The journey through menopause is a significant phase in a woman's life, marked by a range of physical and emotional changes. While many are familiar with the common symptoms like hot flushes, mood swings and night sweats, one aspect often overlooked is how menopause can affect your vision. As an independent family optician, and to mark World Menopause Day, we’re shedding light on this topic to help women prioritise their eye health during this transitional period.
Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, although it can begin earlier or later for some women. It's defined as the cessation of menstrual cycles for 12 consecutive months, marking the end of a woman's reproductive years. The hormonal fluctuations that accompany menopause can lead to a wide array of symptoms, including changes in vision.
World Menopause Day18 October 2023
- Dry eyes: One of the most common vision-related complaints during menopause is dry eyes. Hormonal shifts can affect the composition of tears, leading to reduced tear production and a higher likelihood of experiencing dry, gritty or irritated eyes. This can result in discomfort and blurred vision. At Barracloughs we stock a range of fantastic preservative-free dry eye solutions to soothe the eyes.
- Fluctuating vision: Hormonal changes can also cause fluctuations in vision, making it challenging for some women to maintain clear eyesight. This may be particularly evident when reading or using digital devices.
- Increased risk of eye conditions: Menopause is associated with an increased risk of certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. These conditions can develop over time and may not show noticeable symptoms in their early stages, making regular sight examinations crucial.
- Blurred vision: Blurred vision may occur due to hormonal fluctuations affecting the shape of the eye's lens. As a result, some women may need to update their spectacles or contact lens prescriptions during menopause.
- Changes in colour perception: Some women report subtle changes in their perception of colours during menopause. While this is generally not a cause for concern, it's essential to monitor any significant shifts in colour vision, as it could be indicative of underlying eye issues.
Night blindness (difficulty seeing in low light conditions) is also common in postmenopausal women - and more common than in men of the same age. Some women also become more sensitive to light during menopause. This can make it difficult to be in bright environments.