re dry eyes and hormones: Since having a... - Macular Society

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re dry eyes and hormones


Since having a radical hysterectomy and my ovaries removed I've been on estrogen, 1mg per day and also I have to take thyroxine, 50mcgs per day. Every now and then my doctor tells me to try to give up estrogen so every now and then I try. I tried about a year and a half ago and my eyes became dry and so I went back on it and they went back to normal (it could have been a co-incidence, don't know ) however I recently have stopped the estrogen again and my eyes have become dry again. Now I've read a bit on the internet and found that that estrogen can damp down Thyroxine....that woud account for the weight loss but would that also account for my dry eyes??? Any ideas anyone? Does Thyroxine cause dry eyes? There doesn't seem to be any hard and fast answers out there and I'm looking for a 'yes' or 'no', not a maybe.

9 Replies

Hi poet, we are not medical professionals here so doubt you will get the answer you're looking for. However, a search on DRUGS.COM shows a major but rare side effect is eye pain (doesn't say what the pain is but I know how painful dry eye can be); a less common s/e it says is crying (which will make your eyes dry) & swelling of the eye (again, as a layman I imagine this might make eye dry). The site also says there are over 500 drug interactions which presumably have their own s/e. You can check on the site by inputting anything you're on.

My advice is go see your gp again. If the only s/e of stopping the oestrogen is dry eyes can't you just use drops?(I use Hylotear. There are others too).

Good luck.


Dear poet123,

Having dry eyes is different from having macular degeneration.

Are you still under a medical professional in connection with your gynaecological issues? If you have not been discharged, it may be worth contacting them via their medical secretary and posing your questions to them. Alternately, I would try your GP again.

Kind regards,

Macular Society Helpline

0300 3030 111

Hidden in reply to Rosalyn-helpline

Hello Rosalyn, I realise that dry eyes are different from macular degeneration, it's just that I was reading about dry eyes and somehow it led me to this site so it was by accident that I came here and after posting I realised my mistake. Once they discharge you, after your hysterectomy, you only go back once for a check up and then you're expected to visit your GP as normal for anything else. I've an appointment with my doctor this thursday. I've been trying different things myself such as a humidifier in my bedroom and various eye drops but I also have allergies so some of the eye drops make my eyes bloodshot....heh heh why am I not surprised.....for the same reason I don't wear eye makeup as that makes the skin around the eyes swollen, red and hot...could be what I think is dry eyes is some sort of allergy! I'm completely foxed, I need to talk to my GP but thank you for you kind reply.

Rosalyn-helplineAdministrator in reply to Hidden

Dear poet123,

We have an information sheet on dry eyes. It may be a useful conversation point with your GP.

Please contact us via:

If you would like us to send you a link to it.

Kind regards.

Hi poet123, I think you're onto something there. I think that there is a connection between hormones, thyroid and dry eyes, but don't know exactly what - doctors don't seem to want to discuss hormone levels, apart from just to confirm ovulation.

I've had dry eyes for years but it got worse when started on thyroxine 75mg last year. They are worst at night and particularly the week before my period, when my eyes are so bad I barely sleep, I just keep applying the hyloforte (the best drops I've found). I also often get worse hypothyroid symptoms that same week eg fatigue, joint pain etc, so maybe it is the oestrogen increase? I also have endometriosis which is associated with excess oestrogen. (I'm still TTC so not going for hysterectomy yet).

Do you take fish oil? It may be worth it to increase your omega 3s. Also flaxseed oil capsules? They are a phytoestrogen and meant to regulate oestrogen levels - I've been on the fish oil for a while and have just started adding in flaxseed too.

I also found this article

Hidden in reply to Cmat

I recently started to take evening primrose oil, omega 3 and vit D which is supposed to be good for eyes. I also have a very good diet, oily fish, salmon etc....doesn't make a lot of difference as far as I can tell but I'm persevering. I've read that the Thyroxine can aggravate dry eyes and as the estrogen is supposed to damp down the thyroxine I put the two together and came up with that the Estrogen had been damping down the thryoxine so that now I'm not taking it it's having its effect on my eyes. I also eat seeds that are full of good fats. Dry eyes do get worse at night, so I've read, as you don't produce as many tears. My eyelids are stuck together when I wake during the night and in the morning. The eyes are supposed to have little estrogen receptors that 'tell them' to produce tears ( read that too ) so to my mind, going back on the estrogen will probably help me but...and here's the long can you keep taking estrogen. Personally, I'm willing to take the risk as my blood pressure is normal, my wieght is normal and the estrogen makes me feel good, lifts my mood, stops hot flashes etc. I think it's all about the individual. I've read so many conflicting reports that I don't think the doctor's are sure, I think the jury is still out on this one.

Hidden in reply to Cmat

I was taking fish oil, evening primrose oil but nothing worked, however I'm back on estrogen 1mg now and my eyes have improved, not perfect but loads better!

Hello Poet123, I'm new on here and like yourself was looking for info. on dry eyes. What I can offer you is what I found to be an excellent treatment for the condition. My eyelids used to stick to the eyeball during sleep, then tear the surface of the eyeball on wakening. What fun.

I now use EPADERM moisturising ointment on my eyelids at night with 100% success (just a dab rubbed on the eyelids). It also comes as a creme if necessary during daytime. A 1kg tub of this stuff will easily last for years and costs £19. A snip when you look at other tiny little tubes of lubricant. Hope this is of some assistance.

Hidden in reply to Handaman

Hi Handaman, My eyes have improved since I went back on estrogen 1mg but I'll keep it in mind should I ever need it. Thank you for suggesting it and I'll look it up.

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