Menopause: Essity reveals some of the 62 common symptoms
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The menopause happens when hormone levels lower, causing periods to stop. This typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Common and well-known symptoms include mood swings, difficulty sleeping and hot flushes, however, it can also have an effect on the eyes.
According to Specsavers’ clinical services director, Giles Edmonds, menopausal women could experience dry eye.
He explained: “Our hormones control the production of our tears and it is common for menopausal women to experience dry eye symptoms.
“The drop in oestrogen levels can make skin become thinner and less elastic. Mucus membranes also dry out and the lacrimal glands produce less fluids, meaning eyes can become dry.
“This can leave them feeling gritty and inflamed and looking red, and if left untreated it can cause infection or severe discomfort and pain.”
He added: “There are a couple of things that you can do to alleviate symptoms but if these don’t help, you should discuss this with your optometrist so they can advise you on the most appropriate treatment.”
How to treat dry eyes
It is good general health advice to keep your water bottle topped up, particularly when you are stuck indoors, the weather is particularly hot, or if you have air-conditioning, as good hydration can help avoid dry eye.
Rest your eyes
Screen time can also have an impact on dry eye so follow the 20:20:20 rule: look up from your screen every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Looking into the distance helps relax the focusing muscles of your eyes, which in turn reduces eye fatigue.
Take note of your diet
We’ve all heard that carrots are good for our eyes and there is some truth in it.
That’s because carrots contain beta-carotene which helps us make vitamin A – which is an essential vitamin for our eyes.
It is also important to make sure we eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including dark green leaves, as well as oily fish, which is good for your health and may support good eye health too.
Adjust your environment
The environment you are in can also have an impact on your eyes – especially air conditioning and heating.
Try to add moisture back into the air by using a humidifier or placing a bowl of water underneath the radiator.
Try eye drops
When eyes are dry, they may need extra lubrication and using preservative free eye drops can help.
These can be used as often as needed, depending on symptoms, and your optometrist will be able to help advise you on which drops are best for your needs.
Apply an eye mask
Using a heated mask on closed eyelids can help to soften and loosen any blocked oil glands that supply oil into the tears.
Try this twice a day for 10 minutes and then gently massage the eyelids with clean fingers to help with oil flow.
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