Menopause and Dry Eyes


In the last two weeks I’ve gotten something in my eye twice.

One speck was so large I needed the assistance of my husband with the fine fine motor skills to remove it.

Then it hit me.

I never get stuff in my eyes.

Could this be the dreaded dry eye of menopause?

The tears slow down and don’t flush foreign objects effectively. Could that be part of it?

My friend Lisa Winkler  of Cycling Grandma wrote me a few months ago that she was having trouble with dry eyes. I checked in and she  reports  that her doctor gave her drops,Restasis, to use morning and night, that take about six months to do the trick. Lisa says she’s no longer waking up in the middle of the night with dry eye, but  she hasn’t found the drops to be a perfect cure, at least not yet.  Doc also suggested a humidifier.

Menopause Expert Ellen Dolgen has a great article on dry eye. Read it here.

As I wrote this post, my eyes feel dryer and dryer! Psychological? Let’s hope so.

But I do know I’ll check with my eye doctor about drops if need be.

What about you?

Any dry eye troubles?

Tips to share?

Big Eye

The Big Eye:  I snapped this photo in Dallas at Christmas. The thirty foot tall eyeball is the work of  multimedia artist Tony Tasset.  Read more about it here.

Giveaway Winners! Congrats to Judith, who one the copy 21-Day Tummy and Kathy, who won the Smile Brilliant whitening kit.

24 thoughts on “Menopause and Dry Eyes”

  1. I was diagnosed with dry eye syndrome and it can be painful. The doctor also prescribed Restasis and I was on it for over six months. Though the doctor was happy with the results, it gave me daily headaches. I finally took myself off. It took a month to be free of the headaches. I have been using a nightly drop that is for severe dry eyes and it does provide some relief. Nothing works perfectly, though.

    1. I hate that you had so much eye trouble in the middle of your studies. Hope they improve, which they might, as hormones balance out. I don’t know this for any medical reason, only that I’ve had other things improve.

  2. My eye surgeon recommended Systane ultra. It is OTC and a bit pricey but works wonderfully. I use it 3-4 times a day and it has no side effects for me.

  3. My eyes became so dry that I could no longer wear contact lenses comfortably. But that was a good thing in the end, because I had laser surgery, and at 50, for the first time in my life, I experienced 20/20 vision (except for reading glasses)!

  4. So that’s the reason? All this time I’ve been blaming the medicines I use. My eyes became red; in fact a new doctor, taking a history, asked me how much alcohol I consume every day!

    Restasis works beautifully for me, and I use occasional eye drops throughout the day. It’s better when the air is not heated to parching dryness inside the house!

  5. Oh wow… can I relate. A few years ago I was waking up with eyes that were so ‘parched’ that I couldn’t (or was afraid to) open my eyelids. I talked to my doctor and she said I made the right decision… DON’T open your eyes if they feel that dry. Instead, roll your eyeballs left and right, up and down, for a few minutes with the lids closed, then open them slowly. She has seen actual physical damage done by women who open their eyes in the middle of the night when their eyes are saying No Please No!

    The cause? She thought, what else, menopause. But I was also taking antihistamines at the time and those dry everything, including the eyeballs. So… she recommended I try the GenTeal eye gel drops and they worked wonderfully. It’s over the counter so that was good for me. I also tried Refresh eye drops which were okay, but the GenTeal worked the best and stayed put on the eyelids. I keep a little tube by the bed now. I haven’t had the ‘eyes glued shut’ syndrome lately, but who knows what tonight may bring…

    Thanks for the info, Barbara and Lisa.

    1. Yes, I had to stop wearing my contacts, too. My eye doctor prescribed Restasis but I just didn’t have the patience to keep using it. My eyes sometimes got so dry they burned and stung. It is somewhat comforting to know other people have experienced this too.

  6. I have glaucoma so my medication can exacerbate the dryness of the eyes. The one I am on now fortunately does not. It is a common problem. I take Fish oil. I also have allergic conjunctivitis and find the antihistamine drops cut down on the symptoms. Thanks.

  7. I have had dry eyes most of my life, but recently it got way worse. Then I realized that it was worse after I stopped taking fish oil supplements. I was taking 3000 of fish oil daily at the suggestion of an endocrinologist. I ran out and was without it for awhile when I noticed more dry eye symptoms. I worked for an optometrist for a year and remembered that she said to take fish oil, up to 4000 a day, for dry eyes. I started it up again and I no longer have problems with dry eyes. It is worth a try.

  8. Just went to the doctor last week for the same thing. I was given drops to moisturize my eyes and he suggested I give up contacts. Not ready to do that yet if I can find another solution for the dry eye. Thanks Gail for the suggestion. I will try fish oil.

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