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Dry Eye and Menopause Demystified 

When it comes to Dry Eye and Menopause, there’s a lot of confusion out there. Many people don’t know how the two are related and with both being conditions that are surrounded by misinformation, it’s time to break it down and demystify the topic.  

 

What is Dry Eye Disease 

 

Dry Eye Disease is a condition that can cause symptoms like itchiness, dryness, redness, and discomfort. There are various types of Dry Eye including Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, Evaporative Dry Eye where your tears evaporate too quickly, and Mixed Dry Eye where you suffer from both aqueous tear deficiency and tear instability.[1] It’s an incredibly common condition with some reports suggesting that approximately of the UK adult population suffers from Dry Eye Disease.[2]  

 

While Dry Eye Disease is a condition in its own right, there are various conditions that report dry eye as a symptom, often leading to it being underreported, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. However, there are many things you can do to tackle the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. The risk factors vary, so the treatment has to vary too but, with environmental changes, lifestyle changes, and the use of medicated dry eye drops you can tackle it effectively and find relief from the symptoms.  

 

Still, myths exist so let’s challenge them:  

 

 

Dry Eye Myths  

 

There are no treatments for dry eye

While there’s not necessarily a cure for Dry Eye Disease there are treatments that can bring relief and combat the symptoms. Depending on what the cause of your dry eye is, you can take different approaches. If your environment is triggering symptoms of Dry Eye disease taking steps like using a humidifier indoors and wearing sunglasses during summer can help. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and drinking more water can also help.[3] One of the main treatments for Dry Eye Disease is the use of eye gel and eye drops.[4] If you’re interested in learning more, check out our range of eye drops here. 

 

Dry Eye Disease only causes eyes to feel dry

While dryness and a feeling of grit is a common sign of Dry Eye Disease, the condition can also cause your eyes to feel watery.[5] When eyes dry out it can cause you to produce excess tears so if you experience your eyes streaming often, it might be a symptom of the disease.   

 

Dry Eye Disease isn’t serious

Oftentimes because of how common the condition is, people won’t take Dry Eye Disease seriously. This is part of the reason it’s so underreported and undertreated. However, it can actually cause lasting damage to your vision.[6] Tears are important to providing oxygen to your eye. Without this, your cornea can become infected and damaged which will blur the vision. Over time scarring or even tearing can develop, leading to permanent vision loss.[7]  

 

Additionally, dry eye can be a symptom of a serious condition, so ignoring it can be dangerous. Around half of people treated for glaucoma also have dry eye.[8] Glaucoma is the name for a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60.[9] Taking your symptoms seriously and speaking to your doctor is the best way to ensure you don’t experience further damage to your vision or your eyes.  

 

One of the conditions that report dry eye as a symptom most frequently is menopause. Around 61% of perimenopausal (the stage at which you experience symptoms of menopause but your periods have yet to stop) and menopausal women are affected by Dry Eye Syndrome.[10] This is caused by a number of factors, but the androgen hormone plays a crucial role in this as it affects the meibomian and lacrimal glands within the eyelids that provide essential oils for your tears. When these hormones decrease, so does the body’s ability to produce tears, leading to Dry Eye Disease.  

 

Similarly to Dry Eye Disease, menopause is often shrouded by mystery and confusion.  

 

 

Menopause Myths 

 

Only Severe Menopause Symptoms Need Treatment

Just like Dry Eye Disease, often people believe that the symptoms of menopause are a part of life and aging, meaning they don’t seek help. However, there’s no need to suffer in silence. If symptoms of menopause are causing you problems in your daily life, then it’s a good time to approach a professional and seek help. This is especially because many health risks increase post-menopause. Just like Dry Eye, the symptoms you’re experiencing could be indicators of more serious illnesses. For example, perimenopausal women are at the prime age for Sjögren’s syndrome, a systemic disease that manifests with dry eye and dry mouth.[11]  

 

More than just concern for your overall health, should be a concern for your quality of life. If hot flashes, low mood, and insomnia are stopping you from being able to socialise or work then you should speak to a doctor. Menopause doesn’t have to stop you from living fully, just as suffering from symptoms of dry eye shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourself.  

 

Menopause begins at 50 

While most women enter menopause in their later lives, it is possible for you to begin experiencing perimenopausal symptoms including Dry Eye Disease at any age. Additionally, perimenopause can cause you to experience a wide range of symptoms far before you actually enter menopause – it could even be up to 15 years before your periods stop and you officially enter menopause.[12]  

 

There’s nothing you can do about symptoms of menopause

Whole menopause is a natural part of life, there are steps you can take to reduce the effect of the symptoms on your life. The most effective treatment to combat the symptoms of menopause is Hormone Replacement Therapy. This tops up hormone levels that are reduced or depleted during this stage of life, helping to reduce symptoms that are caused by the decrease in hormonal levels.  

If you’re not interested in starting HRT , there are lifestyle changes one can make to help manage symptoms. Increasing exercise can release endorphins and strengthen bones, a plant-based diet can provide the nutrients you need, and pelvic floor exercises help prevent urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse.[13]  

 

 

How can you deal with Dry Eyes during menopause?  

If you’re currently going through menopause and struggling with Dry Eye disease, you’re not alone. Both conditions can be incredibly isolating and make it hard for you to carry out everyday tasks like socialising or going into the office. But dry eyes during menopause are a very common symptom and one that luckily, can be treated. Over the counter eye drops can help to hydrate and protect the eyes, while lifestyle and diet changes can help ensure that proper tear production is supported. Take steps today to improve your environment for best effect.  

 

 

For more information on Dry Eye and Menopause, take a look at our other blogs on the subject and get in touch today to discuss how we can help.  

