Penny Lancaster went to see a GP to help with the menopause
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The menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 as women’s oestrogen levels decline. Common early symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, low mood, and a reduced sex drive. But symptoms can also affect a person’s eyes with any of these five conditions being potential early warnings.
Various eye changes may occur during times of fluctuating hormone levels.
Around the time of menopause, a woman’s eyesight may be slightly altered.
Regular eye check-ups are vital in finding eye disease early, when problems are often easier to treat.
With any serious eye condition, consulting an ophthalmologist is highly recommended.
Charlotte Cook, Optometrist and Clinical Development Coach at Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists, said: “Our eye health and vision can change as we get older, and some women report certain changes to their eyes around the time of the menopause.
“These can include dry eyes, which can feel uncomfortable, but also impact the quality of vision, or a tendency for the eyes to be more prone to watering.
“Eyes that feel tired or strained can be another common complaint for women approaching the menopause, and this can cause other physical effects such as headaches or tension around the neck and shoulders.”
Common eye symptoms found in woman going through menopause include:
Dry and itchy eyes
Eyes more prone to watering
Tired and strained eyes
Changes in eyesight
Changes in eye shape.
“Eyes can also change shape as women age and their hormones change,” added Cook.
“This can cause problems for women who wear contact lenses, so it can be a good idea for them to have their eyes checked to make sure they’re wearing the right sort of lens.
“Vision in general can change and deteriorate as women get older, so if they find they are squinting more, getting more headaches, or just that their usual glasses aren’t as effective, it’s definitely worth getting an eye examination.
“Although changes to hormones can affect eyes, it’s important not to put changes down purely to the menopause or getting older.”
For women going through the menopause, good support from a GP is essential.
Referrals or other treatments or therapies are needed from a healthcare professional.
Treating menopause-related eye problems may also require a visit to a specialist who can assess your overall eye health.
For dry eyes, an over-the-counter treatment may be all that’s required.
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