Beyond Eye Drops: How to Address Dry Eye Caused by Menopause

Jul 1, 2023

Avon Vision Associates 860-677-6444

New Hartford Eye Associates 860-379-7183

Dry eye is a common condition that affects many people, but did you know that menopause can cause or exacerbate this condition? Menopause is a natural process that occurs as women age, but it can also come with some unwanted side effects, including dry eye. But don’t worry, there are ways to manage this condition and keep your eyes feeling comfortable and healthy. 

What is dry eye? 

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or your tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eye can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including: 

  • A scratchy or gritty feeling in the eyes 
  • Redness and irritation 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Watery eyes (your eyes may produce excess tears to compensate for dryness) 
  • Eye fatigue or discomfort, especially when reading, using a computer, or watching TV 
  • Stringy mucus around or in the eyes 
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses 
  • Eye inflammation and a burning sensation 

While eye drops can help relieve some of the symptoms, there are other steps you can take to manage dry eye caused by menopause. 

1. Stay hydrated 

Drinking plenty of water is always beneficial for our overall health, but it can be especially helpful for people experiencing dry eye. Menopausal women may experience hormonal changes that cause a decrease in the production of natural tears. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your body and your eyes hydrated. 

2. Try warm compresses 

Warm compresses can help stimulate the oil glands around the eyes, leading to increased tear production. This can be especially helpful for women whose dry eye is caused by hormonal changes. Place a washcloth over your closed eyes for 10-15 minutes after soaking it in warm water and wringing it out. You can repeat this process once or twice a day, depending on your needs. 

3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet 

Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and E can help keep your eyes healthy and prevent dry eyes. Foods like salmon, leafy greens, and citrus fruits are all great choices. 

4. Invest in a humidifier 

Dry air can take a toll on your eyes, especially during the winter months when indoor heating systems can suck the moisture out of the air. Investing in a humidifier for your bedroom can help to add moisture back into the air, which can in turn help to soothe dry eyes. Try running the humidifier while you sleep or for a few hours during the day when you are at home. 

5. Talk to your eye doctor 

If you’re experiencing dry eye syndrome, you may have tried using over-the-counter eye drops to provide temporary relief. While eye drops can be helpful, they don’t always address the underlying cause of dry eyes. That’s where a dry eye evaluation and treatment from Avon Vision Associates and New Hartford Eye Associates can help. 

During a dry eye evaluation, our optometrists will conduct a comprehensive exam to determine the cause and severity of your dry eye symptoms. We’ll evaluate your tear film quality, measure tear production, and look for any underlying health conditions or medications that may be contributing to your dry eyes. 

Once we’ve identified the cause of your dry eyes, we’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, we may recommend a combination of therapies, including prescription eye drops, lifestyle changes, and in-office treatments like meibomian gland expression. 

At Avon Vision Associates and New Hartford Eye Associates, we’re dedicated to helping our patients maintain optimal eye health and comfort. If you’re experiencing dry eye, schedule a dry eye evaluation with us to get the relief you need. Don’t let dry eyes caused by menopause interrupt your daily life.