 

References

  1. Cleveland Clinic, ‘Dry Eye’, 28/11/2022, Last Accessed May 2024
  2. M Vidal-Rohr, J P Craig, L N Davies, J S Wolffsohn, ‘The Epidemiology of Dry Eye Disease in the UK: The Aston Dry Eye Study’, Contact lens & anterior eye: The Journal of British Contact Lens Association vol. 48,3 (2023), Last Accessed May 2024
  3. Diagnostic Eye Centre, ‘7 of The Top Dry Eye Myths to Avoid’, Last Accessed May 2024
  4. Dry Eye and Me, ‘Dry Eyes Treatment and Prevention’, Last Accessed May 2024
  5. NHS, ‘Watering Eyes’, Last Accessed May 2024
  6. Mayo Clinic, ‘Dry Eyes’, 23/09/2022, Last Accessed May 2024
  7. Smart Eye Care, ‘Are Dry Eyes a Serious Problem?’, Last Accessed May 2024
  8. Glaucoma UK, ‘Dry Eye’, Last Accessed May 2024
  9. Boyd, Kierstan, ‘What is Glaucoma? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment’, 04/12/2013, Last Accessed May 2024
  10. Dry Eye Care, ‘What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?’ 08/04/2021, Last Accessed May 2024
  11. Alersitz, Katrina, ‘Perimenopausal Women Needs Extra Dry Eye Care’, 15/12/2006, Last Accessed May 2024
  12. Stills, Sharon, ‘Top 10 Menopause Myths – Busted!’, 27/02/2023, Last Accessed May 2024
  13. Boxall, Joanna, ‘The Menopause: Demystified’, 27/02/2024, last Accessed May 2024
Back to news

Dealing with Dry Eye and Menopause in the Office

When it comes to Dry Eye and Menopause, there’s a lot of confusion out there. Many people don’t know how the two are related and with both being conditions that are surrounded by misinformation, it’s time to break it down and demystify the topic.  

 

What is Dry Eye Disease 

 

Dry Eye Disease is a condition that can cause symptoms like itchiness, dryness, redness, and discomfort. There are various types of Dry Eye including Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, Evaporative Dry Eye where your tears evaporate too quickly, and Mixed Dry Eye where you suffer from both aqueous tear deficiency and tear instability.[1] It’s an incredibly common condition with some reports suggesting that approximately of the UK adult population suffers from Dry Eye Disease.[2]  

 

While Dry Eye Disease is a condition in its own right, there are various conditions that report dry eye as a symptom, often leading to it being underreported, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. However, there are many things you can do to tackle the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. The risk factors vary, so the treatment has to vary too but, with environmental changes, lifestyle changes, and the use of medicated dry eye drops you can tackle it effectively and find relief from the symptoms.  

 

Still, myths exist so let’s challenge them:  

 

 

Dry Eye Myths  

 

There are no treatments for dry eye

While there’s not necessarily a cure for Dry Eye Disease there are treatments that can bring relief and combat the symptoms. Depending on what the cause of your dry eye is, you can take different approaches. If your environment is triggering symptoms of Dry Eye disease taking steps like using a humidifier indoors and wearing sunglasses during summer can help. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and drinking more water can also help.[3] One of the main treatments for Dry Eye Disease is the use of eye gel and eye drops.[4] If you’re interested in learning more, check out our range of eye drops here. 

 

Dry Eye Disease only causes eyes to feel dry

While dryness and a feeling of grit is a common sign of Dry Eye Disease, the condition can also cause your eyes to feel watery.[5] When eyes dry out it can cause you to produce excess tears so if you experience your eyes streaming often, it might be a symptom of the disease.   

 

Dry Eye Disease isn’t serious

Oftentimes because of how common the condition is, people won’t take Dry Eye Disease seriously. This is part of the reason it’s so underreported and undertreated. However, it can actually cause lasting damage to your vision.[6] Tears are important to providing oxygen to your eye. Without this, your cornea can become infected and damaged which will blur the vision. Over time scarring or even tearing can develop, leading to permanent vision loss.[7]  

 

Additionally, dry eye can be a symptom of a serious condition, so ignoring it can be dangerous. Around half of people treated for glaucoma also have dry eye.[8] Glaucoma is the name for a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60.[9] Taking your symptoms seriously and speaking to your doctor is the best way to ensure you don’t experience further damage to your vision or your eyes.  

 

One of the conditions that report dry eye as a symptom most frequently is menopause. Around 61% of perimenopausal (the stage at which you experience symptoms of menopause but your periods have yet to stop) and menopausal women are affected by Dry Eye Syndrome.[10] This is caused by a number of factors, but the androgen hormone plays a crucial role in this as it affects the meibomian and lacrimal glands within the eyelids that provide essential oils for your tears. When these hormones decrease, so does the body’s ability to produce tears, leading to Dry Eye Disease.  

 

Similarly to Dry Eye Disease, menopause is often shrouded by mystery and confusion.  

 

 

Menopause Myths 

 

Only Severe Menopause Symptoms Need Treatment

Just like Dry Eye Disease, often people believe that the symptoms of menopause are a part of life and aging, meaning they don’t seek help. However, there’s no need to suffer in silence. If symptoms of menopause are causing you problems in your daily life, then it’s a good time to approach a professional and seek help. This is especially because many health risks increase post-menopause. Just like Dry Eye, the symptoms you’re experiencing could be indicators of more serious illnesses. For example, perimenopausal women are at the prime age for Sjögren’s syndrome, a systemic disease that manifests with dry eye and dry mouth.[11]  

 

More than just concern for your overall health, should be a concern for your quality of life. If hot flashes, low mood, and insomnia are stopping you from being able to socialise or work then you should speak to a doctor. Menopause doesn’t have to stop you from living fully, just as suffering from symptoms of dry eye shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourself.  

