Changing Hormones Mean Changes to Your Vision
All right ladies, we all know that hormones regulate important functions in the body throughout our lifetime, including puberty, pregnancy and menopause. But did you know changes in your hormones can also affect your vision?
You may be surprised to learn that there is a correlation between increased levels of estrogen brought on by puberty and an increase in nearsightedness in young women. Why? Because of the natural combination of hormonal fluctuation and the lengthening of the eyeball as the body grows. Often, when hormones stabilize nearsightedness may even resolve. In the meantime, get regular (annual) eye exams for teens and tweens, and check in with them to make sure they’re not having problems with blurriness.
Vision in Women of Child-Bearing Age
Changes in vision is fairly common in women from their late teens and well into their thirties, often as a result of medication. Birth control pills, antihistamines and antidepressants are just a few of the types of medicines that can cause a change in how well you can see. One common symptom is dry eye. Partial loss of vision or double vision is rare, but possible. If you experience either condition, contact your eye doctor immediately.
Pregnancy can also have an effect on your vision—again because of changes in hormones. Eye irritation, blurred vision and watery or dry eyes can especially impact whether you can wear contact lenses during this time. If you’re noticing vision changes, we recommend you come in for an appointment so we can confirm that it’s just fluctuations in your prescriptions and not something more serious.
Vision in Perimenopause and Menopause
Before and during menopause, you may experience dry, gritty, burning or tired eyes. This is due to a reduction in the amount of estrogen in your body, which can also cause the cornea of the eyes to be inflamed.
Women who have had a hysterectomy, no matter the age, may experience changes in vision while receiving hormone replacement therapy and until hormone levels stabilize.
Make Sure to Receive Annual Eye Exams
Changes in your vision caused by fluctuations in hormones are a normal part of a woman’s life. Annual checkups will make sure that we can help you to easily manage them as we continually ensure your eyes remain as healthy as possible.
Just remember that, if your vision changes within a few months, there is no rule saying that you can only see the eye doctor once per year. If you experience sudden changes in vision, contact us immediately so that we can evaluate what’s happening and look for signs of other health issues. You deserve to see well no matter how many months have passed, and the cost of an office visit is much less than months of struggling to see.