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General Fitness

Can Menopause Affect Eyesight?

Menopause can affect your eyesight. Find out why and what you can do about it.
October 19, 2023

Forgetfulness, hot flashes... menopause brings its share of changes. But did you know it can mess with your eyesight too? From frustrating dryness to blurry vision, your eyes might feel different as you navigate this transition. Don't worry, you're not imagining things!  Let's break down why menopause impacts your vision and what you can do to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.

How Does Menopause Affect Eyesight?

During menopause, your body goes through a natural decline in estrogen production. And guess what? Estrogen plays a role in keeping your eyes healthy! Here's how that decline can impact your vision:

  • Dry Eyes: A common symptom! Estrogen helps regulate tear production, and when levels drop, your eyes might feel dry, gritty, and irritated. This can make it uncomfortable to wear contacts or read for long periods.
  • Blurry Vision: Fluctuations in estrogen can also affect the flexibility of the lens in your eye. This temporary change in shape can make it harder to focus clearly, leading to blurry vision, especially when switching between near and far objects.
  • Light Sensitivity: Some women experience increased sensitivity to light during menopause. The exact reason isn't fully understood, but it might be linked to hormonal changes.

Taking Care of Your Eyes During Menopause

While some vision changes might be temporary, the discomfort is real! Luckily,  there are several ways to keep your eyes feeling their best during menopause and beyond:

  • See Your Eye Doctor: Regular checkups are essential! They can catch age-related eye conditions early when treatment is most effective. Be sure to tell them you're experiencing menopause, as it might impact their recommendations.
  • Artificial Tears to the Rescue: Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops are a lifesaver for dry eyes. Look for preservative-free options if you need them frequently. There are various types (gels, ointments), so you might experiment to find your favorite.
  • Hydration, Nutrition, and Rest: It might sound basic, but staying hydrated, eating a healthy diet with eye-supporting nutrients, and getting enough sleep all contribute to eye health.
  • Talk to Your Doctor About HRT: It's not just for hot flashes! For some women, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can also improve dry eye symptoms related to menopause. Always discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Important Note: Even if you're menopausal, sudden changes in vision, like flashes of light or floaters, need prompt attention from an eye doctor.  These might be signs of other conditions that need treatment.