 

Menopause begins at 50 

While most women enter menopause in their later lives, it is possible for you to begin experiencing perimenopausal symptoms including Dry Eye Disease at any age. Additionally, perimenopause can cause you to experience a wide range of symptoms far before you actually enter menopause – it could even be up to 15 years before your periods stop and you officially enter menopause.[12]  

 

There’s nothing you can do about symptoms of menopause

Whole menopause is a natural part of life, there are steps you can take to reduce the effect of the symptoms on your life. The most effective treatment to combat the symptoms of menopause is Hormone Replacement Therapy. This tops up hormone levels that are reduced or depleted during this stage of life, helping to reduce symptoms that are caused by the decrease in hormonal levels.  

If you’re not interested in starting HRT , there are lifestyle changes one can make to help manage symptoms. Increasing exercise can release endorphins and strengthen bones, a plant-based diet can provide the nutrients you need, and pelvic floor exercises help prevent urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse.[13]  

 

 

How can you deal with Dry Eyes during menopause?  

If you’re currently going through menopause and struggling with Dry Eye disease, you’re not alone. Both conditions can be incredibly isolating and make it hard for you to carry out everyday tasks like socialising or going into the office. But dry eyes during menopause are a very common symptom and one that luckily, can be treated. Over the counter eye drops can help to hydrate and protect the eyes, while lifestyle and diet changes can help ensure that proper tear production is supported. Take steps today to improve your environment for best effect.  

 

 

For more information on Dry Eye and Menopause, take a look at our other blogs on the subject and get in touch today to discuss how we can help.  

 

References

  1. Cleveland Clinic, ‘Dry Eye’, 28/11/2022, Last Accessed May 2024
  2. M Vidal-Rohr, J P Craig, L N Davies, J S Wolffsohn, ‘The Epidemiology of Dry Eye Disease in the UK: The Aston Dry Eye Study’, Contact lens & anterior eye: The Journal of British Contact Lens Association vol. 48,3 (2023), Last Accessed May 2024
  3. Diagnostic Eye Centre, ‘7 of The Top Dry Eye Myths to Avoid’, Last Accessed May 2024
  4. Dry Eye and Me, ‘Dry Eyes Treatment and Prevention’, Last Accessed May 2024
  5. NHS, ‘Watering Eyes’, Last Accessed May 2024
  6. Mayo Clinic, ‘Dry Eyes’, 23/09/2022, Last Accessed May 2024
  7. Smart Eye Care, ‘Are Dry Eyes a Serious Problem?’, Last Accessed May 2024
  8. Glaucoma UK, ‘Dry Eye’, Last Accessed May 2024
  9. Boyd, Kierstan, ‘What is Glaucoma? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment’, 04/12/2013, Last Accessed May 2024
  10. Dry Eye Care, ‘What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?’ 08/04/2021, Last Accessed May 2024
  11. Alersitz, Katrina, ‘Perimenopausal Women Needs Extra Dry Eye Care’, 15/12/2006, Last Accessed May 2024
  12. Stills, Sharon, ‘Top 10 Menopause Myths – Busted!’, 27/02/2023, Last Accessed May 2024
  13. Boxall, Joanna, ‘The Menopause: Demystified’, 27/02/2024, last Accessed May 2024
Back to news

Unexpected Dry Eye Symptoms to Watch Out For

When it comes to Dry Eye and Menopause, there’s a lot of confusion out there. Many people don’t know how the two are related and with both being conditions that are surrounded by misinformation, it’s time to break it down and demystify the topic.  

 

What is Dry Eye Disease 

 

Dry Eye Disease is a condition that can cause symptoms like itchiness, dryness, redness, and discomfort. There are various types of Dry Eye including Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, Evaporative Dry Eye where your tears evaporate too quickly, and Mixed Dry Eye where you suffer from both aqueous tear deficiency and tear instability.[1] It’s an incredibly common condition with some reports suggesting that approximately of the UK adult population suffers from Dry Eye Disease.[2]  

 

While Dry Eye Disease is a condition in its own right, there are various conditions that report dry eye as a symptom, often leading to it being underreported, underdiagnosed, and undertreated. However, there are many things you can do to tackle the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. The risk factors vary, so the treatment has to vary too but, with environmental changes, lifestyle changes, and the use of medicated dry eye drops you can tackle it effectively and find relief from the symptoms.  

 

Still, myths exist so let’s challenge them:  

 

 

Dry Eye Myths  

 

There are no treatments for dry eye

While there’s not necessarily a cure for Dry Eye Disease there are treatments that can bring relief and combat the symptoms. Depending on what the cause of your dry eye is, you can take different approaches. If your environment is triggering symptoms of Dry Eye disease taking steps like using a humidifier indoors and wearing sunglasses during summer can help. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and drinking more water can also help.[3] One of the main treatments for Dry Eye Disease is the use of eye gel and eye drops.[4] If you’re interested in learning more, check out our range of eye drops here. 

 

Dry Eye Disease only causes eyes to feel dry

While dryness and a feeling of grit is a common sign of Dry Eye Disease, the condition can also cause your eyes to feel watery.[5] When eyes dry out it can cause you to produce excess tears so if you experience your eyes streaming often, it might be a symptom of the disease.   

 

Dry Eye Disease isn’t serious

Oftentimes because of how common the condition is, people won’t take Dry Eye Disease seriously. This is part of the reason it’s so underreported and undertreated. However, it can actually cause lasting damage to your vision.[6] Tears are important to providing oxygen to your eye. Without this, your cornea can become infected and damaged which will blur the vision. Over time scarring or even tearing can develop, leading to permanent vision loss.[7]  

 

Additionally, dry eye can be a symptom of a serious condition, so ignoring it can be dangerous. Around half of people treated for glaucoma also have dry eye.[8] Glaucoma is the name for a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60.[9] Taking your symptoms seriously and speaking to your doctor is the best way to ensure you don’t experience further damage to your vision or your eyes.  

 

One of the conditions that report dry eye as a symptom most frequently is menopause. Around 61% of perimenopausal (the stage at which you experience symptoms of menopause but your periods have yet to stop) and menopausal women are affected by Dry Eye Syndrome.[10] This is caused by a number of factors, but the androgen hormone plays a crucial role in this as it affects the meibomian and lacrimal glands within the eyelids that provide essential oils for your tears. When these hormones decrease, so does the body’s ability to produce tears, leading to Dry Eye Disease.  

