One common and chronic eye problem that many people–especially older adults–experience is dry eye. A person with this condition generally does not have enough quality tears to lubricate and sustain the eye. This does not seem like a huge deal–but tears are extremely crucial in maintaining the front surface of the eye, and ensuring clearer and better vision. Dry eye can occur for a number of reasons. In fact, it’s even possible the condition is menopause-related. The premier source of top-of-the-line eyeglass frames in the Charlotte, NC area, Excel Eyecare OD PA, shares what you need to know about menopause-related dry eye.

The Connection Between Dry Eye and Menopause

Did you know that about 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women are affected by dry eye? As the body transitions to menopause, it begins to produce less androgen, estrogen, and progesterone. What happens is that the decrease in androgen hormone affects the meibomian and lacrimal glands of the eyelids. These glands produce the oil and fluid that allows for quality tear production. When they become affected by menopause, the eyelids become inflamed instead, lowering the amount and the quality of the tears they generate. This ultimately leads to dry eye. 

The Symptoms of Dry Eye 

Women over the age of 45 are at risk of dry eye. You might want to go for comprehensive eye health exams once you start experiencing these uncomfortable symptoms:

  • Burning in the eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchiness and redness in the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • The feeling of a foreign body lodged into the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stringy mucus near the eye

Deal with Dry Eye Promptly

It’s important that dry eye is diagnosed and treated immediately because it can create issues that go beyond discomfort. For example, eye infections become more common when a person has this condition. Basically, the eyes lose the protection provided by tears, allowing foreign matter to enter and cause infection. If left untreated, dry eye can even cause abrasion to the corneal surface, corneal ulcers, and severe vision problems. 

Of course, dry eye has to be diagnosed first through a careful eye examination by a premier optometrist like Excel Eyecare OD PA. This will help determine the cause and contributing factors to your condition. Once the exact reason is verified, one of several treatments may be prescribed. For mild cases of dry eye, prescription eye drops will usually work, but if the condition is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), a hormonal imbalance experienced by menopausal women, LipiFlow might be the better and more effective option. 

What is LipiFlow Dry Eye Treatment?

LipiFlow is a procedure that goes straight into the common cause of dry eye–congestion in the meibomian gland that leads to insufficient tear production. Using a technology called Vectored Thermal Pulsation, LipiFlow sends heat pulses to the glands via the eyelids. A gentle massage is applied with warm and soft heat, effectively removing any blockages in the meibomian glands. Following a session of this treatment, the glands will be able to resume normal oil production for the tear films. This alleviates the discomfort and other symptoms related to dry eye, allowing your eyes to see properly again. The team at Excel Eyecare OD PA will be more than happy to walk you through the entire LipiFlow procedure, and answer any questions you may have about this excellent treatment option.

How to Prevent Dry Eye

There are a couple of things you can do to augment the effects of LipiFlow and head off dry eye. Here are some of them:

  • Make sure air doesn’t blow into your eyes, whether it’s from hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners, or fans.
  • Always wear wraparound sunglasses and other protective eyewear when venturing outside, but especially when the weather is dry and windy. 
  • Eat a diet that is high in Vitamin A. This is usually found in carrots, liver, and broccoli. Including food with high omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in walnuts, vegetable oils, and fish, can also help reduce your risk of dry eye.
  • Take frequent eye breaks when using digital devices. Close your eyes for a few minutes, or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to evenly spread tears over your eyes.

Why You Should Choose Excel Eyecare OD PA

Your eye health is of utmost importance. For this reason, you will want to seek the right support from the outset if you are experiencing eye problems. For many North Carolinians, the trusted name to visit is Excel Eyecare OD PA. We are not just your trusted source of high-quality eyeglass frames–you can also count on us to treat a number of vision problems, including menopause-related dry eye. Here are more of the reasons to choose us for your eye care needs:

  • Full-Service Eye Health and Vision Care. Headed by Dr. Angela Bergin, Excel Eyecare OD PA offers a wide range of eye services. These include binocular vision evaluations, contact lens fittings, glaucoma testing, dry eye treatments, and LASIK surgical consultations. You can count on us to accurately diagnose the exact cause of your eye problem, and match you with its most appropriate and effective solution. We look forward to serving the eye health needs of you and your loved ones.
  • Competent and Attentive Staff. Dr. Bergin, a licensed optometrist in practice for nearly 20 years, has selected each member of our team based upon their expertise, professional demeanor, and commitment in delivering personalized optometric services to our patients. At Excel Eyecare OD PA, we want to give you not only high-quality eye care treatments, like Ortho-K and LipiFlow–we aim to provide you with a satisfying experience in a safe and comfortable environment, as well.
  • Advanced Options. Excel Eyecare OD PA stays current on the latest advances in eye health and vision care. In fact, Dr. Bergin regularly attends continuing education seminars and training courses to provide you with the best and most progressive eye health and vision care available. We also take pride in being involved with our community, participating in InfantSEE, a no-cost program to provide comprehensive infant eye assessments for children between the ages of six months and a year old.
  • Convenient and Flexible Financing. At Excel Eyecare OD PA, we want you to invest in your eye health with greater confidence. Let our knowledgeable staff work with you to help you understand your vision coverage and provide financial alternatives. This way, you can get the best vision care you need right at this moment.

Schedule Your Eye Consultation Today!

Whether you need comprehensive eye health exams or dry eye treatment, Excel Eyecare OD PA has got you covered. With our safe and effective solutions, we will make sure you can enjoy a lifetime of clearer and healthier eyesight. We proudly serve Charlotte, NC and other areas in Mecklenburg County. Call us today at (980) 319-1870 or fill out this form to schedule your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!