Hormone imbalances are a condition that commonly go untreated. A perception exists that hormone imbalances are just part of getting older or ‘just the way it is.’
Not true. The truth is you do not have to live with deficient hormone levels – and you do not need to live with sore and irritable dry eyes!
Restoring a natural internal balance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone is an important remedy for dry eyes. Though this is something we rarely hear about in a conventional eye doctor’s office.
Hormones & Your body
Our hormones are tiny chemical messengers busily running between various tissues in the body influencing everything from sexual function and metabolism, to reproduction and growth and repair. Hormones influence the health of all our cells, which in turn has the ability to greatly affect our well-being day to day.
The systems that regulate these processes are complex and operate like a finely tuned orchestra.
As we age, our own genetic blueprint, environmental triggers and shortfalls in diet and quality nutrition can become key factors in declining hormone levels, allowing imbalances to occur.
In other words, the orchestra is not quite so in-tune.
If left untreated, eventual illness and a lower quality of life can eventuate . It is for this reason that many people around the world are treated with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
HRT is the choice of each individual after careful discussion with an MD or specialist. Many Doctors take a wait-and-see approach preferring to see whether a hormone imbalance could right itself with some modest diet and lifestyle changes.
The good news is that unless you have a serious chronic deficiency, hormone levels can be balanced naturally given time.
How is a hormone imbalance related to dry eyes?
As mentioned, hormones are chemicals transported from tissues in one part of the body to tissues in other parts of the body, regulating many critical body functions including eye health.
But what if those messages are not getting though or not at adequate, healthy levels to perform their correct function: in time the tissues and glands start to breakdown. This includes ocular (eye) tissues and glands.
Studies show that there are hormone receptors on the cornea of the eye.
Studies also show that hormones, specifically testosterone, play a vital part in Meibomian and Lacrimal gland function, two key components of proper tear film flow and healthy eyes.
Why has my Doctor not told me a hormone imbalance could be causing my dry eyes?
The short answer is because they have not made the connection.
Medical practices are busy places. Your Doctor is sympathetic but does not have time to research root cause analysis behind many ailments, especially something as common as dry eyes.
Ultimately they are treating the symptoms as best they can. If you think about it in practical terms, this is all a 15 minute consult will allow for: treating symptoms.
A doctor can give you artificial tears and refer you to the Ophthalmologist. Beyond that, only Doctors with specific experience, knowledge or an understanding of how hormone imbalances can cause dry eyes are able to help.
The key hormones to consider in a dry eye solution are estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. These need to be in balance with each other. This is really important. Imbalances between this trio are common – and often go undiagnosed.
Most importantly, testosterone should not be too low. This may sound odd but testosterone is not the evil, body-building substance that public perception and the media may have had it pegged as. It is naturally occurring and important to good health for a number of reasons.
Note: I frequently get emails from people telling me they’ve had a hormone panel done and you guessed it….very low testosterone.
Hormone imbalance is often a large factor in the root-cause of dry eye symptoms. Unfortunately, it also goes unnoticed and uncorrected by the medical profession when it doesn’t need to be this way.
Yet more recent evidence implicating low testosterone as a cause of chronic dry eyes…. the very thing we’ve been talking about here for over two years! Dr Brian Boxer-Wachler explains…
Commonly, estrogens and harmful estrogen metabolites are too high. Consequently, this can rob you of the healthy levels of testosterone needed to keep the meibomian and lacrimal glands healthy.