All women experience menopause. Menopause is a “holistic condition” that causes changes to almost every part of a woman’s body – including the eyes.
Older women are particularly vulnerable to eye problems. Women of menopausal age should take a proactive approach to their eye health in order to recognize these conditions early.
Four Eye Disease Common in Menopausal Women
Vision problems common around menopause include:
Cataracts: Our eyes have natural lenses that refract (bend) light rays as they come into the eyes. When you have a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy. Cataracts are a postmenopausal symptom caused by decreased estrogen levels. They typically take decades to develop but affect eyesight dramatically, especially night vision.
Dry Eye Disease: Dry eye disease is an inflammation of the ocular surface. It causes pain and discomfort including poor vision, mucous discharge, burning and itching, and the sensation of a foreign body on the surface of the eye. This disease is particularly prevalent among menopausal and post-menopausal women - studies show that more than twice as many women over 50 years of age suffer from Dry Eye Disease than men.
Age-related Macular Degeneration: Age-related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in women over age 55. This disease occurs when the center of the retina starts to deteriorate. Symptoms include blurred central vision, blind spots, difficulty adjusting to light changes and poor depth perception. If untreated, you could lose the ability to see straight ahead.
Glaucoma: Linked to a loss of estrogen, glaucoma occurs when the eye loses the ability to drain fluid properly. This causes a buildup of pressure which can damage the optic nerve. Studies show that many as 50% of people with glaucoma aren’t aware they have it as the condition progresses without noticeable symptoms or warning signs. Untreated, glaucoma can lead ultimately to blindness.
Many of these diseases are difficult to detect unless menopausal women take a proactive approach to preserving their vision! Annual visits to your optometrist can help diagnose (and treat) these vision problems early.
Menopause and Vision: Looking After Your Eyes
As women go through menopause, even the physical characteristics of their eyes can change. This can lead to greater eye discomfort.
Here are some tips for easy, everyday relief.
Get a humidifier for the house to help soothe dry eyes.
Wear sunglasses outside to block the wind and sun.
Discuss eye drops or gels with your optometrist to help keep your eyes lubricated.
Regularly replace the filters on your air conditioner to keep pollutants out of your home.
Change your diet to include Omega-3 acids and flaxseed oil supplements.
Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated.
Always discuss any changes in your eye care with your optometrist. They can also provide you additional assistance and even prescription medications if needed.
Schedule Your Eye Appointment Today!
Perimenopausal and menopausal women experiencing vision changes should schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Regular eye checkups are critical for finding eye disease early when problems are often easier to treat.
Schedule your eye appointment with Eden Prairie Eye Care today using our online platform or by calling (952) 944-2792. We’ll ensure you enter your golden years with the healthiest vision possible!