 

Similarly to Dry Eye Disease, menopause is often shrouded by mystery and confusion.  

 

 

Menopause Myths 

 

Only Severe Menopause Symptoms Need Treatment

Just like Dry Eye Disease, often people believe that the symptoms of menopause are a part of life and aging, meaning they don’t seek help. However, there’s no need to suffer in silence. If symptoms of menopause are causing you problems in your daily life, then it’s a good time to approach a professional and seek help. This is especially because many health risks increase post-menopause. Just like Dry Eye, the symptoms you’re experiencing could be indicators of more serious illnesses. For example, perimenopausal women are at the prime age for Sjögren’s syndrome, a systemic disease that manifests with dry eye and dry mouth.[11]  

 

More than just concern for your overall health, should be a concern for your quality of life. If hot flashes, low mood, and insomnia are stopping you from being able to socialise or work then you should speak to a doctor. Menopause doesn’t have to stop you from living fully, just as suffering from symptoms of dry eye shouldn’t stop you from enjoying yourself.  

 

Menopause begins at 50 

While most women enter menopause in their later lives, it is possible for you to begin experiencing perimenopausal symptoms including Dry Eye Disease at any age. Additionally, perimenopause can cause you to experience a wide range of symptoms far before you actually enter menopause – it could even be up to 15 years before your periods stop and you officially enter menopause.[12]  

 

There’s nothing you can do about symptoms of menopause

Whole menopause is a natural part of life, there are steps you can take to reduce the effect of the symptoms on your life. The most effective treatment to combat the symptoms of menopause is Hormone Replacement Therapy. This tops up hormone levels that are reduced or depleted during this stage of life, helping to reduce symptoms that are caused by the decrease in hormonal levels.  

If you’re not interested in starting HRT , there are lifestyle changes one can make to help manage symptoms. Increasing exercise can release endorphins and strengthen bones, a plant-based diet can provide the nutrients you need, and pelvic floor exercises help prevent urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse.[13]  

 

 

How can you deal with Dry Eyes during menopause?  

If you’re currently going through menopause and struggling with Dry Eye disease, you’re not alone. Both conditions can be incredibly isolating and make it hard for you to carry out everyday tasks like socialising or going into the office. But dry eyes during menopause are a very common symptom and one that luckily, can be treated. Over the counter eye drops can help to hydrate and protect the eyes, while lifestyle and diet changes can help ensure that proper tear production is supported. Take steps today to improve your environment for best effect.  

 

 

For more information on Dry Eye and Menopause, take a look at our other blogs on the subject and get in touch today to discuss how we can help.  

 

References

  1. Cleveland Clinic, ‘Dry Eye’, 28/11/2022, Last Accessed May 2024
  2. M Vidal-Rohr, J P Craig, L N Davies, J S Wolffsohn, ‘The Epidemiology of Dry Eye Disease in the UK: The Aston Dry Eye Study’, Contact lens & anterior eye: The Journal of British Contact Lens Association vol. 48,3 (2023), Last Accessed May 2024
  3. Diagnostic Eye Centre, ‘7 of The Top Dry Eye Myths to Avoid’, Last Accessed May 2024
  4. Dry Eye and Me, ‘Dry Eyes Treatment and Prevention’, Last Accessed May 2024
  5. NHS, ‘Watering Eyes’, Last Accessed May 2024
  6. Mayo Clinic, ‘Dry Eyes’, 23/09/2022, Last Accessed May 2024
  7. Smart Eye Care, ‘Are Dry Eyes a Serious Problem?’, Last Accessed May 2024
  8. Glaucoma UK, ‘Dry Eye’, Last Accessed May 2024
  9. Boyd, Kierstan, ‘What is Glaucoma? Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment’, 04/12/2013, Last Accessed May 2024
  10. Dry Eye Care, ‘What’s the Link Between Dry Eye and Menopause?’ 08/04/2021, Last Accessed May 2024
  11. Alersitz, Katrina, ‘Perimenopausal Women Needs Extra Dry Eye Care’, 15/12/2006, Last Accessed May 2024
  12. Stills, Sharon, ‘Top 10 Menopause Myths – Busted!’, 27/02/2023, Last Accessed May 2024
  13. Boxall, Joanna, ‘The Menopause: Demystified’, 27/02/2024, last Accessed May 2024
Back to news

Dry Eye and Menopause: What’s the Link?

During menopause, have you noticed that you’re struggling more with your vision or experiencing a lot of discomfort around your eyes? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. In fact, there’s a link between menopause and Dry Eye disease.

Some studies suggest that around 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by Dry Eye syndrome [1] , while a survey of 6,000 women revealed that one in four women said they experienced dry eyes, making it the second most common hidden menopause symptom. [2]

 

Woman with dry eye drinking water

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye syndrome is an extremely common eye condition affecting one in four people in the UK. [3] When your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes, you may notice inflammation in the eye which is related to a wide range of symptoms. You may experience red eyes, itching, a burning sensation, sensitivity to light, and even fatigue. Symptoms are wide-ranging, so if you’re experiencing discomfort and irritation in your eyes, it may be Dry Eye. [4]

 

Why Dry Eye?

There are several reasons you might start to show symptoms of Dry Eye disease. From smoking to aging, there are a lot of factors to consider but one you may not have thought about is your hormone levels.

During menopause your androgen hormones (which include testosterone) decrease. This hormone change affects the meibomian and lacrimal glands in the eyelids that provide the essential oils for tears. Tears moisten the eyes so you will see increased tear evaporation and drier eyes as a result.

Recent research shows that testosterone helps to manage the balance of tear production which you need to lubricate your eye. Without enough tear film, you may end up feeling an itchy, gritty, or stinging sensation – otherwise known as Dry Eye.

