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  • stopped artificial tears !

    Had Lasik almost 10 years ago and have been using artificial tears ever since. I have tried numerous brands only because my eyes would tear, get red and just felt irritated. So about a month ago I weaned myself off them and believe it or not my eyes felt better. Could I have been allergic to them?

    I always used non-preservative tears. Some days they feel a little dry but I am drinking tons of water and take 4 fish oil capsules a day plus 1 capsule of borage oil ( for inflammation). I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
    My eyes have been a little itchy lately due to allergies, humidity and I have tried patanay and elestat.

    Some nights I wake myself up rubbing my eyes from itchiness..then in the morning they are swollen and red ( from the rubbing) and I need to put in FML to calm them down. I am aware that I shouldn't be using FML too frequently but that is the only eye medicine that has helped me and I have been on tons of meds throughout the years.
    So can artificial tears be contributing to the problem?? in my case... i think so!
    saveyoureyes~

  • #2
    Hello

    I quit using artificial tears(Refresh Plus-preservative free vials)almost 3 months ago and my eyes don't feel any different(I have ocular rosacea),but I don't think they actually did anything except a very short comfort level.
    Also,I think my lids were redder on the tears but I guess the docs feel obligated to tell us to use them so that we think they know their business!
    I've been battling this for almost 2 years and tried numerous drops,tears,scrubs and quite a few docs and all I hear is I have a very complex case.
    I have tried diet,supplements and now just starting Accupuncture as I don't feel there is help in the medical profession.
    I hope you continue to improve!!!

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    • #3
      I agree with the comments about feeling relief and at least no worse off after stopping artificial tears. I relate to something I read that likened the artifical tears to the effect from licking your lips when they are chapped. To me this is the effect I get from the tears. Adding moisture to a surface already chapped then leads to evaporation of the moisture which then leads to more dryness and chapping.

      I get no relief whatsoever from artificial tears but the doctors insist you use them. I try to tell them that is doesn't much matter if I use them 2-3 times per day or every 10 minutes. None of it provides relief.

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      • #4
        I stopped using artificial tears about six weeks ago. My eyes are noticeably better. I think I may be allergic to or sensitive to the eye drops, or they upset the balance of my own tears.
        Once in a while, when I have something in my eye, or they are extremely dry I will use some unpreserved saline. But I use it only rarely, as everything I have used as far as drops go has made my eyes worse.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mylittlem View Post
          I get no relief whatsoever from artificial tears but the doctors insist you use them. I try to tell them that is doesn't much matter if I use them 2-3 times per day or every 10 minutes. None of it provides relief.
          I agree wholeheartedly. I've been forced to try a very wide range of drops by my rheumatologist and ophthalmologist, all of which have made my eye problems worse. This included all the preservative-free versions as well. The current combination of viscotears/simple eye ointment/maxidex caused my eyelids to swell very alarmingly, but subsided almost immediately once I stopped taking both lubricants. I think drops fail because they all contain substances that disrupt the tear film (even preservative-free ones), and all fail to treat the underlying inflammation inherent in some forms of dry eye.

          From what I understand (after ploughing through a lot of research), there is a significant proportion of dry eye disease that is refractory to tear replacement/lubricants as the underlying cause is inflammation, and where the former have failed it should be managed as inflammatory condition (with steroids, cyclosporine, systemic treatments for autoimmune diasease), but it's very hard to find a specialist who will take this approach.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by y-gwair View Post
            From what I understand (after ploughing through a lot of research), there is a significant proportion of dry eye disease that is refractory to tear replacement/lubricants as the underlying cause is inflammation, and where the former have failed it should be managed as inflammatory condition (with steroids, cyclosporine, systemic treatments for autoimmune diasease), but it's very hard to find a specialist who will take this approach.
            Hmmm. I don't really agree with this. I don't think we use (or doctors give us) artificial tears to treat any underlying causes. We use them as a palliative because we need to stay comfortable enough to get through the day, quite apart from any treatment we may be on at the same time. Most doctors treating dry eye pretty routinely prescribe cyclosporine and steroids these days.
            Rebecca Petris
            The Dry Eye Zone

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rebecca Petris View Post
              Hmmm. I don't really agree with this. I don't think we use (or doctors give us) artificial tears to treat any underlying causes. We use them as a palliative because we need to stay comfortable enough to get through the day, quite apart from any treatment we may be on at the same time. Most doctors treating dry eye pretty routinely prescribe cyclosporine and steroids these days.
              I agree, they are palliative, but this isn't always made clear or alternative therapies suggested when they prove insufficient. I haven't found their sole use made any difference to corneal staining/healing the eye surface, but I didn't realise this until I found an ophthalmologist happy to discuss things in detail.

              It's hard to get beyond basic treatments unless you find a consultant who specialises in inflammatory eye conditions and/or dry eye who is happy to insert plugs, use steroids etc (cyclosporine not at all, as it's not widely available in the UK). GPs, rheumatologists, general eye doctors all seem to feel tear substitutes should be wholly adequate for even very severe dry eye, and very rarely suggest other options or offer to refer you to an appropriate eye specialist.

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              • #8
                I can't even imagine being without a few theratears vials throughout the day, especially when I'm outdoors in the snowy, dry climate of winter in NH. No way. I feel like I'd be damaging my eye more by not occasionally helping it with lubrication! I have evaporative dry eye and AD, and the climate I am in just robs my eyes of any moisture. I wear goggles outside but for the hour I am riding my horse, it isn't always feasible and I need to stop for a break to put in a drop.

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