Marla Ahlgrimm | Vision Issues Related to Hormone Fluctuations

Marla AhlgrimmIt’s easy to think that the eyes are separate from the rest of the body. After all, they move independently and require the care of a specially-trained doctor. However, as Marla Ahlgrimm explains, hormones can affect the eyes. Sudden vision changes may be a sign of a hormone imbalance.

Q: When do people typically experience vision-related changes associated with hormone fluctuation?

Marla Ahlgrimm: It is not uncommon for people entering puberty to become nearsighted. This is because the body is utilizing hormones to grow, and grow rapidly. This uptick in size is most evident in height and muscle mass, but the eyes are growing, too. After the teen years, when hormones begin to balance, vision typically stabilizes. Most pediatricians recommend a full evaluation by a qualified optometrist yearly during and after adolescence.

Q: Does birth control affect vision?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Any substance you put into the body that affects hormones can change your vision. This applies to birth control, but also anti-anxiety medicines, antidepressants, and antihistamines. Further, women who are pregnant may experience hormone changes that can trigger dry or watery eyes. This could make it difficult to wear contact lenses until after giving birth.

Q: Are hormones responsible for age-related vision loss?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Partly, yes. Many people mistakenly believe that the eyes “wear down” with age. This is not necessarily the case. Hormones, or a lack thereof, such as during menopause or when a man has low testosterone levels, can also trigger a decline in vision.

Q: Are vision changes normal?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes. When your hormones change, other parts of the body will follow suit. However, I would certainly suggest speaking with your doctor if you notice sudden changes, especially if they hinder your ability to see even with corrective lenses.

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