There is also some evidence that estrogen levels changing during this phase can also lead to Dry Eye disease. More research needs to be done to solidify this link but it would explain the increase in Dry Eye symptoms at different points of a woman’s monthly fertility cycle. [5]

One thing that’s clear, however, is that dry eyes can be a result of a sex hormone deficiency, meaning it’s a common side effect of menopause, when your hormone levels will drop.

 

couple laughing together

Is Dry Eye Disease a Common Menopause Symptom?

That gritty feeling in your eyes might make you feel like you’re all alone but don’t worry. Many people deal with Dry Eye disease every day and during menopause, it’s a very common symptom.

Menopausal symptoms vary depending on the person and their age, so you could end up facing very different symptoms and experiences from your friends. However, if you are noticing redder eyes, blurred vision, and excessive tearing then you might be dealing with hormonally-induced Dry Eye disease.

 

How do Hormones Play a Role?

During perimenopause and menopause, there’s a variety of changes in hormones that can be related to dry eye symptoms. We see a decrease in both estrogen and testosterone. Sex hormones are incredibly important to keep the ocular surface of the eye stable, which means they’ll affect producing tears, evaporating tears, draining tears, maintaining nerves behind the cornea, and maintaining the immune system of the eye. When it comes to Dry Eye the ability to keep the eyes moist (usually by tears) plays a large role. When the eyelid becomes dry and irritated , it causes pain, a burning sensation, and red eyes. [6]

During perimenopause, your sex hormone levels begin to drop and eventually, you’ll find you no longer have periods (the process we call the menopause).

After this your body entirely stops making progesterone and the production of estrogen and androgens decreases at a quicker rate, which is why we see the onset of these symptoms around this period of a woman’s life. [7]

 

Higher Risk Factors

One thing of note is that women who experience premature or early menopause (when the final menstrual period happens before the age of forty) are more at risk for androgen deficiency. [8]

Additionally, it may be worth considering the increased risk factor if you’ve been on estrogen tablets or the pill, have had surgical removal of the ovaries, or have suffered from an eating disorder that’s placed stress on the body. You can get tested for this deficiency, however, due to the levels naturally being so low in women, it’s difficult to do so.

If you’re looking into testing your levels to work out the cause of your Dry Eye disease then make sure you get your blood taken in the morning when testosterone levels are at their highest.

 

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Dry Eye Disease

Most doctors would recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for alleviating particularly troublesome symptoms of menopause. Traditionally HRT replaces estrogen and progesterone which will fall during this period of a woman’s life. [9] However, HRT usually treats hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep issues rather than Dry Eye disease. You may be considering this treatment to soothe your dry eyes but unfortunately, research hasn’t yet proven the benefits of it.

While some studies show a small amount of improvement in the alleviation of symptoms, the largest cross-sectional study to date found that long-term use of HRT increases the risk of Dry Eye symptoms. Essentially the longer women stayed on hormone replacement therapy the worse and more frequent their Dry Eye symptoms became. [10]

So even if you were only experiencing mild Dry Eye symptoms during perimenopause, you may find that once you start treatment, you experience the onset of Dry Eye disease.

 

Woman rubbing her eyes

Treating Dry Eye During Menopause

With the effects of HRT in mind, it’s important to consider how your treatments of Dry Eye symptoms will impact your treatment of other menopausal symptoms, and visa versa. HRT can help alleviate some menopausal symptoms but research shows that the treatment can make Dry Eye Disease worse.

However, many usual recommendations for Dry Eye are lifestyle suggestions that may boost your overall health. Eating well, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep can all help battle that dry, itchy feeling while decreasing screen time can boost your mood as well!

If you’re usually a fan of contact lenses, make sure you’re also grabbing those glasses every now and then to give your eyes a break. Hydrating eye drops in the mornings and evening can help soothe your eyes, and make sure you’re limiting stress where you can. [11]

If your dry eyes are chronic or causing large problems in your life the VISUshop site has a wide range of products for treatment and prevention you can check out here .

 

For more information on Dry Eye and Menopause, take a look at our other blogs on the subject, and what you can do to alleviate your dry, itchy eyes.

 

References

  1. ‘What’s the Link between Dry Eye and Menopause?’ Dryeyecare.net, 08/04/21, Last Accessed January 2024
  2. ‘Dry Eyes and Menopause Demystified’, Balance by Newson Health, 24/06/23, Last Accessed January 2024
  3. ‘Dry Eye Syndrome’, Association of Optometrists, Last Accessed January 2024
  4. ‘Dry Eye Symptoms’, Dry Eye and Me, Last Accessed January 2024
  5. Lazarus, Russel, ‘Dry Eye and Menopause’, Optometrists.org, 09/09/2020, Last Accessed January 2024
  6. Millar, Helen, ‘Dry Eyes and Menopause: What to Know’, Medical News Today, 18/09/23, Last Accessed January 2024
  7. ‘The Link Between Menopause and Dry Eye’, Slingsby & Huot Eye Associates, Last Accessed January 2024
  8. ‘Androgen Deficiency in Women’, Better Health Channel, Last Accessed January 2024
  9. ‘About Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)’, NHS, Accessed January 2024
  10. Osborn, Corrinne, ‘Menopause and Dry Eyes: What’s the Link?’, Healthline, Last Accessed January 2024
  11. ‘Dry Eyes: The Unexpected Symptom of Perimenopause and Menopause’, The Latte Lounge, 26/09/22, Last Accessed January 2024
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Hay Fever Season: How to Fight Dry Eye When You Step Outside 

Hay Fever, dry eye disease, or something else entirely?

 

Are dry eyes ruining your morning run? Do you struggle on your commute? Scared to wear makeup now for fear of it streaming down your face by the time you step into the office? Don’t worry, you’re not alone – and this doesn’t need to be a constant battle. 

