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6 Months post Epi-Lasek. Induced dry eyes

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  • #31
    Originally posted by IanPratt
    I find that I have to be really careful when showering that I don't get water in my eyes otherwise everything goes horribly wrong for about 1 - 2 hours.
    I have a similar experiance when I get even a small amount of water in my eye when I shower. I do live in a "hard water" area (limescale) so I assumed that made a difference. When I stay with my mom in an apparently "soft water" area, the water from the shower doesnt affect me much at all.


    • #32
      Another month on (10 months post epi-lasek now)

      I have just had the 10 month anniversary (feels like a lifetime) of my epi-Lasek procedure and I think I am starting to get some more improvements in my symptoms.

      Whilst everyday comes with its own dry eye challenges, I have had some really good days in the past month, I can honestly say that I didn't have too many of these in previous months.

      My night dryness is still causing me lots of sleep deprevation, I tend to get a max of 4 hours sleep before having to reapply gel. This just really gets me down, combine this with a bad eye day and I can feel myself slipping into a depressive state.

      I have still had the occasional morning abrasion but these are getting fewer and farther between. Can't wait for the day that they are gone forever.

      I still use the Tranquil eyes, however, I no longer use the pads inside them as I felt that they were putting too much pressure on my eyes. Personally I think the pads need to be slimmer. I find the mask just as effective with or without the pads. I might try them again with the moist inserts just to see if it makes a difference now that my eyes are not as inflammed.

      I had new plugs put in this month (90 day Oasis). One of the bottom ones fell out soon after it was inserted, but I couldn't get back to the clinic for a week, I must admit that it didn't make a significant difference anyway.

      I tried my second saline rinse last night and I don't think it is for me, I think that I get more relief from a Theratears rinse (1 vial in both eyes over in about 15 minutes).

      Theratears seem to clear my eyes up and gets rid of the redness whereas the saline rinse just makes them feel better, once I get them back under control, I find Systane keeps them manageable for the rest of the day.

      I have had a few days this month where I have used no drops at all (can you believe that), what a great feeling it was, can't wait to have more of them.

      My DR got me a sample of Lacriserts - what an interesting experience that was. I had a real issue getting them inserted, then about 3 hours later, my eyes were on fire and the Lacriserts just had to come out, not sure if it was them causing the problem but it was a bit too co-incidental I think.

      If I though getting them in was challenging, getting it out was equally challenging. It was all goey and revolting not sure how it could possibly do anything positive for my condition, my eyes were really inflammed and sore afterwards. Although maybe it was unrelated and I will try again in a few days time just to give them another try.

      Thanks to Theratears, a warm compress and about 4 hours on the sofa with a cold wash cloth over my eyes I managed to get the inflammation back under control.

      My eyes still look quite red and inflammed most of the time but I am starting to accept that this is the new post operative normal. My DR told me that he thinks they will clear even more over time as the condition is managed. My whites are starting to look clearer (depends on the light), some of my friends have commented that they look much better.

      I still finding it difficult to spend too much time in front of the computer. This is difficult given that this is what my job entails. Fortunately (for my eyes and not for my bank account), August is a slow month for us at work so I haven't worked much this month.

      My right eye continues to be my problem eye, my left eye is generally comfortable but the right one still burns frequently. I guess I should be grateful, you could say that I have the problem 50% under control.

      On my last visit my vision was checked and the astigmatism has improved also:
      L - 0 sphere X -0.50/180
      R - 0 sphere X -0.25/55

      I am happier with my visual outcome now that the astigmatism has reduced, this coupled with the occasional good eye day encourages me that I am still healing and things will continue to improve in the dry eye stakes in time.

      I get excited when I look in a mirror and see my occasional shinny eyes and a small tear meniscus. I am amazed how something so simple has such an effect on my mood, goes to show how low you can get when suffering with DES.

      Whilst I am so far from where I want to be with this, I just hope that things continue to improve and sooner rather than later I can return to a near normal life.

