Having to explain why you’re standing in front of an open fridge for abnormal periods, or finding your mood swings are frightening the dog? Menopause may be setting in - and dry eye symptoms may be next. 

Dry, itchy, gritty, and even watery eyes are also an irritatingly familiar feeling for many Australian Women going through menopause. Dry Eye is a condition relatively unknown to many Australians, with varying degrees of severity going undiagnosed for many people. According to the society for women’s health research, close to 61 percent of menopausal and peri-menopausal women suffer from dry eyes1; however this link is often overlooked.

Dry eye is felt when the body cannot produce enough/suitable quality tears to lubricate the surface of our eyes. Our tears are made up of 3 layers; the Inner Mucus layer, Middle watery Layer, and Outer Oily layer or Lipid layer. These 3 layers play an important role in keeping our eyes nourished and our vision clear.

Our tears can become dry due to existing health issues that are weight or hormone related..  Exposure to Environmental factors such as Air conditioning or staring at a computer screen for long periods can further contribute to the symptoms of Dry Eye.

Like many health conditions, Dry Eye also naturally occurs as we age and is particularly prevalent in Woman aged 55 years and over. Women are more likely to develop Dry Eye with hormonal changes, particularly when using some oral Medications, during pregnancy and following Menopause1.

Fortunately, there are ways to effectively manage the symptoms of dry eye. Eye drops provide instant relief as well as long term improvements; and in addition, the food we eat can also directly influence our eye function. 

Instant relief – choosing the right lubricating eye drop:

Dry Eye drops and lubricants such as BLINK Intensive Tears Plus gel drops are a useful and effective way to provide relief of the symptoms of severe Dry Eye. Blink® intensive tears PLUS gel drops visco-elastic technology provides maximum lubrication with minimum blurring2, while some eye ointments and gels are messy and inhibits your vision. Be sure to select an eye drop that is preservative free or contains a smart preservative such as OCUPURE to prevent irritation and further drying of the eye. Click here to learn more about which eyedrops are right for you.

Long term relief – the importance of Nutrition: 

As we know, the role of good nutrition in relation to overall health is extremely important. But what is good nutrition when trying to improve the health of our eyes and tear production? 

Besides being essential for good heart health, Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids helps healthy tear production and assists in the secretion of the Outer oily lipid layer of our tears – essential for maintaining natural lubrication and preventing evaporation.

Examples of foods that are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids are cold water fish such as Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel and Sardines.

The Brigham Woman’s Health Study showed that Women, who consumed a diet rich in omega-3 fats from fish, had a 68 per cent lower prevalence of dry eye than those Women who consumed only a small amount of fish3.