The transitionary period can last for up to a decade, with the onset of menopausal symptoms usually beginning between the ages of 45 to 55. As oestrogen levels plummet, optometrist Charlotte Cook pointed out that some women might experience dry eyes. Described as “uncomfortable”, dry eyes can also impact the quality of vision.
“This can cause problems for women who wear contact lenses.”
It’s for this reason that Cook recommends menopausal women, who wear contact lenses, to get their eyes checked.
“Vision in general can change and deteriorate as women get older,” Cook continued.
“So if you find you are squinting more, getting more headaches, or just that your usual glasses aren’t as effective, it’s definitely worth getting an eye examination.”
Seven common eye complaints during the menopause:
- Dry eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Tired eyes
- Strained eyes
- Changes in eyesight
- Changes in eye shape
- Eyes are more prone to watering.
Cook warned that changes to eyesight “can, in some cases, lead to irreversible damage”.
That’s why it’s crucial to book an appointment at the opticians as soon as you notice something is off, or different.
With older age, women (and men) are more at risk of certain eye conditions, such as:
- Macular degeneration
“A lot of eye conditions that lead to sight loss can be treated if they’re detected early enough,” said Cook.
Other menopausal symptoms
The NHS listed other possible symptoms of menopause, which can include:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Difficulty sleeping
- Reduced sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Low mood
- Heart palpitations
- Joint stiffness, aches and pain
- Reduced muscle mass.
Severe menopausal symptoms that interfere with day-to-day life need to be discussed with your doctor.
The option of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might be brought up while you are in the doctor’s clinic.
Other treatment options might involve cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other lifestyle adjustments.
These might include eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Charlotte Cook is an optometrist and clinical development coach at Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists.
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