Dry Eyes: The Unexpected Symptom of Menopause

Menopause marks a significant transition in a woman’s life, bringing a mix of challenges and transformations. As conversations about its impact on the body become more open and widespread, understanding this phase becomes increasingly crucial. 


The unexpected symptom of menopause


When thinking of the symptoms associated with menopause, we gravitate towards some of the more commonly known symptoms, such as hot flushes and changes in mood.[1] 


Having dry eyes often can be a sign that you are suffering with Dry Eye Syndrome, which can be a symptom of menopause.[2]


What is Dry Eye Syndrome?


Dry Eye Syndrome, also referred to as Dry Eye Disease, is a common condition that affects one in four people in the UK.[3]


When your tears fail to provide sufficient lubrication for your eyes, you might experience inflammation accompanied by various symptoms. These can include: 


  • Redness 
  • Itchy eyes 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • A burning sensation 
  • In some cases, fatigue 


Symptoms are wide-ranging, so if you’re experiencing discomfort and irritation in your eyes, it may be Dry Eye Syndrome.[4] Find out more symptoms here. 


Why are dry eyes a symptom of menopause?


As menopause progresses, the levels of androgen hormones decrease, impacting the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids. The meibomian glands are responsible for producing the essential oils in tears. Consequently, a reduction in these oils leads to faster tear evaporation, resulting in drier eyes. 


Are dry eyes a common symptom of menopause?


You might feel alone with your Dry Eye symptoms, but it’s more common than you think for women to experience dry eyes during menopause. In fact, about 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by Dry Eye Syndrome.[2]


While menopausal experiences differ greatly among individuals, and can be influenced by age, it’s important to recognise that your symptoms may not mirror those of your friends.[2]  


What other things can make Dry Eye worse?


Dry Eye Syndrome is a multifaceted condition with a variety of underlying causes, each contributing to its diverse symptoms. 


Several factors can trigger flare-ups, intensifying the discomfort of Dry Eye. Understanding these factors can help manage and potentially alleviate the symptoms. Here are some key elements that can worsen Dry Eye Syndrome: 



Exposure to smoke can worsen your Dry Eye symptoms, causing increased burning, stinging, and scratchiness. To mitigate these issues, try to avoid cigarette smoke and fires. 


Going outside without your sunglasses

Unfortunately, this can also exacerbate Dry Eye symptoms. Your eyes need protection not only from the sun but also from the wind. 


We’re all guilty of choosing sunglasses based on their appearance but opt for ones that are also practical – that fit your face well and have side frames for extra protection. 


Looking at screens for too long

In today’s digital age, we spend a significant amount of time focused  on screens. Unfortunately, excessive screen time can worsen Dry Eye symptoms. Ensure you are taking regular breaks from your screens throughout the day 


Not blinking enough

It may sound silly, but make a conscious effort to blink more frequently, especially when you’re in front of a screen, reading, driving, or watching TV. When we’re deeply focused, our blink rate tends to decrease. 


Blinking is beneficial for your eyes as it helps spread your tears evenly across the surface, keeping them well-lubricated. 


Eating poorly

We all love a bit of chocolate and a packet of crisps, but it’s essential to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet for the sake of your eye health. 


In addition to enjoying your favourite snacks in moderation, ensure your diet includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods that support overall well-being, including the health of your eyes. 


Find out which vitamins are best for helping ease Dry Eye Syndrome symptoms here.[5]



Managing Dry Eye symptoms during menopause


Prioritising the health of your eyes becomes even more crucial when navigating conditions like Dry Eye, particularly during menopause. 


Making lifestyle changes can help manage your Dry Eye symptoms during menopause. 


As mentioned above, decreasing screen time and eating a nutritious diet are two lifestyle changes that can help with Dry Eye symptoms, some others could be: 


Use a humidifier

Enhancing the moisture levels in your home and workspace can provide considerable relief from Dry Eye discomfort. 


Avoiding contact lenses

Regularly wearing contact lenses can make dry eyes worse. Seek guidance from a healthcare professional to explore switching to glasses or specialised contact lenses tailored for dry eyes.[6]


Keep well hydrated

Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you feeling good but also helps to keep your eyes lubricated and moist. So, don’t forget to sip on that H2O throughout the day to keep your peepers happy and healthy![7]


Follow a three-step treatment plan

Following a three-step treatment plan is a great way to effectively manage your Dry Eye. 


Step 1: To kickstart relief, start by using a heated compress, such as MeiboPatch® to unblock your meibomian glands and ease eye discomfort. Ensure to lay this over your upper face so that it covers the bridge of your nose, upper and lower eyelids.[8]


Step 2: Clear away the melted oil obstructing your glands and any accumulated debris with a cleanser such as Naviblef®, specially designed to reduce discomfort. 


Step 3: Use an effective lubricant, such as eye drops or gels from our VISUfarma range. There you’ll find a product that will help ease your symptoms, depending on your condition.[9]


Looking for more information on Dry Eye and menopause?


To dive deeper into Dry Eye and menopause, check out our other insightful blogs on the topic. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to support you on your journey to eye health and wellness. 




  1. NHS Inform, ‘Signs and Symptoms of Menopause’, 14/03/2023, Last Accessed June 2024
  2. Dry Eye Care Net, ‘What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?’, 08/04/2021, Last Accessed June 2024
  3. Association of Optometrists, ‘Dry Eye Syndrome’, Last Accessed June 2024
  4. Dry Eye and Me, ‘Dry Eye Symptoms’, Last Accessed June 2024
  5. WebMD, ‘Are You Making Your Dry Eyes Worse?’, 03/12/2012, Last Accessed June 2024
  6. Healthline, ‘What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause’, 04/04/2024, Last Accessed June 2024
  7. Evergreen Eye Centre, ‘Can Hydration make a Difference if you Have Dry Eyes?’
  8. VISUfarma, Meibopatch®, Last Accessed June 2024
  9. VISUfarma, Naviblef®, Last Accessed June 2024
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