Are females more at risk for developing dry eye disease? Dry eye occurs when the eyes’ natural lubrication is inefficient or compromised by a multitude of possible factors, including gender. According to Tear Science, the economic burden of dry eye totals $3.84 billion in direct annual health care costs. Dry eye can result in blurred vision, ocular discomfort, inability to wear contact lenses and even corneal scarring in advanced cases.
Reasons that dry eye can affect women more are:
-Menopause: decreases in certain sex hormones may lead to decreased production of the middle layer of the tear film. -Medications: dry eye is commonly associated with birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy
-Cosmetics: application to lids can clog the glands that produce the oil layer of the tear film
If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye, schedule an appointment with your optometrist to be evaluated. They can perform tests to determine which component(s) of your tear film are being impacted and what the best treatment options would be. Therapy can range from hot compresses and lid scrubs to anti-inflammatory prescription drops and dietary supplementation.