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Another Reason Not To Get Lasik And A Word On My Progress

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  • Another Reason Not To Get Lasik And A Word On My Progress

    I am another victim of Lasik, and when I started posting here my chief problems were severe dry eye and an unbearable pain/strain that started in my eyes and radiated throughout my head all the way to the back of my neck. After dozens and dozens of appointments at such places as the Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois, no one could explain what this unbearable pain was I was experiencing. MRI's and CT scans were negative, and the next thing the neurologist wanted to do was a spinal tap. By happenstance I started reading about vision therapy. A lot of professionals and non professionals think of it as quackery but I was desperate for anything at this point so I booked an appointment. An evaluation revealed that I had: severe convergence insufficiency with intermittent alternating exotropia. inadequate accommodative abilities, and an ocular motor disorder. That's a lot of medical jargon but for an example the doctor patched one eye and held a little cup in front of my face and told me to try and place a little ball in it. I placed the ball literally 5 inches past the cup. That how off my vision was. They told all my symptoms were consistent with a case as serious as mine. They told me that I probably had a latent form of the disorders as 5-10% of people with it learn to accommodate for some reason. But when someone came in and changed the shape of my cornea with a laser it all came to a forefront.

    Thankfully, and I really mean that because I thought my life was over before I stumbled upon this, the therapy has been quite successful. It is a 9 month program with a weekly visit along with about 20 minutes of daily home exercises. The near suicidal pain and light sensitivity has greatly diminished and I'm only 3 months into therapy. It's just another reason not to get Lasik because there are just too many variables in play with the procedure. Now as far as my dry eyes go. My local eye doctor used the ****** probing procedure on me back in June and I the results have been miraculous. Nearly all my glands were blocked with a layer of tissue, and after a couple of weeks things really took off. Before that my eyes would burn constantly and no matter what kind of heavy ointments or night goggles I tried during sleep, I would always wake up with both eyes glued to my eyelids. Now I often fall asleep with no drops or anything and things are only somewhat dry on waking. I still need drops depending on what I am engaged in but I am not in pain and I am functional again. I mean 4 months ago I thought my life was over. I didn't want to post this in the triumph page because I view more as a work in progress. I know the heartache that comes with having a problem with no answers as I was in that boat for over 2 years. But when I sank to my darkest point and started contemplating suicide I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to die, and therefore the only action I could take was to keep searching. I can't promise you'll find relief for your symptoms, because I sure as hell thought I never would. But there is distraction in doing everything in your power to keep searching for an answer. Like I said I am becoming functional again but still nowhere near pre-lasik levels, and I probably never will be. But the only advice I have for myself and anyone reading this is to keep fighting, because life is always full of possibilities. God Bless, Patrick

  • #2
    Originally posted by Phillips55 View Post
    But when I sank to my darkest point and started contemplating suicide I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to die, and therefore the only action I could take was to keep searching.
    This is bang on!

    So glad you are feeling better these days!
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

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    • #3
      Thank you so much for posting this Patrick. It gives me hope, and I am very happy for you. God bless.

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      • #4
        Nice to hear from someone on the road to recovery!

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        • #5
          You have a lot of mental toughness for persevering here. Wish you the best!

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          • #6
            Phillips55, Awesome!
            Although I'm not a Lasik victim, I have dry eye and, like you, have had excellent results with probing. Still resolving other issues, but probing has helped tremendously. That layer of tissue you describe can't be removed with heat alone.

            I think I remember when you let us know that you were going to get probed. It was some time ago, wasn't it?

            Great to hear that you're doing so well.

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            • #7
              could you list your home exercises?

              and congrats on relief.

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              • #8
                Patrick,

                This is great news! Good for you for finding and continuing to search for answers. You are very brave. I am post-Lasik 17 months, and have a constant burning in my eyes too, that really hardly ever quits. I live in Minnesota, and have wondered where to turn to next. Could you please list the name of your clinic and doc, in case I want to visit that program?

                Thanks much - and hope you continue to heal well, Chandra

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the kind replies. I recently realized that as my eye problems went from life destroying to a workable situation the last thing on earth I wanted to do was think of dry eye. To be honest I think I even have been avoiding this site for awhile I was just afraid of ANYTHING related to dry eye and LASIK. I think it's natural for people to want to run for the hills and never look back when they escape from a terrible situation. They just want to avoid the ENTIRE situation in their minds, even things like the recovery process and knowledge gained. I'm sure there's been posters here who never look back once they find improvement. I wouldn't have made any progress at all if it weren't for Rebecca Petris and this website, so I'll try and do the same in my own small way and continue to try and contribute here. Besides I still have a long way to go

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                  • #10
                    Patrick SO glad to hear this.

