Hormone fluctuations can influence and impact health in a variety of ways, especially ocular health and vision.
Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute
1675 North Aurora Court
Aurora, CO 80045
Colorado boasts more than 300 days of sunshine each year and a semi-arid climate that can make the summer heat a bit more bearable, but those conditions are also ripe for exacerbating dry eye, which affects up to 50 million people across the country.
Ocular problems stemming from environmental factors appear to be significant, says Malik Y. Kahook, MD, vice chair of translational research and the Slater Family Endowed Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He served as senior author on a global review published in Reviews on Environmental Health that focused on the effects of climate change and air pollution on eye health.
We all know that your eyes are a window to your soul, but they also provide insight into your overall health. Getting enough rest, staying active, and consuming a well-balanced diet are just as important to maintaining healthy eyes as the rest of your body. And if you have eye diseases, lifestyle factors take on even more importance.
At first glance, dry eyes may seem like a minor complaint, but eye care providers at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus know that severe cases can be difficult to treat, often stemming from multiple factors. Left untreated, dry eye disease can impair vision and affect quality of life.
For over 20 years, 61-year-old Annette Sandoval struggled with dry eyes, a condition many Coloradans experience given the state’s arid climate. Allergies can also trigger dry eyes, as well as frequent computer use, medication side effects, and numerous health conditions. In many cases, the condition can significantly affect quality of life, as it did for Sandoval.
"Somewhere between 40 and 50 we all start to lose the ability to adjust to see up close," says Cecelia Koetting, MD, instructor in the CU Department of Ophthalmology. "This is a normal physiological change. It will continue to change until you're around 65 and it is time for cataract surgery. The two are actually related, and a completely normal process that we all go through."
A new study by researchers, including from the CU Department of Ophthalmology, published in JAMA Network Open claims that the quality of artificial intelligence (AI))-generated responses to patient eye care questions is comparable to that written by certified ophthalmologists.
Findings by researchers in the CU Department of Ophthalmology demonstrate a systemic immunological difference between iAMD and GA, indicating IL-4 may be a systemic biomarker for GA development.
Understanding the OCP disease process is key in effectively managing the related OSD, says CU Department of Ophthalmology faculty member Kaleb Abbott, OD, MS, FAAO. It’s important to remember that this also presents a unique and complex challenge, and that a multidisciplinary approach is likely needed when approaching such cases.