Your Eyes and Your Hormones, and Your Medications!

Hormones affect most of our body's tissues, even our eyes. Most often the things I discuss with patients regarding their eyes is dryness, irritation, and decreased vision. Very often we forget that behind the scenes there is actually information that hormones can help your vision. For overall eye health and questions regarding eyes you may want to check the American Academy of Ophthalmology pregnancy the side effects on your eyes can be the dryness, but the hormone levels can also cause pressure changes which can lead to poor fit of your contact lenses at a minimum and to vision changes for others. Interestingly that pressure change that leads to lower pressures takes pressure off the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness as we age, and it is due to pressure on the optic nerve. As we age and have increased pressure on that nerve we lose visual acuity as well as have risk of blindness. Pregnant women have lower risk of glacoma, and women in menopause on estrogen decrease their risk of glacoma. Women who have had premature removal of their ovaries (prior to age 40) have increased risks of glacoma as well. As we transition through menopause women c/o dry eyes as well. Sometimes the hormones in birth control pills can cause affects on our eyes, such as these same pregnancy changes: with the side effects as well as the benefits!. But other medications, not just hormones like estrogens, birth control pills, and corticosteroids, can have eye and vision changes. When listing the benefits and side effects of medications often the infrequently occurring medical consequences are not discussed. We know that vitamin A can improve night vision. Another medication gynos prescribe for heavy menstrual bleeding is Lysteda, has an uncommon side effect of an eye irritation called llignenous conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an irritation of the eye surface that can be cause by infections or toxins, and other medicines can have that effect as well. Overall eye health has many facets, and we cannot discuss them all. Smoking is harmful to your eye health for instance. Meanwhile, it has been shown that antioxidants are good for your eyes. In fact one study showed that even the topical antioxidatants that are used to help prevent sun damage can help your eyes and enhance the effect of sun screen. So next time you grab for your shades, grab your sunscreen as well, or come on over to find out what we recommend at Hada Cosmetic Medicine!

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