins’ ultimate goal for us here at True Vision is to be here for you as long as possible to do whatever we can and to be ready when the smoke eventually clears. Let’s all do what we can for each other by staying home when we’re able, washing our hands and being patient and kind to each other.

Our sincerest thanks,

Dr Anna K Hopkins and the staff at True Vision