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Dry eyes, punctal plugs, and social nervousness/awkwardness

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  • Dry eyes, punctal plugs, and social nervousness/awkwardness

    Hi all. I've had dry eyes since 2006 when I had LASIK eye surgery, the biggest regret of my life. I have very dry eyes post-LASIK and also have blepharitis. I've had punctal plugs since 2007. I've tried just about every eye drop, ointments, etc. The only thing that's really ever worked for me are Thera Tear gels in the mornings and maybe afternoons/evenings, Ocusoft wipes, and Ocusoft foaming eyelid cleanser before bed.

    My dry eyes seem to have gotten worse when sleeping after I've gotten plugs although it may just be coincidence. I am wondering if the holes where the plugs are also regurgitate fluids when sleeping, but they're blocked by the plugs. I also have these awkward feelings when my eyes get dry and my voice starts to shake like I'm having a social anxiety attack or something. I recently got 4 plugs, but it was too watery and the feelings of awkwardness got worse so it's really eye discomfort in general. They took the top ones off. I really don't know what to make of it. Anyone else have this feeling relating to their dry eyes? I think it has a lot to do with not being able to genuinely smile when the dryness occurs.

  • #2
    When you say they feel worse, what is the feeling? Is it a saltwater-like feeling, a burning, or goopiness with lots of mucous?

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    • #3
      Well, I've been taking about 6 Thera Tear gels per day lately and that allows me to sleep without waking up from an ultra dry feeling in the eyes. Instead, I wake up feeling like I need to wipe the oily surroundings of my eye. So it's been an upgrade going from eye drops to soap and water or Ocusoft foam. No goopiness and no mucous. Just lots and lots of oiliness.

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      • #4
        My dry eye has caused me to have anxiety, when any of the symptoms associated with dry eye come on I struggle to think about anything else, and stop contributing to a conversations and kind of go in to myself and just feel like I want to cry. Its like any condition that causes a person pain is going to distract them from what they were doing and make them feel awful, the symptoms arent just painful they are irritating too and cause you to lose focus. Its really underestimated how awful dry eye is. I hope feelings of anxiety lessen for you in time, its the worst feeling ever.

        Cath x


        Originally posted by jxyz View Post
        Hi all. I've had dry eyes since 2006 when I had LASIK eye surgery, the biggest regret of my life. I have very dry eyes post-LASIK and also have blepharitis. I've had punctal plugs since 2007. I've tried just about every eye drop, ointments, etc. The only thing that's really ever worked for me are Thera Tear gels in the mornings and maybe afternoons/evenings, Ocusoft wipes, and Ocusoft foaming eyelid cleanser before bed.

        My dry eyes seem to have gotten worse when sleeping after I've gotten plugs although it may just be coincidence. I am wondering if the holes where the plugs are also regurgitate fluids when sleeping, but they're blocked by the plugs. I also have these awkward feelings when my eyes get dry and my voice starts to shake like I'm having a social anxiety attack or something. I recently got 4 plugs, but it was too watery and the feelings of awkwardness got worse so it's really eye discomfort in general. They took the top ones off. I really don't know what to make of it. Anyone else have this feeling relating to their dry eyes? I think it has a lot to do with not being able to genuinely smile when the dryness occurs.
        27, pinguecula, dry eye, Wirral, UK

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        • #5
          Tear production goes way down at night so many (maybe most) feel worse in the morning. It makes sense to me that this *might* be worse with plugs... long shot here just possibility but... you know how they talk about the 'cesspool' effect with plugs trapping bad stuff on the eye in some cases? Well, if Ocusoft wipes are the most helpful thing to you, that would indicate blepharitis, and people with bleph especially if it's not well controlled can sometimes not do too well with plugs because they have poor quality tears. However if having two plugs helps, but four is too much, you might consider partial occlusion plugs in the uppers to find a happy medium. I'd definitely get dr to talk to you more about the state of those oil glands though.
          Rebecca Petris
          The Dry Eye Zone

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          • #6
            Puntual Plugs are such a mystery to me currently. I have Posterior Bleph, MGD, Nocturnal Lagopthalmos and Keratoconus just to name a few things. I have plugs in my lower ducts and don't feel as much pain there as now most of my pain is felt towards the top of my eye and in my top eyelid which gets inflamed and discoloured. But many experts I've seen say may issue isn't aqueous deficiency and things like my tear-breakup time isn't bad, but still most suggest I keep the plugs in my lower ducts.

            I haven't tried plugs in my upper ducts but is that something worthwhile for somebody with MGD? Also Rebecca, what do you mean by "partial occlusion plugs". Just after some help

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            • #7
              have you tried taking theratears omega3 or BioTears capsules as a supplement?

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              • #8
                I too had LASIK in 2006 and have the same problems. Anxiety is like the body fighting against itself to keep my eyes open. They burn and when I am having a bad eye day, I have noticed that I tense up many areas surrounding my eyes to help fight the pain. So those days, my thoat shakes, my neck and the back of my skull get so tense that at night before i fall asleep, my head shakes. That is from months of not realizing what I am doing to myself. so, now I work on trying to relax all areas. It is a battle for sure.

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