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Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month Editorial – Judith from Menopause Canada and her dry eye journey

April marks Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Women are more likely to experience eye health concerns than men; in particular, dry eye disease affects more women than men [1], and women also tend to have more severe dry eye symptoms. [2] But what exactly contributes to this gap in dry eye disease prevalence and symptoms between women and men?

A well-supported theory is the fluctuating levels of hormones throughout women’s lives – monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause are key examples.[3] Once dry eye symptoms onset, many may experience discomfort, and some may even find their quality of life greatly lowered. However, proper management of dry eye symptoms may help improve the overall quality of life.

Today, we want to share a special story from Judith Pringle. Some of you readers may know her for Menopause Canada. Let’s dive deeper into her experience of menopause and dry eye and how she has found her relief with CandorVision treatments.


Start of Judith’s journey

“I was just picking up my anemia medication and the pharmacist asked me how I was doing, and I started crying”, said Judith. 

10 years ago, Judith’s menopause symptoms started. Insomnia, fatigue, and heavy periods bothered her, but Judith never suspected menopause.  

The sudden burst in tears at a local pharmacy was what led her to suspect menopause. “I was so physically tired and mentally exhausted that a simple kindness pushed me over the edge. When I explained how I was feeling, the pharmacist said, ‘maybe you are perimenopausal.’” 

Menopause and dry eye symptoms

Menopause is a natural process of life in women. In Canada, women reach menopause at the average age of 51, mostly between the ages of 45 and 55. Prior to menopause, women go through perimenopausal phase, the time leading up to menopause that may last for years. During this time, hormone levels spike up and down, and once the menstrual cycle stops for a year, menopause is reached. [4]


If you are perimenopausal or menopausal, you may experience some common symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and even changes in ocular well-being, like dry eyes. [5, 6] These symptoms may fade away years after reaching menopause, while for some individuals, the symptoms can persist for much longer.  

Approximately 60% of women in perimenopause/menopause have dry eyes [7], and Judith was also one of them. “I was talking to a friend in the U.K. My eyes felt dry, but it never connected in my head”, says Judith. “It was when I listened to a talk by Professor Dawn Sim, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, that I realized I had dry eyes due to perimenopause.” 


Dry eye is characterized by the lack of tear production or excessive tear evaporation.[1] In the eyelids, meibomian glands function as secretory bodies that produce tear film’s oily (lipid) layer, helping to prevent tear evaporation. The meibomian glands are regulated by hormones such as estrogen and androgen. Reduced levels of the hormones lead to altered production of the lipids. [8,9] Simply put, the lipids turn from olive oil like to toothpaste like. As a result, dry eye symptoms, such as burning, itching, and inflammation, may develop.


Judith’s journey with management of perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms has been ongoing for 5 to 6 years. A wide array of treatments and lubricating eye drops are available in Canada for dry eye symptoms; however, Judith was not successful in finding the right treatment that worked for her.


“I couldn’t blink fully. It was very uncomfortable. I went to a local pharmacy and bought products that I already tried. None of the products worked. Other brand eye drops, heated masks… they really didn’t help”, says Judith. When she went to see her general practitioner the next day, things changed completely and quickly. “I went and asked my general practitioner for dry eye products. HYLO® is what he recommended, and this is the only one that works.”


HYLO® Family of Lubricating Eye Drops Helps Relieve Dry Eye Symptoms

CandorVision’s HYLO® family of lubricating eye drops are the recommended dry eye treatments by Judith’s health professional.  HYLO® provides long-lasting relief of dry eye symptoms, which Judith commented that there is something “evangelical about it”. HYLO® family of lubricating eye drop has many benefits that dry eye sufferers may seek.  


The HYLO® family contains high-quality, high molecular weight sodium hyaluronate, for long-lasting dry eye relief. The HYLO® family of lubricating eye drops come in the innovative, German engineered HYLO® bottle technology. The sophisticated bottle technology is an airless, multi-dose delivery system and as a result, the drops are preservative free and stay sterile for 6 months after first use. Unlike preserved drops, preservative-free HYLO® family provides comfortable feel upon application, avoiding potential intolerance reactions. Phosphate-free solutions are ideal for users who recently underwent surgeries and seek post-surgery dry eye relief.