      I live in hope


      "Every day is a good day, some are just better than others"


      • #33
        Good Blood Test Results

        After a recommendation from the Laser clinic, I went to my GP to request a full blood screening.

        The DR has given me a clean bill of health (except for a couple of minor things) but finally RA, Sjrogens and lupus have been ruled out.

        Bring on the champagne, now I am dealing with dry eyes and nothing else (that is enough in itself).

        So back to the Laser clinic next week to seek clarity on this is is mucin/lipids issue to see if the DR can shed any more light on it for me.

        Sounds like I have discovered the meaning of the world, no that I have not, but at least I am dealing with dry eye alone and not one of the other serious conditions also. Dry eyes in itself is a challenge, I am inspired by those of you with underlying issues also.

        My underlying issue is that I let someone cut and zap my corneas without fully understanding the consequences of my decision and I was happy to hand over the money to let them do that to me.

        "Every day is a good day, some are just better than others"


        • #34
          12 Months Post Epi-Lasek (Anniversary Today)

          Today is the 12 month anniversary of my epi-lasek procedure and it seemed timely to post my current challenges.

          It was my birthday last Saturday, decided to have a party to take attention off my eyes at least for an evening. I had a fantastic night, had a few too many drinks, fell up the stairs and went to bed without putting in my eye gel - this drunken oversight resulted in a severe corneal erosion on Sunday morning. I guess the positive side of this story is that I made it to bed and didn't end up falling asleep in the garden.

          Since Sunday I have had horribly blurred vision in my right eye, have had 2 trips to the doctor and have been quite distressed with my vision and the Doctor's suggestion that Debridement of my right eye whilst radical may be a solution to these recurrent erosions although there is no guarantees (heard that somewhere before 12 months ago - I believe, consent form comes to mind).

          Until this week, my left eye feels comfortable most of the time, it is primarily my right eye that continues to give me grief, however, with the vision disturbance in my right eye, the left has gone out in sympathy because it is working overtime compensating for the poor vision in the right, resulting in serious headaches behind my left eye most of this week - give me strength.

          I started another thread about the debridement, I am quite reluctant at the moment. I will be spending 3 months in Australia in about 4 weeks time so I am hoping that the change in humidity will give me some relief and not having to stare at a PC for 3 months should help (I live in hope).

          You would think that with all the stuff that my tired eyes have read lately that they would jump at the opportunity to heal themselves, surely they must be uncomfortable within themselves - poor little souls - no I haven't lost the plot just trying to make this a light moment.

          Since my last post, I feel as though I am getting my daytime dryness under control, however with winter fast approaching the radiators are just not helping.

          I went into the office today and it was like walking into a furnace. I upset my colleagues by opening the windows and suggesting that their coats could be put to better use in keeping their own back warm as hanging it over the back of the chair really didn't serve any useful purpose. At least the atmosphere in the office was a little colder after that even if the radiators were at boiling point.

          I am hoping that my vision will settle down again soon, it is about 6 months since my last serious erosion and I was getting excited that maybe - just maybe they had passed. It was only last week that I was commenting to people that my vision was the best it has been since the surgery. Such a shame the erosion has set me back again. I am sure that if my previous experience is anything to go by, my vision will improve again.

          If you are considering laser surgery, let me just remind you that 12 months ago, I was a perfect candidate also, the last year of my life has been the most challenging in my short 37 years.

          Thanks to all of you who have provided me inspiration to keep up the fight over the past 6 months. I have had some really tough days but I am even more determined now that I will get this horrid condition under control and stop letting it rule my life.


          "Every day is a good day, some are just better than others"


          • #35
            Ian, in early 2000, it was well versed that most people with dry eye were post-menopausal females. When dry eye began showing up post-op, it was still being told that "this was the case." Those of us who frequented the bbs realized this was NOT the case. Being in the older female category, I fit perfectly into the "reason." No further explanations necessary. After all, what did I expect?

            Men began having the same problems post-op. What? Why? Men? Must be some sort of oddball thing. YOUNG MEN? No. Yes. It really didn't take long for me and others to realize the "older female" reason was just an excuse some docs could use.