 

Dry Eye or hay fever?

 

Often, people find that dry eyes are worse in the morning or before they go to bed. The first step to tackling your health problems is to work out its root cause. It could be dry eye disease causing your troubles, or it could be hay fever and allergy symptoms. 

 

Hay fever and seasonal allergies affect everyone in different ways. When hay fever season starts up (usually late March to September) you’ll see the symptoms worsening. From sneezing fits, to a runny nose and dry itchy eyes, hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen which is a common pollutant in the air. There is no current cure for hay fever, but you can take a medication called antihistamines to lessen its effect. [1]  

 

Field with butterflies

 

Some people do experience hay fever in the winter. This can be due to a number of reasons like living in a warmer climate where plants may not go dormant and therefore release pollen all year long. If you suffer from Allergic Rhinitis (which pollen is the most common cause of) you can also experience similar hay fever symptoms due to mould, pet dander, and even dust mites – all of which may feel worse due to being indoors more! Often people will mistake this for a common cold, but if you’re feeling itchy, think hay fever. If you’re feeling achy, think cold. 

 

It can be really tricky to work out if your symptoms are caused by dry eye disease or hay fever, but there are some key distinctions. If your dry eye symptoms improve in autumn and winter, it’s likely caused by a pollen allergy, rather than dry eye disease. Additionally, if you’ve also experienced cold-like symptoms such as a dry throat and runny nose, and you’re not experiencing a sensitivity to light or a gritty feeling in your eyes, it’s more likely to be hay fever and allergy symptoms. [2] 

 

Other conditions that could be causing your dry eye

 

If your dry eye symptoms hit before you’ve even had a chance to take a step out of the door though, then it’s time to consider other possible causes. Nocturnal Lagophthalmos can make it difficult to close your eye completely at night, leading to air exposure which worsens dry eye symptoms in the morning. [3] This condition has to be treated properly or it can lead to impaired vision. [4] 

 

Another possible explanation for painful, inflamed eyes in the morning is Blepharitis which is an inflammation along the edges of the eyelid. You may find your eyelids are crusty and itchy when you wake up, and you can even have issues opening your eyes. [5]

 

 

Other possible explanations for your dry eyes in the mornings

You may even find that certain medications that you take at bedtime can cause dry eye symptoms in the morning. Even antihistamines that you may take to lessen the symptoms of hay fever during the day can cause eyes to feel dry in the morning. [6]

 

Sleeping with air conditioning and heating units can also affect the way your eyes feel and your dry eye symptoms in the morning, as can your environment. [7] This can be a simple fix that will go a long way to improving your life. 

 

Many factors can cause dry, itchy, and even sore eyes when you wake up. Hormonal fluctuations and age can also contribute, so if you’ve noticed that you’re tearing up in the mornings more often as you approach your 60s, you’re not alone and you don’t need to worry. 

 

Luckily, many of the treatments for dry eye syndrome can soothe these symptoms and leave you feeling ready to start your day. 

 

Treating Dry Eye in the mornings 

 

If your symptoms most closely match dry eye and they worsen in the mornings then there are ways you can take action and treat it. Create a morning and evening routine that will help rather than harm. The hot air from hair dryers can worsen eye dryness so towel dry your hair instead. Use eye drops before bed to moisten your eyes. You can even wash your eyelids and use a warm compress if you’re looking to soothe chronic dry eye symptoms. [8]

 

Take a look at our 10 Tips To Ease Dry Eye at Night blog, as many of these tips will relieve symptoms the morning after as well. [9] 

 

Whether it’s hay fever and seasonal allergies, or dry eye disease, eye drops can definitely help you feel a little brighter and soothe painful, itchy eyes. VisuXL® Gel eye drops can lubricate your eyes for up to twelve hours using a thicker moisture barrier. Use them day and night! 

 

 

The best way to fight dry eyes when you step outside is good preparation. That includes working out what’s causing your irritation so you best know how to tackle it. To fight dry eyes in the morning a great routine for the morning and night will help relieve symptoms, as well as to make sure you’re supporting your overall eye health. Follow these tips for the hay fever season and beyond to feel ready to take on the day without dry eye disease bringing you down. 

 

We hope this article has answered your Dry Eye questions. However, if not please reach out to us on our socials, join our community on Facebook and Instagram, and discover more advice to help your eyes.

 

References

  1. NHS Inform, “Hay fever.”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  2. NI Direct, “Hay fever”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  3. Lazarus, Russel. “Why is Dry Eye Worse in the Mornings?” Optometrists.org, Last Accessed November 2023.
  4. Eye Clinic London, “Waking Up With Dry Eyes: Causes & Treatment.”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  5. Mayo Clinic, “Blepharitis – Symptoms & Causes.”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  6. Professional Vision | Ellicott City Eye Doctors, Eye Exam, Eyewear, “Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?”, Last Accessed November 2023.
  7. A. Vogel, “3 Reasons you have Dry Eyes in the Morning.” Last Accessed November 2023.
  8. Griff, Ann Marie, “9 Tips for Your Daily Routine with Chronic Dry Eye”, Healthline, Last Accessed November 2023.
  9. Wang, Michael TM. “10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night.” Dry Eye And Me, Last Accessed 6 November 2023.
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Can a Vegan Diet Improve Dry Eye Disease this Veganuary?

Are you thinking about taking part in Veganuary this year? Sufferers of dry eye are constantly on the lookout for solutions to their issues to ease their everyday irritation and pain. But could the secret lie within your diet? 

 

There’s plenty of research that proves there is a link between nutrition and eye health. When it comes to tackling symptoms of dry eye disease it’s important to take a look into your diet and what nutrients and vitamins you may be lacking. A vegan diet can be one of the most nutrient-rich and well-rounded diets in terms of its focus on plants and whole foods, meaning you can meet many of your nutritional needs without any animal products at all. This month is Veganuary, a yearly campaign that aims to get more people to try a vegan diet in January. Could trying it out this year help your eye health? The research suggests that it actually could! 

