Dry mucous membranes during menopause

Dry mucous membranes during menopause

Dry eyes

Many women experience dry mouth and dry or watery eyes during menopause. These are common problems and are due to a decrease in the hormone oestrogen. Dry eyes can also be caused by the tear glands producing less tear fluid than before.

Dry eye mainly causes discomfort in the eye, such as blurred vision, itching, redness, problems with styes and tired eyes that are also sensitive to light. In the long run, dry eyes can have a negative effect on the health of the eye, in rare cases it can also lead to vision loss. Dry eyes can also be caused by other underlying diseases such as diabetes or Parkinson's disease. Therefore, it is always important to seek medical attention to rule these out.

Hormones have many important roles, including for the eyes. They maintain the outermost layer of the cornea and the nervous system behind it, produce and evaporate tears and strengthen the eye's immune system.

What can you do yourself?

  • Wear sunglasses
  • Avoid wind, such as air conditioning in the car, directly on your face.
  • Reduce screen time. Long screen time makes blinking less frequent.
  • Maintain a good fluid balance throughout your body. The eye also needs to be moisturised and you may need to use eye drops.
  • Do not use contact lenses

    Dry mucous membranes in the nose and mouth

    Mucous membranes are found in different parts of the body, such as the mouth, nose, eyes and genitals. If you experience dry mucous membranes in your nose, you can lubricate the inside of your nose with a little oil or Vaseline. Dry mouth may be due to changes in the levels of hormones that affect both the mucous membrane in the mouth and the production of saliva by the salivary glands. In addition to facilitating digestion, the function of saliva is to lubricate, protect defend and flush the oral cavity (including from bacteria). It also contributes to taste perception and can buffer and store minerals. Thus, dry mouth has a major impact on quality of life. When you have dry mouth, chewing, talking and swallowing can be difficult. Night-time sleep may be disturbed and taste may change. Dry mouth can lead to increased tooth decay and can cause bad breath.

    With a little extra effort, brushing and flossing your teeth and making regular visits to the dentist, you can prevent bad breath and tooth decay with a little good will. Your dentist can also give you tips and advice on saliva replacement products.
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