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Hormones and eye health: can your hormones affect your eyesight?


Hormones are important chemical messengers that impact many processes in our bodies. But did you know that there is a link between hormones and your eyesight?

Read on to discover some common eye problems you could be at risk of experiencing, such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) and how they actually relate to your hormones.

Understanding hormones and their impact on eye health

There are several hormones that can affect your wellbeing as a woman, including oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. However, the role hormones play in relation to your eyes and eyesight is less well known.

Oestrogen is known to have a protective effect on eye health, as it helps to maintain the moisture and health of the ocular surface, as well as the retinal nerve fibres. It also helps to improve blood flow to the retina, which can help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Progesterone is another hormone that can affect eye health in women. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the risk of eye diseases like uveitis and glaucoma.

Testosterone also plays a role as it helps to maintain the structure and function of the meibomian glands, which help to produce tears.

Hormones and presbyopia

Presbyopia is a common age-related eye condition that affects the ability to see objects up close. It occurs due to a natural ageing process that causes the eye's lens to become less flexible and less able to focus on nearby objects. This typically occurs in women around the age of 40, and the condition usually worsens with age.

The hormonal shifts associated with perimenopause and menopause can also play a part in triggering these vision changes. For example, reduced levels of androgens and testosterone may affect your tear production. Your eye lens can lose elasticity as a result, making it hard to focus on things like menus and phone screens as well as you used to.

Further, as oestrogen levels decline, you may experience dry eye syndrome, which can lead to discomfort, blurred vision, and an increased risk of eye infections.

Lifestyle changes to improve eye health

Making lifestyle changes can help maintain hormone balance, and improve your health overall as well as helping to avoid eye problems. It is important to maintain a healthy hormone balance through regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management techniques and good sleep habits. But what about presbyopia?

Reading glasses for presbyopia

Maintaining a good hormonal balance alone will not prevent or treat presbyopia. Corrective lenses in reading glasses can however compensate for this problem. By bending and focusing light before it reaches the eye's lens, eyeglasses can make up for the natural lens's decreased curve. Thus, wearing reading glasses in the right strength for you, can help you read books, screens and menus more clearly close up.

The final word on hormones and eye health

Overall, your hormones play a crucial role in maintaining eye health. This manifests for the most part as we age and our hormone levels decrease, which can lead to a range of eye problems, from presbyopia to dry eyes.

Maintaining a hormone balance through a healthy lifestyle can help promote good eye health. Additionally, using reading glasses is the most effective tool to manage presbyopia and prevent eye strain. See our favourites below.

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