The link between hormones and dry eyes

The hormonal changes that women go through during menopause have a wide systemic effect – from eyes to skin – the effects can be summed up in one word: dry. 

Most research agrees that menopause-related dry eyes is the result of decreased production of the hormone oestrogen but newer research has also found that decreased production of the hormone androgen might also play a role. 

Oestrogen and androgen are both known to regulate the production, quality and flow of both the water and oil components of your tears, which are produced by the lacrimal gland and the meibomian glands respectively. The disruption to these two glands means that the eye becomes irritated and inflamed and starts to produce a poorer quantity and quality of tears as a result. As our tears exist to keep the eye surface hydrated and nourished, this is ultimately what causes dry eyes.  

The cause that always surprises people the most is the role of hormones in dry eyes. Any major hormonal change; be it pregnancy, taking the pill or peri-menopause and menopause can cause dry eyes. 



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