 

Woman with dry eyes holds her hand to her eye

 

Veganuary and a Plant-based Diet 

 

A plant-based diet focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and legumes. That means often vegans eat far less processed foods than those who would eat a traditional British diet. Vegans don’t consume any animal products or any animal by-products which excludes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and other foods from their diets altogether. It is entirely possible to get the right nutrition for eye health on a vegan diet through proper planning (just as any diet requires).[1] In fact, many medical professionals believe that it could be the best thing for those with dry eye disease as traditional medical advice for the disease is to lower protein, fat, and cholesterol intake.[2]

 

Hydration for Dry Eye

 

Plant-based diets rich in vegetables and fruits are often very rich in sources of hydration. Additionally, a focus on health with a plant-based diet can link to better habits for hydration overall. It’s been scientifically proven that staying hydrated through the day can ease the symptoms of dry eye disease – especially at night, making it easier to sleep and function through the day.[3] So if you’re bothered by irritated, itchy eyes then it’s time to start upping your hydration through both liquid intake and eating more fresh foods like watermelon, peaches, and cucumber (all suitable for a vegan diet!). Dry eye sufferers should be aiming to drink between eight and ten glasses of water a day.

 

Vitamins in a Vegan Diet 

 

However, a vegan diet offers much more than just hydration for dry eye sufferers. Studies show that dry eye can be improved with a proper diet – including a plant-based one.[4] One of the most important supplements to consider for your dry eyes is omega fatty acids. They can reduce inflammation in the eye, especially in the tear ducts that contribute to many dry eye symptoms. It’s also believed that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce dry eyes as they have an anti-inflammatory effect to help the cells in the retina and corneal heal after damage.[5] Most people see fish as their only source of omega-3s as salmon, halibut, herring, tuna, and molluscs like oysters are all rich in them. However, you can also get omega-3 from seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds, as well as some nuts.[6]

 

Woman rubbing her eyes, suffering from dry eye symptoms

 

When it comes to omega-3s there are three types to be aware of – ALA, EPA, and DHA. The body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA but the amount that’s converted is limited. ALA is a plant-based omega and can be found in many vegetables, seeds, and nuts. However, for adequate eye health, you should ensure you’re getting a good ratio of EPA and DHA. That means a vegan omega supplement might be a boost for your diet in the same way non-vegans often take fish oil as a supplement![7]

As well as omega-3 fatty acids, there are a few vitamins you should consider for your dry eye disease that a vegan diet can be super rich in. Lutein (often considered ‘the eye vitamin’) and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that can decrease the risk of cataracts and prevent eye diseases.[8] You can find lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy dark greens and avocados so grab your salad tongs and get eating. 

If you’ve heard anything about what foods are best for your eye health then you’ve probably heard you need to be eating your carrots. This is because carrots are particularly high in vitamin A content, as are sweet potatoes. Vitamin A helps to maintain a clear cornea, protecting and strengthening your eyes. 

Vitamin C can also help preserve eye health, fighting against dry eye which can develop as you age. Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons as well as red peppers. 

If you’d like to find out more about what foods you should be including in your diet for optimal eye health you can check out our blog on the topic – read here. 

When it comes to the foods that are best for dry eyes, nearly every one of the recommended items can be found in a standard vegan diet, meaning you can easily take care of your dry eye disease while taking part in Veganuary. 

 

large bowl of fruit and vegetables as part of a vegan diet

 

Issues with a Plant-Based Diet for Dry Eye

 

As with any diet, a vegan diet lacking balance and adequate nutritional sources will result in ill health. A vegan diet in which you’re not taking into account nutritional needs and supplementation can also result in nutritional problems that can worsen eye health.[9] Vitamin A deficiency in particular can cause issues like xerophthalmia where eyes do not produce tears causing dry eyes. There can be many causes of malnutrition including eating disorders, malabsorption, and vegan or vegetarian diets where nutritional needs are not met.[10] So while you can see malnutrition within a vegan diet, that can be the case with any diet. 

Nowadays, many vegan products are fortified to ensure that all needs are met. It’s more difficult to meet calcium requirements when you forgo calcium-rich dairy foods from your diet by substituting with soy milk as many vegans do. However, there is fortified soy milk available now which can help you meet your requirements and with a proper diet plan to meet all nutritional requirements you can still optimise your health through a vegan diet. Low-fat dairy milk can provide 25% of your fairy calcium in an 8-ounce serving, whereas an 8-ounce serving of original soy milk can provide 35% of your daily calcium needs as well as 130% of vitamin B12 and 35% of calcium.[11]

B12 is a nutrient many people are deficient in – not just vegans. However, the only reliable source of B12 for a vegan diet are fortified foods so supplementing is recommended – especially as vitamin B12 has been shown to improve symptoms of dry eyes by repairing and preserving the corneal nerve layer.[12]

 

woman chopping yellow and red pepper

 

Veganuary and Your Dry Eye Disease 

 

A vegan diet is extremely rich in plant-based foods which are incredible for your eye health. When it comes to tackling your dry eyes some supplementation might be necessary but as long as your diet is considered and varied, you should be able to get all the hydration and vitamins needed to help heal and preserve your dry eyes – and you’ll probably find you’re eating more fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds than ever before! As Dr Koetting from the American Optometric Association says, “All diets or eating habits can be done correctly or incorrectly. Knowing what you’re eating, what your body needs and how to make sure it’s in the diet is the important thing.”[13]

Try a month of eating vegan this 2024 for Veganuary and see how it impacts your health. For more information on how diet links to dry eye disease check out our blog on vitamins to boost eye health here.