The easy-to-use bottle also delivers same-size doses of the solution, one drop at a time. Overflowing the eyes with too many drops and wasting the solution is not a concern with HYLO® family of lubricating eye drops. HYLO®, HYLO-DUAL®, and HYLO®-GEL of the HYLO® family can be used while wearing contact lenses. 


Millions of Canadian women suffer from menopause and dry eye. Find relief from dry eye symptoms with CandorVision treatments

With her discovery of CandorVision’s HYLO® family of lubricating eye drops, Judith has found relief for her dry eye symptoms. Judith says she wouldn’t buy anything else. “HYLO® is the only treatment that gives me any relief. Right off shower every morning, I put a drop in my eye.”

 

The 2023 Statistics Canada population estimate shows more than 10 million Canadian women over the age of 40.[10] The cohort of Canadian perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal women who are seeking dry eye relief may be of a significant number.


Through her story, Judith, who has experienced dry eye symptoms and found her relief with HYLO® family of lubricating eye drops, desires to bring awareness of the link between menopause and dry eye and help other perimenopausal or menopausal women who are also having dry eye symptoms.

HYLO® family of lubricating eye drops are available Canada-wide at pharmacies, behind the counter alongside OCUNOX® Eye Ointment, CALMO® Eye Spray, and CALMO® / NACLINO™ lid hygiene, and at nearby optometry and ophthalmology clinics.


To read more about Judith’s story and find more resources, visit menopausecanada.ca and candorvision.com.

Should you have any concerns about your eye health, please consult with your eye health professional for medical assistance.


CandorVision™ – Your eyes are everything!






References


  1. Stapleton F, Alves M, Bunya VY, Jalbert I, Lekhanont K, Malet F, Na KS, Schaumberg D, Uchino M, Vehof J, Viso E, Vitale S, Jones L. TFOS DEWS II Epidemiology Report. Ocul Surf. 2017 Jul;15(3):334-365. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2017.05.003. Epub 2017 Jul 20. PMID: 28736337. 

  2. Schaumberg DA, Uchino M, Christen WG, Semba RD, Buring JE, Li JZ. Patient reported differences in dry eye disease between men and women: impact, management, and patient satisfaction. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 30;8(9):e76121. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076121. PMID: 24098772; PMCID: PMC3786885. 

  3. Truong S, Cole N, Stapleton F, Golebiowski B. Sex hormones and the dry eye. Clin Exp Optom. 2014 Jul;97(4):324-36. doi: 10.1111/cxo.12147. Epub 2014 Apr 1. PMID: 24689906. 

  4. Menopause - What Everyone Should Know [Internet]. The Menopause Foundation of Canada [cited 2024 April 8]. Available from: https://menopausefoundationcanada.ca/resources/menopause-what-everyone-should-know/ 

  5. Santoro N, Roeca C, Peters BA, Neal-Perry G. The Menopause Transition: Signs, Symptoms, and Management Options. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jan 1;106(1):1-15. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa764. PMID: 33095879. 

  6. Peck T, Olsakovsky L, Aggarwal S. 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. PMID: 28706404; PMCID: PMC5496280. 

  7. 84% of Menopausal Women with Dry Eyes Are Unaware of Link to Menopause [Internet]. www.newswise.com. 2006 [cited 2024 Apr 11]. Available from: https://www.newswise.com/articles/84-of-menopausal-women-with-dry-eyes-are-unaware-of-link-to-menopause 

  8. Peck T, Olsakovsky L, Aggarwal S. 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. PMID: 28706404; PMCID: PMC5496280. 

  9. Krenzer KL, Dana MR, Ullman MD, Cermak JM, Tolls DB, Evans JE, Sullivan DA. Effect of androgen deficiency on the human meibomian gland and ocular surface. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Dec;85(12):4874-82. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.12.7072. PMID: 11134156. 

  10. Statistics Canada: Canada's national statistical agency / Statistique Canada : Organisme statistique national du Canada [Internet]. Population estimates on July 1, by age and gender; 2024 Feb 21 [cited 2024 Apr 9]. Available from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710000501&pickMembers[0]=1.1&pickMembers[1]=2.3&cubeTimeFrame.startYear=2023&cubeTimeFrame.endYear=2023&referencePeriods=20230101,20230101 

 


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