I’ve worn glasses since I was ten years old, so in my time I’ve seen a fair amount of optometrists. My first was a freckled leprechaun of a man who always pinched my cheek and told me how cute I was, quite the ego boost for a chubby adolescent with glasses. He would be my optometrist for a couple of decades until he retired and I had long outgrown the need for affirmation from a mythical creature.
The doctor I’ve been seeing for the last eight years has to be my all-time favorite. It has little to do with the fact that I love his name, Dr. Christ (rhymes with “mist”), but more likely because I feel like I’ve graduated cum laude from optometry school each time I leave his office.
I’m confident I’ve gotten my money’s worth at these appointments because I always learn something new that makes a difference in the way I see my eyes (pun intended). Which in turn feeds my insatiable desire to take my new found knowledge and then impress someone who is not as learned in the field of ocular health. So here goes…
Did you know that a woman’s eyes change during menopause? As if it weren’t difficult enough to navigate the raging torrent of physical, mental and emotional fluctuations, now we have to pay attention to what is going on with our eyes.
Most of us know that vision changes as we age. Lenses harden and cause us to have difficulty seeing fine print without readers, bifocals or really long arms. It seems like the day that I turned 40, I realized that I was having to take my glasses off, or peer through the top or bottom to read things up close.
But I had also noticed lately that my eyes were often red and felt like they had sand in them. Though I suspected that I had developed a new allergy, I couldn’t pinpoint the source of the problem. Dr. Christ told me that as we enter menopause, changing levels of hormones also affect the chemical composition of the secretions of our eyes.
He went on to say that the place where our eyelashes emerge from our eyelids is a breeding ground for bacteria and under normal conditions, our tears help wash away that bacteria. But hormonal fluctuations cause a change in the one or all of the three layers of our tears (mucus, aqueous and lipid), meaning microorganisms are not kept in check like they are when we are younger.
He sent me home with a bottle of OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Foaming Eyelid Cleanser. At the end of each day I pump some of the foam onto a wet washcloth at night and wipe my eyelids. As a bonus, it also takes off eye makeup, eliminating one step in my nightly routine. Since I’ve been using it I haven’t noticed any problems with my eyes.
I wonder if Dr. Christ has a magic formulas for hot flashes? Or cellulite?