Friday, April 27, 2012

Menopausal women are at high risk of developing dry eye disease

Dry eye disease affects menopausal women more than other groups

Dry Eye Disease affects women more than men. And it affects women approaching menopause at a greater rate than younger women because of the hormonal changes that women experience when approaching menopause. Hormonal changes are also the reason why pregnant women suffer dry eye disease more than women who are not pregnant.

A study titled Impact of dry eye syndrome on vision-related quality of life published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology in March 2007 showed that about 7.8% of women over 50 develop significantly dry eyes, compared to only 4.7% of males in the same age group.

Hormonal changes are a factor in developing dry eye

Hormones are natural chemicals that your body uses to regulate itself and are transported through the body to targeted cells. As we age hormone levels change and in many women this change cantrigger dry eye. A decreased level of a group of hormones known as androgen (which are often referred to as "male hormones" because they are responsible for typically male physical characteristics - testosterone is an androgen) are the main culprits in dry eye disease because the regulate both lacrimal and meibomian gland function. These glands are responsible for tear production and retention.

Signs that indicate that you may have low or deficient testosterone or androgen levels:

Low androgen levels in men:

lowered libido and erectile dysfunction;
loss of motivation, energy and general well-being;
depression ;
less muscle mass and strength;
loss of bone density;
weight gain – especially around the abdomen.

Low androgen levels in women:

lowered libido;
less muscle mass and strength;
loss of bone density;
sudden absence of menstruation;
hot flashes;
over-prescribed use of oral contraceptives;
weight gain – especially around the abdomen.

There are various treatments for dry eye syndrome and your eye doctor can tell you which ones offer the highest chance of success for you.

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