Dry Eyes and Your Menstrual Cycle
Dry eyes are a very common symptom among many women today. New research suggests that dry eyes may be related to to women’s monthly cyclical changes in hormone levels, in particular, related to their estrogen levels. This research suggests that the estrogen peak (seen above) which occurs during the follicular phase is associated with impairment of tear production resulting in ocular dryness and inflammation. (Versura P, et al 2007)
Update: Researchers in Thailand have published the results of a recent trial which studied the effect of hormone therapy for dry eye syndrome in post-menopausal women.
Group A comprised 21 patients given transdermal 17 beta-estradiol (50 mg/day) and medroxy progesterone acetate (2.5 mg/day) continuously for three months and group B comprised 21 patients given both transdermal and oral placebo.
Unfortunately, after three months of hormone therapy, this group did not demonstrate improvement in dry eye symptoms over placebo.
- Versura P, Fresina M, Campos EC. Ocular surface changes over the menstrual cycle in women with and without dry eye. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2007 Jul;23(7):385-90.
- Piwkumsribonruang N, Somboonporn W, Luanratanakorn P, Kaewrudee S, Tharnprisan P, Soontrapa S. Effectiveness of hormone therapy for treating dry eye syndrome in postmenopausal women: a randomized trial. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Jun;93(6):647-52.