Have you ever noticed that your eyes feel dry, irritated, or gritty more often than usual? You’re not alone. Dry eye disease is a common condition that affects millions of people, with women being more likely to experience it than men. But why is this the case? Understanding why dry eye disease is more common in women can help in managing and treating this condition effectively. 

Hormonal changes 

One of the main reasons dry eye disease is more common in women is due to hormonal changes. Hormones play a crucial role in maintaining tear production and eye health. Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal fluctuations can significantly impact tear film stability. 

  • Menopause: As women age and reach menopause, estrogen and androgen levels decrease. These hormones are essential for stimulating tear production. A decrease in these hormones often leads to reduced tear production, leading to dry eyes. 
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect tear production and composition. Many pregnant women experience dry eye symptoms due to these fluctuations. 
  • Birth control pills: Some birth control pills alter hormone levels in a way that can lead to decreased tear production and increased dry eye symptoms. 

Autoimmune diseases 

Women are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, which can significantly impact eye health. Sjögren’s syndrome, in particular, is directly associated with severe dry eye disease. This condition causes the body’s immune system to attack the glands that produce tears and saliva, leading to chronic dryness. 

Cosmetic use 

Using eye makeup and cosmetic procedures near the eyes can lead to dry eye disease. Products like mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow can block the meibomian glands in the eyelids, which are responsible for producing oils that prevent tears from evaporating too quickly. Eyelash extensions and certain cosmetic procedures can also interfere with the normal functioning of these glands, exacerbating dry eye symptoms. 

At Northwest Hills Eye Care, we see many female patients seeking relief from the discomfort of dry eyes. If you struggle with dry eyes, our dry eye specialists in Austin offer a range of treatments to help you find relief. From prescription eye drops and ointments to treating oil glands and lifestyle changes, we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs. 

If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, don’t let them interfere with your quality of life. Contact Northwest Hills Eye Care in Austin today to schedule an eye exam and discuss personalized treatment options. 

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