Dry Eye Syndrome in Menopause and Perimenopausal Age Group

J Midlife Health. 2017 Apr-Jun;8(2):51-54. doi: 10.4103/jmh.JMH_41_17.


Dry eye disease (DED) is a multifactorial ocular surface disease that causes symptoms of ocular pain, discomfort, and decreased visual acuity. It significantly affects quality of life of patients. It is more prevalent in the females and is being specifically in the menopausal and postmenopausal age group. This is believed to be due to the changes in balance of sex hormones. Sex hormones - estrogens and androgens - influence production of all components of the tear film including aqueous layer, lipid, and mucin. Various mechanisms such as decrease in hormonal levels, shift in feedback mechanisms, and changes in receptor receptivity interplay to alter the ocular surface homeostasis and subsequently result in DED. Several studies have suggested potential role of hormone replacement therapy in menopause-associated dry eye symptoms. The purpose of this review is to help the non ophthalmic physicians about DED encountered commonly in menopausal age group. It is important for primary care physicians to understand DED due to its high prevalence, often debilitating symptoms and the potentially preventable and treatable nature of the condition.

Keywords: Dry eye syndrome; hormones; menopause.

Publication types

  • Review