 

References

  1. Ray, P, ‘Impact of a Vegan Diet on Visual Health’, Vision Science Academy, 01/03/2021, Accessed December 2021
  2. Gregor, M, ‘How to Treat Dry Eye Disease Naturally with Diet’, Nutrition Facts, 31/10/2017, Accessed December 2023
  3. Walsh, N, et al, ‘Is Whole-Body Hydration an Important Consideration in Dry Eye’, IOVS, September 2012, Vol.53, 6622-6627, Accessed December 2023
  4. Capogna, Laurie, ‘The Best Supplements for Dry Eye’, Eye Wellness, 13/07/2021, Accessed December 2023
  5. Dr Vegan, ‘7 Key Nutrients to Support your Eye Health’, Accessed December 2023
  6. Berg Feinfield Vision Correction, ‘6 Foods to Eat to Help Dry Eye’, 27/02/2020, Accessed December 2023
  7. Amandean, ‘Vegan Omega 3 for Dry Eyes’, 04/03/2022, Accessed December 2023
  8. Leighton’s Blog, ‘All-in for Veganuary 2022? The 5 Best Foods for your Eyesight’, 19/01/2022, Accessed December 2023
  9. Cirone, Cristina et al, ‘Linkage Between a Plant-based diet and Age-related diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis’, Nutrition reviews, vol. 81.4, 10/03/2022, Accessed December 2023
  10. Medical News Today, ‘What To Know About Dry Eyes in Kids’, Accessed December 2023
  11. Gonna Need Milk, ‘Milk vs Soy Milk’, Accessed December 2023
  12. Gilbert Eyecare, ‘Should I Take Vitamins if I Have Dry Eye Syndrome’, Accessed December 2023
  13. American Optometric Association, ‘Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free… Oh My!’, 11/07/2017, Accessed December 2023
Back to news

Dry Eye and Sjögren’s Syndrome

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

 

References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
Back to news

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos and Dry Eye

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

Shop now

 

References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
Back to news

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

Did you know that approximately one in ten patients with Dry Eye Disease also have Sjögren’s syndrome?[1] If you have both conditions, we’re here to support you. In this blog, we’ll be exploring the relationship between the two conditions and how you can treat them.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition, meaning that instead of protecting the body from abnormal cells, the immune system starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.[2] In this case, it affects the parts of the body that create fluids, like tears and saliva.[3] The condition can occur on its own or with other diseases linked to the immune system, like rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause dry eyes.[4] For more information on this condition, visit our blog: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dry Eye

couple laughing together

How are Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease linked?

Sjögren’s syndrome usually appears in people aged 40-60.[3] As with Dry Eye Syndrome, it is much more common in women than men, with women nine times more likely to have Sjögren’s syndrome.[3][4] While there isn’t yet a definitive answer as to why Sjögren’s syndrome affects women more than men, researchers believe it could be linked to the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels drop after menopause, which aligns with the ages that Sjögren’s syndrome appears.[5] To find out more about dry eyes and menopause, visit our blog: 5 Things You Need to Know About Menopause and Dry Eye

Overall, Sjögren’s syndrome and Dry Eye Disease are linked because of the immune system’s attack on tear glands. It limits the production of tears that would usually add moisture to your eyes, resulting in dry eyes.[6] Read on to find out more about the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes.

 

a dry eye

What are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome and dry eyes?

There are a whole host of Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms to look out for! These include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Rashes [3]

a woman struggling with dry eye disease at a desk

Because of the lack of tears being produced, people might notice Dry Eye symptoms such as:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Aching eyes
  • Eyes feel heavy
  • Eyes feel sore
  • Eyes feel gritty or sandy
  • Eyes are red
  • Eyes are blurry
  • Feeling fatigued

For more symptoms of dry eyes, visit our web page: Symptoms of Dry Eye

How do you treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome?

There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but there are treatments that can help alleviate symptoms.[3] Follow these steps:

 

Stay hydrated

woman with dry eye drinking a glass of water

Adding more water to your body is a great way to combat dry eyes. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body completely hydrated.[7] To help you do this, buy a labelled water bottle or keep a note of how much water you are drinking per day.

Avoid alcohol

a cold beer

Drinking alcohol is bad for dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome as it can dehydrate your body. As both conditions already do this, symptoms are intensified. Click here for more information: Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Eat well

fresh berries

What you eat can affect your eyes and health in general. You can support yourself by adding vitamins and minerals into your diet, such as Vitamin A, E and C.[8] Read more about eye health: 6 Vitamins for Dry Eyes

Consider moisture chamber goggles

man wearing moisture chamber goggles

Did you know wearing glasses can reduce tear evaporation by up to 30%? This can be maximised by wearing moisture chamber goggles.[2] These can be worn in the day, but it’s also a good idea to sleep in them. Find out more here: 10 Tips to Ease Dry Eye at Night

Use eye drops

a woman with dry eyes using eye drops

Lubricating your eyes is one of the best ways to treat dry eyes and Sjögren’s syndrome. To find out whether you should opt for eye drops or eye gel for dry eyes, read this useful resource: Eye Drops vs Eye Gel for the Treatment of Dry Eyes

 

For more information about conditions related to dry eyes, visit our blog: 6 Conditions that Cause Dry Eye.

 

In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

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References

  1. Akpek EK, Bunya VY, Saldanha IJ. ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome: More Than Just Dry Eye’, Cornea, National Library of Medicine, 2019 May;38(5):658-661. Accessed July 2023.
  2. NHS Inform, ‘Sjogren’s syndrome’, 23/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
  3. NHS, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’, 21/04/2020. Accessed July 2023.
  4. Women’s Health Research Institute, ‘Sjogren’s Syndrome More Common in Women’. Accessed July 2023.
  5. Arthritis Foundation, ‘Sjögren’s syndrome’. Accessed July 2023.
  6. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, ‘Sjögren’s Syndrome’, 01/2021. Accessed July 2023.
  7. Complete Eye Care, ‘How Does Hydration Affect My Eyes?’. Accessed July 2023.
  8. Meixner, M. ‘The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health’, 16/02/2023. Accessed July 2023.
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