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Can Low Estrogen Cause Dry Eyes

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How Can Your Eye Doctor Help With Dry Eyes

Natural Hormones Can Reverse or Diminish Dry Eyes

If you suspect that you may have dry eye syndrome, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. Once they diagnose you, your optometrist will use their knowledge of your medical history to recommend a specific course of action for managing your dry eyes. They may also be able to help you by:

What Doctors Are Saying

A lot of my patients have seen great success in using a combination of scheduled in-practice treatments as well as daily, at home treatments to improve management of Dry Eye.

Dr. Jeff Goodhew

Oakville, ON

With advancing technology we now can image the damaged structures that can cause dry eye disease and recommend preventive measures to improve future eye health.

Dr. Trevor Miranda

Duncan, BC

Practicing with a focus on dry eye disease has allowed our patients to get appropriate and adequate care for a disease that has been under diagnosed for decades. Finally we have the tools and scientific support to get people the help they need to preserve their visual comfort.

Dr. Richard Maharaj

Reasons For Low Estrogen

There are times when your estrogen levels fluctuate, such as during your period or when youre pregnant. But as you get older and approach menopause, your estrogen levels decline. For some, it happens earlier. Any condition that impairs the ovaries can reduce estrogen production.

Low estrogen levels can have a serious impact on your life. Fortunately, there are ways to replenish your estrogen supply so you dont have to suffer from the many life-altering symptoms.

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Effects Of Hormonal Replacement Therapy

Hormonal replacement therapy has proven both beneficial and harmful to postmenopausal women depending on the specific hormones used and the organ system being studied. This is the case in dry eye as well. It is debated whether HRT increases, decreases, or does not affect risk of dry eye. Schaumberg et al. found that estrogen plus progesterone HRT significantly increased the risk over no HRT with an odds ratio of 1.29. It has also been reported that greater doses of both estrogen only and estrogen plus progesterone HRT result in increased dry eye symptom severity compared with lower doses of the same treatments. Other studies have found that HRT actually decreases ocular complaints and increases the quantitative tear production. Further, Jensen et al. reported women taking > 5 years of HRT had significantly fewer ocular complaints and greater tear production than women taking < 5 years of HRT.

Surprising Symptoms Of Perimenopause

Does Low Estrogen Cause Dry Eyes

Ringing in your ears? Weird bruises on your leg ? A urinary tract infection that leads to yet another prescription for antibiotics?

These are all secret symptoms of perimenopause. You might find you have them along with the more common symptoms of hot flashes and irregular periods. Or, as your only symptoms. But no matter how many symptoms you have, once you understand a little better what is going on with your body, you can relax a bit and also give it the little extra hormonal help it needs.

How many of the following surprising symptoms look or feel familiar to you?

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Low Estrogen Levels And Weight Gain: Is There A Connection

Sex hormones, such as estrogen, influence the amount of fat in the body. Estrogen regulates glucose and lipid metabolism. If your estrogen levels are low, it can result in weight gain.

Research suggests that this may be why women approaching menopause are likely to become overweight. Being overweight can increase your risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

If your estrogen levels are low and its affecting your weight, speak with your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and advise you on next steps. Its always a good idea to try to eat a balanced diet and exercise as often as possible. Talk with your doctor about developing a diet and exercise plan thats right for you.

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What Causes Low Levels Of Estrogen

Low estrogen levels can result from many factors, including:

  • Being underweight

A post shared by Uzzi Reiss, MD, FAARFM, ABAARM on Mar 25, 2020 at 7:06am PDT

Estrogen guides who we are, how we feel, and how we act. It regulates our bodys development, our mental well-being, our emotional fortitude, our cognitive discipline, our sexual drive essential components of our livelihood. As we age, women naturally lose estrogen and men lose testosterone.

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What You Can Do About It

If you think you might have low estrogen, the first thing to do is talk to your doctor. They can test your hormone levels to make sure this is the case. Then they can work with you to figure out why this might be happening so you can get the correct treatment.

If you have symptoms of low estrogen, you shouldnt tough it out. Theres help for you! Dr. Eyvazzadeh says. And if you dont have a doctor that is listening and paying attention to your symptoms then find another one. A gynecologist should be able to help with symptoms of low estrogen.

Its important, though, to rule out menopause as a factor. If you suspect premature menopause, you do want to see your gynecologist, because women with premature menopause need to be on hormonal therapy, says Dr. Minkin. The rate of premature menopause is high enough that everyone should know how to check for it and the symptoms, says Dr. Eyvazzadeh.

Having low estrogen isnât immediately dangerous per se but it definitely affects your bodyâs performance on a number of levels. If youâve read the symptoms and think your estrogen might be low, talk to your doctor about getting your levels tested. Your doctor can help you get your levels, and your life, back on track.

Studies Cited


Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale University School of Medicine

Here Are 7 Surprising Signs That You May Be Perimenopausal

Dry Eyes Due to Menopause: Tips To Take care of Your Vision During Menopause | Dr. Anin Sethi

1. Ringing in the ears. Your ears might be ringing or maybe its more like a swishing sound in the ears in a pulsating rhythm. The sound may also be humming, buzzing or like waves crashing. A certain form of tinnitus is more likely for women in menopause. Research shows a womans hearing can be temporarily affected when progesterone levels are high, during the latter portion of monthly cycles.