                    I think some of the most heartrending cases I've come across over the years, especially in the early years, were those with these latent convergence disorders that are unmasked by LASIK when the refractive status of the cornea changes (at least, that's how I think about it). The visual aspects - and other symptoms those can trigger - as you experienced - and which in others seem like a really severe triggering of the trigeminal nerve - are bad enough without dry eye compounding the picture. Sigh. But I'm so relieved to see you're finding solutions to both.

                    I'm pleased to hear how probing helped you. I have to confess I've tended towards an attitude problem about probing for quite some time - perhaps less due to how I understand it medically than for other reasons such as marketing and insurance coding. But it's now settling into place in my mind somewhere as another of these things that is going to be great for some few people when it happens to be just the right match... which is true of so many dry eye treatments isn't it. It's hard for people with severe symptoms and badly in need of solutions to avoid letting themselves be just another a nail for the homogeneous hammer.
                    Rebecca Petris
                    The Dry Eye Zone

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                    • #11
                      The multifactorial nature of Dry Eye is what is so vexing for all of us. It isn't just one disease, it's many diseases affecting many different parts of the eye, all of which have to work as a complex system within a larger complex system. This complexity, the interrelatedness of all of these parts, and when our vision isn't always affected, makes it difficult to understand for us, for anyone not suffering like we are and even sometimes for some of our doctors who don't all know or fully understand the science behind these diseases.

                      Rebecca, I'm happy to hear that you have accepted that there is a place for probing. For me it has been extrememly helpful. The numbers it can help is directly related to the conditions we have. At a minimum, where there is mgd, evaporative dry eye, poor meibum, and the like, probing should be seen as a promising treatment option along with other steps and treatments for all other related symptoms and conditions.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NotADryEye View Post
                        Rebecca, I'm happy to hear that you have accepted that there is a place for probing. For me it has been extrememly helpful. The numbers it can help is directly related to the conditions we have. At a minimum, where there is mgd, evaporative dry eye, poor meibum, and the like, probing should be seen as a promising treatment option along with other steps and treatments for all other related symptoms and conditions.
                        If, on the edge of the eyelid, there was the growth of epithelial tissue decreasing the opening of the blocked meibomium glands, could the probing help? Would it be possible to the eye doctor see where to stick the probe?

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                        • #13
                          If, on the edge of the eyelid, there was the growth of epithelial tissue decreasing the opening of the blocked meibomium glands, could the probing help? Would it be possible to the eye doctor see where to stick the probe?

                          Yes, I believe that's what the probing does. I could hear(and feel) a big pop when he probed each gland and I believe that was the needle breaking through the overgrowth of tissue. As far as the effectiveness of probing goes I think that, as Rebecca points out, it is a tool that will work for some people and not for others. Just like lipiflow or anything else. Lipiflow and hot compresses did not work for me because the glands themselves were blocked. However those treatments would work for people with clogged(not blocked with tissue) glands or glands with thicker lipids. Probing will not work with someone whose glands simply are not producing oils. I am amazed how few doctors out there perform meibographies. I think that would be your first step in figuring out whats going on with the glands. I don't know if that test can tell if you glands are blocked with tissue, I couldn't find anyone to do one so I just dived in and did the probing. That has been the most frustrating thing with this ordeal. Ive basically had to beg, borrow and steal to get answers and the more desperate you are the more likely you will encounter scam artists and scam products. But you have to keep going, you have to keep trying everything.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ebel View Post
                            If, on the edge of the eyelid, there was the growth of epithelial tissue decreasing the opening of the blocked meibomium glands, could the probing help? Would it be possible to the eye doctor see where to stick the probe?
                            As Phillips55 says, yes and yes.
                            With the slit lamp the doctor can see the orifice and when they invert the lid they can see its gland. With the probe placed on the orifice, it is then advanced through any blockage of the orifice including epithelium, vascularization, fibrosis and keratinization.

                            The probing is targeted to the orifice opening and therefore not traumatic to a wide area of lid margin.

                            Also, even glands that do not produce meibum, when probed, can have their functionality restored. With the functionality restored the glands can again produce and secrete meibum.

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