See yourself differently: “67% of women don’t want to be defined as a walking hot flush”

New research by leading high street opticians, Vision Express, has revealed the true extent of menopause on women’s mental and physical health. 

The study revealed that two thirds (67%) of those over 45 said that they risk being branded as a “walking hot flush” due to the lack of knowledge and understanding about menopause and midlife.

In fact, nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents said they underestimated what going through menopause involved. And when they were going through menopause, 44% said it had a negative impact on their mental health, 43% experienced deteriorating eyesight and 24% said they felt uncomfortable talking about their symptoms.

Other key findings of the study included:

  • 38% felt uncomfortable talking to their family about menopause versus 27% with their friends
  • 70% said eyesight deteriorating due to midlife and menopause makes them feel old (70%), frustrated (52%) and that the best days are behind them (26%), despite only being in their mid-40s 
  • 1 in 2 (50%) did not know menopause can have an impact on their eyesight, and of those who did, despite their eyesight deteriorating, 14% had not had their eyes tested in over 3 years

Jo Whiley (aged 56), radio DJ and presenter said:

There is a joy and freedom that comes with hitting your mid 40s and going through midlife. However, my friends and I noticed that our eyesight deteriorating was one of the worst sides of getting older – but it doesn’t mean you’re old. Embrace it. Enjoy the changes and make the most of having more experience and knowledge than you did in your younger years! I’m delighted that Vision Express is shining a light on this era and encouraging everyone to see midlife as the new middle youth.”

Jane Exon (aged 51) at Vision Express said:

“As we get older, it’s natural for eyesight to start deteriorating – but it doesn’t mean that you have to feel unfashionable or old. 82% of our female customers have told us that more should be done to raise awareness about menopause and the impact it has on eyesight. We hope our campaign encourages women to make eye health checks as high on the list as the other health checks we have and hope we can make women feel fabulous in frames at any age”

The research also revealed the joy of being in your midlife. 66% admitted that they cared less about what other people thought of them, 55% said they had more freedom to do the things they love, 33% said they go on holiday more and 32% stated that they have fewer regrets.

Eleanor Mills (aged 51), Editor in Chief of comments:

“I am not surprised that 67% of women don’t want to be seen as a walking hot flush. I did not want to be defined by my biology as a teen, or as a pregnant woman and I certainly don’t want menopause to be the lens through which I am viewed now I am 50. Of course we need to talk about menopause.

We need to create a new script around the later stages of women’s lives – the current one is not fit for purpose. We are not old, we are not going quietly into that good night. We are in our prime, starting businesses, going back to college, embracing our power. Women should not vanish from the mainstream narrative at 50 – this new campaign for Vision Express is all about being seen as we are – rocking it”

Top 10 list of how menopause has affected women:

  1. Experienced hot flushes
  2. Suffered from night sweats
  3. Had difficulty sleeping
  4. Had difficulty with their memory and concentration
  5. A reduced sex drive 
  6. Eyesight worsened
  7. Suffered with severe mood swings
  8. Experienced headaches more than usual
  9. Suffered with depression
  10. An increased sex drive

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