            I'm sorry you are having trouble. I only wish you'd been around another bb a few years ago and listened to some of my, Rebecca's and other's rantings. Keep us informed, please? It sounds like you had fun with your drunken birthday party. We just must throw caution to the wind sometimes! Can you envision me sitting in a smoky casino perched on a stool wearing Panoptx goggles? I do get some funny looks, but they work quite well and I will not give up all enjoyment. You shouldn't either.
            Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

            The Dry Eye Queen


            • #36
              From one 37-year-old to another happy birthday (late). You've come a long way and that will continue, temporary setbacks notwithstanding. You're a terrific guy, Ian, and have been a great support to others here with all your sharing. I feel sure things will continue to get better for you, with or without debridement. It can be excruciatingly slow sometimes and we don't see the progress until we look back on it retrospectively - sometimes much later.
              Rebecca Petris
              The Dry Eye Zone


              • #37
                Originally posted by Lucy
                I only wish you'd been around another bb a few years ago and listened to some of my, Rebecca's and other's rantings.
                LOL! Reminiscence-ville. I look back on that in wonder sometimes. I am afraid I even wrote a couple of poems about these stupid !@#$ eyeballs of mine.
                Rebecca Petris
                The Dry Eye Zone


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Rebecca Petris
                  LOL! Reminiscence-ville. I look back on that in wonder sometimes. I am afraid I even wrote a couple of poems about these stupid !@#$ eyeballs of mine.

                  Care to share Rebecca? I guess you lost them eh! Shame, we could always do with a laugh on here as you know!


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by SusieD
                    Care to share Rebecca? I guess you lost them eh! Shame, we could always do with a laugh on here as you know!
                    Yeah unfortunately it all got deleted at some point. We do need to get some more doses of humor around here though, esp. this time of year when things get harder. Hmmmmmmm
                    Rebecca Petris
                    The Dry Eye Zone


                    • #40
                      First let me wish you a Happy belated Birthday. I just started reading the posts and I was sorry to hear about your setback. I myself am at the 6 month post lasik mark. It is disheartening to realize in 6 more months there is the chance this will still be a bad situation.
                      I know everyone is different but at this time I am regressing due to the change in weather and the heat being turned on. I can relate to you opening the windows at work. I find myself doing it at night and then freezing my family.
                      Tomorrow I am going to Cleveland clinic for an evaluation. My own doctor has admitted defeat! I am keeping the hope (even though most days it is very difficult to do). I was feeling a small level of comfort until this past 2 weeks. Your story has made me realize I must never let down my guard when things are slightly better.
                      I have had the abrasion is an erosion the same thing? What does you doctor feel the debridement will do? Is there scar tissue or infection?
                      Lastly, before your surgery were you unable to wear contacts or having any dry eye?
                      Keep the faith and remember to enjoy those carefree times (like your birthday party) We can't let the dry eye ruin everything about us.
                      Good luck !


                      • #41

                        I am sorry to hear that you are having similar challenges to me. Just because I am at this point, doesn't necessarily mean you will be also.

                        I think that an recurrent corneal erosion starts as an abrasion and when it happens continually, it is then referred to as recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) - this is what i have managed to piece together.

                        I was the perfect laser candidate - so I have been told time and again. I used to wear contact lenses for 8-12 hours per day with minimal problem. I did notice that some days around 8:00pm I was ready to remove them but they had been in all day.

                        The debridement is supposed to remove the epithelium and let it regrow completely on it's own, the theory is it will be strong as the whole thing completely regrows.

                        Remember i had epi-lasek where just the epithelium was weakened and folded back to perform the laser, this is supposed to be better for people with dry eye anyway.

                        I am off to the DR today so I will let you know how I get on.

                        Keep up the fight, we will get through this, just some tough days to get through along the way.


                        "Every day is a good day, some are just better than others"


                        • #42
                          1 extreme to the other

                          After my plug fiasco yesterday, I braved yet another visit to the DR today. I am still in shock that my local A&E didn't know what punctul plugs are and where they should look to see if they are abnormal (I could have told them what I really thought but I don't think you will find punctul plugs there ) - what are we dealing with in this country.