2. Heart palpitations. Heart palpitations can be an early symptom of perimenopause caused by increasing follicle stimulating hormone as your body tries to stimulate ovulation. You may feel hot flashes or anxiety along with them or not. When it comes to an irregular heartbeat, I recommend that you talk with your healthcare provider to make sure theres no other reason youre experiencing it.

3. Tingling in the extremities. Getting all the nutrients we need is harder in menopause. And some nutrient deficiencies can lead to specific symptoms. Take vitamin B12, for example. Without enough of it, you might feel tingling or numbness in your hands and feet Although B12 deficiency is quite common, testing for it can be tricky , and as a result, it can go undiagnosed.

Increased clumsiness can make bruising another common symptom of perimenopause occur even more. You may even bruise so easily that you dont remember how the bruises got there. This can result from changes in hormones or from differences in the amount of nutrients youre getting in your diet.

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Female Hormones And Vision

“Women often experience some changes in their vision during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause as a result of hormones,” says Albert Pang, O.D., optometrist and owner,of Trinity Eyecare in Plano, Texas.

Estrogen is thought to be the biggest culprit, and most of the hormonally charged changes in vision occur during milestone stages of a woman’s life.

When a young girl enters puberty, Dr. Pang says the sudden increase in estrogen in her body may cause an increase in nearsightedness, also called myopia. During pregnancy a woman’s body will have a constant surge of both estrogen and progesterone, which can also cause blurry vision or trouble focusing.

“Changes in vision related to pregnancy are usually temporary and reverse themselves a few weeks after delivery,” says Dr. Pang.

The hormonal shifts associated with perimenopause and menopause can also trigger vision changes.

“When a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels greatly decrease, as is common with menopause, vision is usually less ‘nearsighted’ than before menopause,” said Dr. Pang.

The result is trouble reading fine print or focusing on things close up without the help of lenses or a magnifying glass. Dr. Pang says the increased water retention that’s common with a loss of estrogen is what generally leads to inflammation of the cornea, which makes it difficult to focus.

A woman’s menstrual cycle can also affect vision.

Menopause Causing Dry Eyes

With age, tear production drops. When you cross 50, it increases your risk of dry eyes, regardless of your gender. However, postmenopausal women are more prone to dry eyes. Sex hormones, such as androgens and estrogen, can somehow affect tear production, but the definite relationship is unknown.

Previously, researchers believed that low estrogen levels were producing dry eyes in postmenopausal women, but new investigations focus on androgens role. Androgens are sex hormones in men and women. However, women have lower levels of androgens, to begin with, and those levels decline after menopause. Androgens may play a vital role in maintaining the fine balance of tear production.

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What About Conventional Medicine

In the first instance, your doctor is likely to suggest the use of lubricating eye drops which act as substitute tears.

If symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest the use of HRT. You may find that some types of HRT improve the condition, while the side effects of others worsen the condition, so you may need to try a few types of treatment before finding the most effective one for you.

If you are concerned about your condition, feel it is deteriorating, experience pain or if your vision is affected, speak to your doctor or optician. Your eyesight is very important and you should take no chances if there is any doubt as to the cause of your symptoms.

Causes Of Low Estrogen

Does Low Estrogen Cause Dry Eyes

Low estrogen symptoms surface when the signaling pathway from the brain to the ovaries doesnt work. The malfunctioning has a few causes.

1. Excess Exercise

First of all, overexercising is one of the three contributors to a medical syndrome known as the Athletes Triad. Together with irregular eating and bone loss, it leads to low estrogen levels. Sports like figure skating, distance running, and gymnastics are responsible for this phenomenon.

2. Restricting Fat and Calories

Also, estrogens are hormones. Cholesterol forms the backbone of all hormones in the body. Since this is true, severely reducing dietary fat would hamper estrogen production. Fat levels below 22% may prevent menstrual bleeding. This research suggests that estrogen regulates the fatty tissue in cells.

3. Genetics

A womans genes may explain why she doesnt have enough estrogen. Also, medication, such as radiation and chemotherapy, may bring about low estrogen levels.

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Which Hormones Effect Our Eyes

Everyone experiences hormonal changes throughout their lives, and these changes affect all parts of your body, including your eyes.

Sex hormones are the hormones most likely to affect our eyes and our vision. In particular, they play a big part in how dry or moist our eyes are and feel.

There are sex hormone receptors in our conjunctival goblet cells, lacrimal glands and meibomian glands. These three sites are responsible for making the three major components of our tears. These three components make up the three different layers of our tear film . Disruption to one or more of these layers can result in dry eye symptoms.

Hormonal changes during puberty

During puberty, the large influx of hormones causes many changes for children. As their arms and legs lengthen, so do their eyeballs! A lengthening eyeball can result in blurry vision and myopia, or short-sightedness.

Myopia can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses. And once the eyes have stopped changing, myopia can also be corrected with laser vision correction surgery.

