Do you find yourself squinting, blinking, and rubbing your eyes to see clearly? Are your eyes always dry and itchy before your monthly cycle? Is there a dull pain in between your eyes? It’s possible your PMS is to blame for it all.
Even as you’re experiencing these symptoms, relax and read on to learn more about the link between PMS, hormones and eyesight.
What Is PMS?
Various physical and psychological symptoms show up in your body before menstruation. Together, these symptoms are called premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
PMS is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that occur a week or two before your period. You may have cramps, feel bloated and clumsy, experience mood swings, and even become anxious.
According to an article in the Office on Women's Health, over 90% of women experience PMS symptoms such as moodiness, headaches, and bloating.
PMS can affect your vision, too. Fluctuating hormones and blurry vision are common. You may also experience excess watering of the eyes, unusual redness, and an itch that will not go away. As surprising as these symptoms are, they usually resolve themselves as your menses get over.
Although you may experience PMS symptoms at any age, women between 30 to 45 are most likely to have them. The good news is that once your period starts, these symptoms tend to go away.
Surprising PMS Symptoms You Should Know
Headache, fatigue, weight gain, and cramps are some of the most common symptoms of PMS. But did you know you could blame other symptoms on PMS, too?
Your hormones and eyesight go haywire a week or two before your monthly cycle. This can make your vision blurred, eyes dry and itchy, and cause excess tearing.
Let’s take a closer look at how PMS hormones can affect your vision.
1. Blurred Vision
Before your monthly cycle, your hormone levels fluctuate. These fluctuations are more severe during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. They can make your vision blurred, distorted, and even doubled. You may even complain of dark curtains that block your vision.
In certain cases, hormonal imbalances can also cause loss of peripheral (side) vision. You may see haloes around lights and bright flashes now and then.
But don’t worry. PMS blurred vision is temporary and reverses itself in a few days. Should your vision remain blurry, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as it may have a different cause.
2. Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can leave you with a gritty feeling, as though there is sand in your eyes. As a result, your eyes are either too dry and itchy, or they keep watering as a reflex.
Dry eye often occurs because your tear glands are not in balance. But it can also be the result of a hormonal imbalance due to PMS.
Many women ask, “can low estrogen cause dry eyes, too?” Well, yes. Your body produces low estrogen during menopause, pregnancy, and while you’re taking birth control pills. All these affect your hormones and may increase your risk of getting dry eyes.
3. Pain in the Eye
Pain in the eye is a very classic symptom of PMS. You will experience a dull pain in your eyeballs. Or it may be in between your eyebrows, on the side of your temples, and even at the back of the head.
Pain in the eye is caused by a dip in estrogen levels. It’s usually mild and subsides within a few days after your period. But sometimes, it can be severe and turn into a migraine accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
During this time, you may even experience a constant throbbing in your head and sensitivity to light and noise. To relieve the pain, make sure to relax and get plenty of rest.
4. Excess Watering and Tearing
A week before your monthly cycle, you may notice that your eyes are watering excessively. And not only because you have mood swings and emotional lows around this time of the month.
Low estrogen levels are also to blame for eyes watering. And since estrogen and eyesight are interlinked, this sets into motion a chain reaction. First, your eyes get dry and gritty. As a response reaction, your tear glands overwork and cause excessive tearing.
This excessive tearing will stop after your monthly cycle. But if it’s too uncomfortable to endure, there are a few things you can do about it.
Avoid using hairdryers, stay indoors when it’s windy, and quit smoking. All of these can make a difference.
5. Red Eyes
Are your eyes beginning to turn red and itchy right before your period? You may have Menstrual Red Eye. Yes, there’s a scientific name for it.
Although uncommon, menstrual red eye occurs because of the swelling of the ocular surface due to hormonal changes. Women suffering from this may even experience itchy dry eyes and conjunctivitis.
This PMS symptom resolves itself spontaneously as your menses get over, only to recur before the next period. The redness should not bother you, but if the itch becomes irritating, you may want to consult an eye doctor.
Exercise and Eat Right to Combat PMS Symptoms
Hormones and eyesight are interlinked. Your period can come with a lot of surprising and uncomfortable vision problems, from redness and pain in the eye to dryness and distorted vision.
You can combat premenstrual symptoms by making the right changes in your lifestyle. Start by adding healthy fruits, veggies, and whole grains to your diet. Doing so will help protect your vision and alleviate symptoms like fatigue and headache.
Thirty minutes of brisk walking, cycling, and yoga a day can also help with PMS symptoms. Lack of sleep can affect your eye health, too. So, make sure to get plenty of sleep and relieve stress by meditating.
These small but important changes to your everyday habits can make your PMS so much better. So, make sure you stick by them!