In addition to poor sleep, hot flashes and low libido, there is another health issue that a woman with low estrogen in or near menopause needs to discuss with her doctor – glaucoma.
A new review article in the journal Menopause shows that low estrogen levels is a major contributor to poor vision in women as they age. Here’s a short summary and what it means to you.
- The optic nerve, the large nerve in the back of your eye that sends vision to your brain, shrinks with age – about 0.2% / year. Low estrogen contributes to this shrinkage.
- The pressure inside the eye-called the intraocular pressure – also increases with age. That leads to the condition glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
- Women are much more likely than men to have glaucoma and cases of glaucoma are rising rapidly.
- Menopause before age 45 increases the rate of glaucoma 2.6 times. Six percent of women enter menopause before age 45. That’s 9.42 million women in the US.
How does this affect you? Do you have any of the following:
- Menopause before age 45
- Cancer with treatment that blocks estrogen
- Surgery to remove your ovaries before age 45.
If you have any of the following situations or conditions, or just in natural menopause, be sure and have your eyes checked at least annually. Have them checked for vision and intraocular pressure. It’s one of the things you need to consider with your physician when deciding whether or not to use estrogen.
Click here for my free 3 CD video series called Health Accelerator to get more tips on the tests you need each year, how to prepare for your annual exam, and 5 tips to jump start your health today.