Symptoms Of Low Estrogen

As weve learned, estrogen affects a multitude of functions and systems in our bodies. So it would only make sense that when our estrogen is low, the effects would be wide-reaching.

Here are five surprising symptoms of low estrogen that I think every woman should be aware of!

Getting your hormones tested is a great next step if you resonate with any of these symptoms.

I would recommend partnering up with a trained practitioner who has experience balancing womens hormones.

Hormonal balance is extremely delicate. And as youre about to learn, even the slightest change in that balance can cause a host of symptoms. Thats why working with someone who has experience in this area is your best bet to getting back on the road to full hormonal health!

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Vaginal Dryness: Symptoms Causes Remedies

Vaginal dryness can cause painful intercourse and persistent pelvic pain, among other symptoms. While it’s more common in menopausal women, it also affects younger women.

A handful of factors can affect vaginal dryness. Estrogen is the most important hormonal influence on the health of the vulva and vagina. Low estrogen can contribute to dryness. Diet and the use of certain medications also are important factors. You can expect any medications that cause dry eyes and dry mouth to have a similar effect on the vagina.

Estrogen levels in the blood vary during the month and follow a common pattern to each menstrual cycle. For women who are not on hormonal birth control, levels are lowest in the days just before and after the start of menstrual bleeding. This low level sometimes can contribute to vulvar and vaginal dryness. Very low-dose hormonal birth control can contribute to dryness.

Women bothered by vaginal dryness should have a thorough discussion and exam with their health care provider to determine the most likely cause for these symptoms. Other causes of vulvovaginal pain and irritation may be responsible for the symptoms.

An exam will ensure the correct diagnosis is made and less common, but more serious, conditions are not missed. Your provider will help you determine the best course of treatment.

Many times, women inadvertently worsen their symptoms by using multiple creams or other home treatments before seeing their provider.

Topics in this Post

Q: Can Dry Eye Syndrome Damage Your Eyes

Menopause & Dry Eyes: How Your Hormones Impact Your Eyes
  • A: Yes. Without sufficient tears, your eyes are not protected from the outside world, leading to an increased risk of eye infections. Severe dry eye syndrome can lead to abrasions or inflammation on the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This can cause pain, a corneal ulcer, and long-lasting vision problems.Menopause causes many changes throughout your body. If youre experiencing dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes, contact The Dry Eye Center Of NY & NJ to find out what dry eye treatments are available to give your eyes relief.

The Dry Eye Center Of NY & NJ serves patients from New York City, Newark, Jersey City, and Elizabeth, all throughout New York.

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Hot Flashes And Night Sweats

If you suddenly feel heat coming from nowhere and spreading through your body, accompanied by sweating, palpitation and body tingling, you might be experiencing hot flashes.

If you also find yourself inexplicably and profusely sweating at night, it might be a case of night sweats.

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain responsible for controlling several body functions, including body temperature.

A hormonal imbalance disrupts your bodys levels of estrogen the primary female sex hormone and diminishes its production.

Reduced estrogen levels send confusing signals to the hypothalamus, causing it to suspect body overheating. This causes the hypothalamus to activate its coping mechanism to cool down the body through excessive sweating.

According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Womens Health, hot flashes and night sweats affect 75 percent of perimenopausal women and are the most common symptoms of menopausal transition.

Indigestion And Gastrointestinal Discomfort

One of the most overlooked symptoms of a hormonal imbalance is indigestion. Hormones play a key role in practically every function of your body, including digestion.

Gastrin, secretin and cholecystokinin are three hormones found in the gastrointestinal tract that contribute to digestion by assisting in breaking down food for quick absorption into the bloodstream.

An imbalance in these digestive hormones leads to poor food breakdown, causing indigestion characterized by bloating, abdominal cramps, a burning sensation in the stomach, belching and nausea.

Furthermore, a 2012 study published in Gender Medicine notes that gastrointestinal discomforts like abdominal pain, bowel pain and bloating occurring during menstruation and early menopause are mainly due to reduced estrogen and progesterone production.

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How Can You Prevent & Manage Dry Eyes During Or After Menopause

Unfortunately, there isnt much you can do to control your bodys natural hormone levels. However, you can reduce your risk of developing severe dry eye symptoms in several other ways. Here are a few strategies we recommend:

  • Avoid activities that require staring at objects for long periods. If you work in front of a computer for most of the day, take frequent breaks to rest your eyes and remember to blink periodically.
  • Use protective eyewear when performing outdoor activities. Sunglasses can offer some protection from wind, and wrap-around variants may also shield your eyes from dry air.
  • Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist. That way, at least youll always be able to come back to a place where your eyes are comfortable after going out to run errands or take part in activities.
  • Contact lens wear may exacerbate symptoms of dry eyes. If you wear contact lenses and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, ask your optometrist about contact lens options which are more suitable for dry eye patients.
  • Change your diet to include more omega-3 fatty acids, which help the body fight inflammation. Eating more omega-3s may help reduce the inflammation and redness that often accompany dry eyes.

These strategies can make severe dry eye symptoms less likely, and may also alleviate specific symptoms that have already occurred. However, its also a good idea to visit your eye doctor and follow their recommendations for managing dry eyes if you have them.

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