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  • serum drops and redness

    Hello all,

    I've been a chronic dry eye and red eye sufferer. I'm getting by with restasis 2x/day + Theratears about 5x/day. I do warm compresses too at night. From a dryness perspective, thinks are ok some good and bad days. But from a redness perspective, my eyes are permanently pink and veiny at their best and bloodshoot at their worst (which happens 3x/week at least).

    For all the serum drop users, has your redness improved with use of the drops? The only reason I would be willing to try this is to see if I could improve my redness, which has been attributed to dry eye by my eye MD.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I am using 100 percent serum and have found it to improve redness. If you are using Restasis, it may be causing a little more redness than normal. I would go for it and try the serum if you can get a doctor to prescribe them to you. I have also found that improving my diet and cutting out a lot of wheat and sugar has improved redness also. You may want to try that as well. have you tried using doxy for the lids?? This may help as well...you still have options to try.

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    • #3
      Thanks Faith for the info. Yes I have tried oral doxy, didn't seem to help, I took it for 1.5 months but it was giving me upset stomach so I gave up. Where can I find serum drops in southern California. I googled ucla and usc which are the main academic centers here, but no info on any MD's prescribing these drops there.

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      • #4
        For me, just so you know, the doxy took a full three months before it started working. It also upsets my stomach unless I take it with oatmeal or bread. I live in Canada so I got my serum from a bigger city here. lots of ppl on here live in Cali, so you may want to ask around where they got theirs. Are you working in an environment that could make the problem worse? I had to give up my computer job because I was just miserable there because my eyes hurt all day ( ppl could tell to that I wasn't happy) It sucks but I really want to focus on recovering even if it means giving up my career for now. I also have up any foods that may make my problem more visible. What is your diet like?

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        • #5
          Hmm, ok maybe I gave up on the doxy too soon. I might ask if another antibiotic can be used. I know I used to have acne and minocycline was used instead of doxy, so maybe the same can be applied to MGD? Has anyone heard of this?

          Any southern california serum drop users on this board?

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          • #6
            Most doctors first go with doxy (100mg), but minocycline is an alternative... or even tetracycline. Minocycline is available in 50mg pills. There's less chance of side effects on minocycline 50mg. Good luck.

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            • #7
              A friend of mine had serum eye drops done at Doheny Eye Institute in LA.

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              • #8
                Thanks Pinky and spmcc for the advice. Yes I will try to get to USC sometime and ask if a trial of serum drops are appropriate. Will try minocycline too as taking doxy 100mg daily was tough on the gut.

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                • #9
                  Hi Pinky,

                  I just contacted Doheny Eye the other day, they apparently have suspended doing serum eye drops at USC (she said they still rx it, but you have to go elsewhere to get it). The receptionist answering the phone couldn't give me any more details. Where else are ppl getting their serum drops? UCLA? UCI?

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                  • #10
                    I was referred by my ophthalmologist to Doheny this past Feb. I saw Dr. Neda Shamie (on Feb. 21st) who thoroughly examined my eye (I have MGD), had had cataract surgery Feb. 7th and still had slightly blurred vi sion due to a "frosted" cornea. She prescribed autologous serum and also suggested scleral lenses might help. I started with the serum first. My primary doctor at Cedars did the required tests for HIV and hepatitis. When I got those results a few days later, I went to UCLA Medical Plaza in Westwood (no appointment needed) for the blood draw of 100ml on Mar. 11th. It was a very quick procedure--I was in and out in 20 min. They process the blood which takes about 2 hours. I killed that time at the mall and picked up my serum and took it immediately to RanchoPark Compounding Pharmacy. They had the serum ready the next day. Dr. Shamie had given me all the directions, instructions and phone numbers I needed to get to UCLA/Pharmacy. I started using the serum the next day & it worked within the day! I am on my second bottle of serum and my eye is just great--no more swollen lid, stinging, itching, crusted over lids. The drawback is that insurance does not cover the costs. However, compared to what I paid out of pocket for medications, copays, etc. over 19 months it is well worth it--I have my life back & computer work 6-8 hours a day is no problem. The blood draw at UCLA was $130 and the Pharmacy charged $265 for the bottles of serum which last for 3 months. I had tried all the OTC drops which did not help much. I also tried various antibiotics which caused more inflammation and pain due to the preservative used (BAK). Anything with BAK should be avoided by dry eye patients. Restasis was the worst; I believe it was the castor oil in it. I hope this helps; it is really not a time consuming process and all the people I dealt with were very kind and helpful.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info! Glad to hear you had such success with serum drops.

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                      • #12
                        I have serum tears (100 percent). They have helped and r worth the effort. I still use Steriods three to four times per week and Restasis twice a day..sometimes only at night depending on how my eyes feel. If u have MGD and severe dry eye, serum tears MAY not be enough. But in addition to your regime I think they will help with the redness. Have you tried using any low dose steriod drops such as Alrex?

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                        • #13
                          Well the good news is my eye doctor returned my call and said serum tears are a good idea. The not-as-good news is he doesn't know where in orange county is a reliable source. UCLA's a bit out of the way for me. Anyone know of somewhere in the OC that compounds this?

                          Faith1989: Yes I tried Alrex for 4 weeks, first 4x/day, then 3x/day, then 2x/day, then 1x/day. My eyes cleared up quite a bit, except for some vessels that are basically "permanent" in the corners of my eyes. But then the redness came back. I asked my eye doctor, can I use Alrex as needed and he said yes, although its not a good idea to do this and he would rather me just use more artificial tears.

                          So my current regimen is flax seed, warm compresses, restasis, and artificial tears. I assume the serum drops will substitute for the artificial tears, but maybe I will continue to use Alrex as needed. Basically I use it before important meetings when I need to look sharp.

                          Oddly enough, the worst time of redness is when I close my eyes for >20minutes. It doesn't even have to be a full nap, something about closing my eyes makes the vessels dilate a lot. Also after warm compresses my eyes always look very red and angry.

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                          • #14
                            Faith -how long until you noticed the serum tears working? I think I have 25% the tech said its 1 part blood to 3 parts drops.

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                            • #15
                              Hi everyone,

                              I'm gonna start making my own serum tears. I've been suffering from dry eyes and pain (possibly corneal neuropathy?) in my right eye for 6 months now. I'm a medical student with years of work experience in research labs, so hopefully I'll know what I'm doing..
                              I just bought my own centrifuge and necessary medical supply from the internet.

                              I found this document with instructions on how to isolate serum from whole blood. I'll have a med school friend draw my blood (this is how we practice phlebotomy in school anyway lol)
                              http://www.proimmune.com/ecommerce/pdf_files/PR31.pdf

                              I'm thinking of starting with 50% serum and working my way up to 100% if necessary.

                              My question is, do I need to be on antibiotics while I'm doing serum tears? Thanks.

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