The survey, sponsored by the Society for Women’s Health Research, revealed that 62 percent of menopausal and peri-menopausal women experienced dry eye symptoms. Yet, only 16 percent of those women knew that dry eye is linked to menopause. The survey, conducted in March, polled 304 women in menopause and peri-menopause.

“Dry eye isn’t just a necessary evil of growing older,” said Phyllis E. Greenberger, MSW, President and CEO, Society for Women's Health Research. “For many women, dry eye is related to the changing hormone levels of menopause just as much as hot flashes, depression, insomnia and vaginal dryness.”

Of the 62 percent of women experiencing dry eye symptoms, less than 59 percent of these women had spoken to a doctor about their dry eye. Although the majority of women surveyed had not spoken to a physician and did not know the cause of their dry eye, nearly all knew they had a problem. About 58 percent said they had used over-the-counter eye drops to treat their dry eye symptoms.

“The prevalence of over-the-counter eye drop use indicates that women are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms that they should discuss with a doctor,” said Laurie Barber, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The treatment options for dry eye are based not only on disease severity, but also an evaluation of the cause of the disease. It is now known that an inflammatory process in the eye is an important underlying cause of dry eye. There are three main medical treatment options: artificial tears, prescription therapies and surgery. One of the latest therapy advances is the first prescription therapy that increases tear production in patients with dry eye resulting from ocular inflammation.; Source: Society for Women's Health Research (SWHR)