Does menopause effect eyesight?
Most people develop age-related vision decline. Menopausal changes in hormone levels can cause additional difficulties with eye health and vision loss. Learning the causes and how to help prevent or reduce vision loss as we age could allow for many more years of seeing clearly and comfortably without the constant need for glasses or contacts.
There are a number of types of vision loss. Some do not have any correlation with aging or menopause, but I was interested in learning more about the one’s that do. I had always had extremely good vision. People actually commented on it when I read something in the distance, or noticed a detail in some fine print.
When I began struggling to read at work and was told I needed glasses, I wanted to learn how this happened and what I could do to improve or maintain my vision.
What are the Age-related Reasons for Vision Loss?
The gradual changes to your vision as you age where you suddenly find yourself having difficulty reading close-up or seeing your computer screen clearly.
Changes to the Physical Shape of the Eye:
The drop in estrogen and androgen levels can cause changes in eye pressure. This can change the shape of the eye causing vision to change.
The rate of women suffering from dry eye increases significantly from perimenopause through menopause. While dropping hormone levels are to blame for the onset of dry eye symptoms in perimenopause, studies have shown that HRT treatments that elevate estrogen levels actually appear to further aggravate the issue of dehydrated eyes.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
This is when a part of the retina begins to fail and vision becomes reduced. You may have more difficulty reading or your vision may be blurred. It does progress, so it is important to work with your eye doctor to slow the progression. This is more common for people in their sixties and older. While there is no cure, there are several treatments to help keep it from worsening.
How To Help Prevent or Reduce Vision Loss
Supplements to Assist with Eye Health
Vitamin A is the most common recommendation for assisting with eye health. Ensuring that you have enough Vitamin A in your diet will reduce the likelihood of dry eyes. If you have an adequate amount of Vitamin A in your diet will help to prevent developing night blindness.
The antioxidant properties in Vitamins C and E can help to prevent tissue damage in the body, including the eyes. Slowing or reducing the amount of damage to the tissues can lessen the development or progression of cataracts.
Studies have shown that the possibility of preventing Macular Degeneration has been associated with an increase of Vitamins A, C, and E in our daily diet.
NOTE: Information in this post should NEVER replace the advice of a medical professional. If you are experiencing vision issues, please contact your doctor as soon as possible. There may be underlying conditions or other factors that are contributing to the concerns you are experiencing,
Foods to Assist with Eye Health
Foods that contain beta carotene have always been recognized as beneficial for maintaining vision. Orange-colored fresh fruits and vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash are well known for containing beta-carotene, but it can also be found in green veggies such as broccoli, kale, and romaine lettuce.
It is always advisable to get your vitamins from the food whenever possible, so indulging in vision-friendly foods is the best way to maintain eye health.
Are There Eye Exercises to Help Prevent or Reduce Vision Loss?
Yes. There are eye exercises that claim to help strengthen the muscles in the eyes.
Weakening eye muscles are a key factor for weakened eye health and reducing clear vision. When eye muscles lose strength, the ability to focus becomes more difficult and double vision can occur.
By following a routine of eye exercises, it is possible to strengthen or maintain the strength of your eye muscles. This can result in clearer focus.
Physical Exercise to Reduce or Prevent Vision Loss
Regular cardio exercise can benefit your vision in a few ways. The increased blood flow from any aerobic exercise not only improves the blood flow to your heart, but it improves the blood flow to the optic nerve. This reduces the risk of glaucoma and cataracts.
In general, the benefits of exercise can help to prevent health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which have a direct effect on eye health.
Warm Compresses for Dry Eyes
When I first noticed that I was struggling with my vision, my optometrist told me that I had dry eyes. He recommended that I apply warm compresses to my eyes every night before I went to sleep. His instructions were to place warm (NOT HOT) compresses on my closed eyes for only a few minutes. He emphasized that the compresses should never be too hot or left on long enough to be uncomfortable.
He explained that this was to encourage the tear ducts to function naturally, allowing them to moisturize the eyes without the use of synthetic tears.
It has been proven that eating well, using supplements when necessary, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in regular cardio exercise will help to prevent or delay vision loss or at least the severity that you experience. This, along with regular visits to the eye doctor will maintain your eyesight for as long as possible and address any needs that your eyes may have before they become damaged.