“After menopause, some women report chronically dry and scratchy eyes, often along with light sensitivity, blurred vision, or swollen or reddened eyelids—a condition…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Healthy Eyes Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Eye Care
  • Eye Health
  • Eyes
  • Vision

40 Years and Older

What are the major causes of vision loss for individuals aged 40 years and older?

In Vision Health Frequently Asked Questions: What Are the Major Causes of Vision Loss for Individuals Aged 40 Years and Older? the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note:

“The prevalence of blindness and visual impairment increases with age in all racial and ethnic groups. The major eye diseases among people 40 years and older are age-gelated macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma”.2

Women

Do women suffer from vision problems more than men?

In Your Sight: Women’s Eye and Vision Health the (United States) Prevent Blindness elaborate on:

“Women Suffer From Vision Problems More Than Men. They are:

  • 65% of people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • 61% of people with glaucoma
  • 61% of people with cataract
  • 56% of people with refractive error
  • 63% of people with vision impairment
  • 66% of people who are blind”.3

MenopauseHealthy Eyes

Is there an association between menopause and eyes?

In Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. My eyes itch and sometimes tear. Is this something that can be treated? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) explain:

“A. After menopause, some women report chronically dry and scratchy eyes, often along with light sensitivity, blurred vision, or swollen or reddened eyelids—a condition called chronic dry eye. Tearing can also be a symptom, because the eye produces more watery tears to compensate, although these tears don’t lubricate the eyes the way healthy tears do. Sometimes, the condition is caused by certain diseases (such as Sjögren syndrome) or drugs (such as allergy medications and antidepressants)”.4

The NAMS also note:

“Consult your eye care team about what may be the cause in your case and the therapies available to help provide relief. In mild cases, over-the-counter artificial tear drops or gels can help. Drinking more water and taking omega 3 supplements may also be beneficial. More severe cases may require plugging tear ducts to keep tears in the eyes longer or prescription medication”.5

Dry Eye

What is dry eye?

DotS the definition of dry eye may vary. The (United States) National Eye Institute’s (NEI) definition is:

“Dry eye happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet, or when your tears don’t work correctly. This can make your eyes feel uncomfortable, and in some cases it can also cause vision problems”.6

In Dry Eye: What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye? the NEI also explain:

“Dry eye can cause:

  • A scratchy feeling, like there’s something in your eye
  • Stinging or burning feelings in your eye
  • Red eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision”.7

How common is dry eye?

The NEI note:

  • “Dry eye is common — nearly 5 million Americans have dry eye”.8

Is there an association between dry eye and menopause?

In Causes of Dry Eye: Am I At Risk for Dry Eye? the NEI elaborate on:

  • “A woman. The hormone changes that happen during pregnancy and menopause (when a woman stops getting her period) can make it harder for your body to make tears”.9

8 Things You Can Do

What are 8 Things You Can Do Right Now To Protect Your Vision?

In 8 Things You Can Do Right Now To Protect Your Vision for Healthy Vision Month 2020: Eye Health Is My Health the NEI elaborate on:

“As you get older, your risk for some eye diseases may increase. But there’s a lot you can do to keep your eyes healthy — and it all starts with taking care of your overall health. Set yourself up for a lifetime of seeing your best with these 8 tips! Healthy Vision Month

  1. Find an eye doctor you trust
  2. Ask how often you need a dilated eye exam
  3. Add more movement to your day
  4. Get your family talking… about eye health history!
  5. Step up your healthy eating game
  6. Make a habit of wearing your sunglasses — even on cloudy days
  7. Stay on top of long-term health conditions — like diabetes and high blood pressure
  8. If you smoke, make a quit plan”.10

Eye Test

Why is an eye test important?

In Healthy Body: Look After Your Eyes – Why Are Regular Eye Tests So Important? the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“Having an eye test will not just tell you if you need new glasses or a change of prescription – it’s also an important eye health check. Healthy EyesAn optician can spot many general health problems and early signs of eye conditions before you’re aware of any symptoms, many of which can be treated if found early enough”.11

In Sight Tests Visionmatters.org.uk also note:

“Many people think that a sight test is just about checking whether your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses. But there are other important reasons to have a regular sight test. A sight test is a vital check on the health of the eyes and includes the detection of eye conditions. Many of these, if found early, can be treated successfully, avoiding potential sight loss. A sight test can also detect other health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes”.12

Eye Test Frequency

How often should most people have an eye test?

Visionmatters.org.uk explain:

“Most people should have a sight test once every two years. Certain groups may need a sight test more frequently. These include:

  • People with a history of eye conditions in the family
  • People over 40 of Afro-carribean or Asian origin
Speak to your optometrist for individual advice”.13

Free/Low Cost Eye Tests

Do some countries have free eye tests?

Your eye health care provider, health care provider, social worker, local community health center or hospital; may know about free or low cost eye tests.

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with my eyes?

If you would like help with your eyes, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your eye health care provider or health care provider about this. Together you can discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

Health Topics A-Z

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In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. My eyes itch and sometimes tear. Is this something that can be treated? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 04 July 2020
  2. Vision Health Frequently Asked Questions: What Are the Major Causes of Vision Loss for Individuals Aged 40 Years and Older. Page Last Reviewed: 09 June 2020. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/faq.htm Accessed: 04 July 2020
  3. Your Sight: Women’s Eye and Vision Health. Prevent Blindness. https://preventblindness.org/womens-healthy-eyes-now/ Accessed: 04 July 2020
  4. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. My eyes itch and sometimes tear. Is this something that can be treated? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 04 July 2020
  5. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. My eyes itch and sometimes tear. Is this something that can be treated? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 04 July 2020
  6. Dry Eye: What Is Dry Eye? Last Updated: 05 July 2019. National Eye Institute https://nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye Accessed: 04 July 2020
  7. Dry Eye: What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye? Last Updated: 05 July 2019. National Eye Institute https://nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye Accessed: 04 July 2020
  8. Dry Eye: What Is Dry Eye? Last Updated: 05 July 2019 National Eye Institute https://nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye Accessed: 04 July 2020
  9. Causes of Dry Eye: Am I At Risk for Dry Eye? Last Updated: 16 July 2019. National Eye Institute https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye/causes-dry-eye Accessed: 04 July 2020
  10. 8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Vision. Last Updated: 30 June 2020. National Eye Institute https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/resources-for-health-educators/healthy-vision-resources/healthy-vision-month/8-things-you-can-do-right-now-protect-your-vision Accessed: 04 July 2020
  11. Healthy Body: Look After Your Eyes – Why Are Regular Eye Tests So Important? Page Last Reviewed: 09 February 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/look-after-your-eyes/#why-are-regular-eye-tests-so-important Accessed: 04 July 2020
  12. Sight Tests: Why Is A Sight Test Important? Visionmatters.org.uk https://www.visionmatters.org.uk/sight-tests/sight-tests Accessed: 04 July 2020
  13. Sight Tests: How Often Should I Have A Sight Test? Visionmatters.org.uk http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/sight-tests/sight-tests Accessed: 04 July 2020
Topic Last Updated: 29 July 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 04 July 2020
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