                          I ended up coaxing the temporary plug out last night with a bit of saline and a cotton tip (and some trusty forceps). Couldn't put up with that all night - warning - don't try this at home!!!!!!

                          Anyway, today, I have had yet another appointment (I am going to take my sleeping bag next time and set up home in the surgery, I seem to spend more time there then I do at my own home), at least they see whenever there is a problem.

                          Long and sort of the visit today, I now have permanent plugs (Oasis), top and bottom - should be excited I hear you say, not at all, I have had overflow all day since I had them instilled.

                          Fortunately, I have a visit next week where if they don't settle down, I will be asking for the top suckers to come back out, the DR asked me whether I was sure I wanted the top as my eyes looked pretty well lubricated.

                          It is quite strange, but I noticed a remarkable difference between the permanent plugs and the temporary ones just in the bottom alone. The permanent plugs seem to retain more moisture, and whilst they are called permanent, I have been assured that they can be removed if the need arises.

                          Another exciting drawback is that when you swing your head around on the motorway to check to see if there is approaching traffic, my cornea connects with the plug and that triggers reflex tearing and a jabbing feeling that is not what I would describe as a pleasurable experience.

                          I am sure there is a happy medium somewhere between not enough and too many tears, the too many seem really watery anyway. At least my eyes look a little whiter today, my own tears must be doing some good.

                          I couldn't understand what those of you with reflex tearing or tear overflow were on about - how could too many tears be a problem I used to think. Now I sympathize, been there, done that, didn't like it either.

                          Just another experience on my journey wandering aimlessly through the Dry Eye minefield.


                          "Every day is a good day, some are just better than others"


                          • #43
                            couldn't understand what those of you with reflex tearing or tear overflow were on about - how could too many tears be a problem I used to think. Now I sympathize, been there, done that, didn't like it either.
                            Ian, don't speak too loudly, as this too can pass as swiftly as well...water over a dam. Or should I say damn? I can remember having tissues all around me at work, every time I'd speak or smile at someone--the overflow would start. Actually, while not fun..........for me, those were the days.
                            Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

                            The Dry Eye Queen


                            • #44
                              Month 13/14

                              I have finally arrived in Australia after months of planning and I must say that the humidity is a nice and welcomed change.

                              Firstly I will say that the flight was horrendeous. I could never have imagined how revolting it was to fly with DES, it never occurred to me that I would spend an entire 14 hour long haul with a wet towel over my dry burning eyes - something else I have to thank Lasek for.

                              Once I recovered from this flight, I had another 7 hour flight from Singapore to Brisbane, it was nearly as enjoyable as the 14 hour one, at least this time I only used half the amount of warm towels.

                              I found the tranquil eyes an essential travelling companion and would certainly recommend them to anyone doing the long haul.

                              The weather in Australia has been fantastic, very warm and humid. In general I would say that my eyes feel better, although the air conditioning really sucks the life out of them pretty quickly.

                              Thanks Rebecca for the glasses, they have been fantastic, using them in the car with the AC on full blast is a welcomed relief.

                              One thing I have noticed here in Oz is that there seems to be quite a selection of drops available and compared to UK prices they seem quite reasonably priced. Quite a welcomed relief from what I was paying for this kind of stuff.

                              There also seems to be some generic product marketing going on, for example there is a generic equivalent to Genteal Gel that sells for A$5.95 (approx 2.20) and the real Thera Tears that we pay a fortune for in the UK retails here for about $10 (4).

                              I have also started on my experiement with Dwelle/Dakrina (thanks again Rebecca). I am having mixed success with it. Dakrina and I just don't seemt to get on so I am using Theratears during the day and now Dwelle of a night.

                              There has been the odd occasion where I feel an abrasion has been imminent so I have quickly put some Genteal gel (well now the generic product after my bargain hunting trip) and avoided it.

                              I am determined to win this battle and will persevere with Dwelle as I believe it will help me.

                              Whilst I am using two completely different products, I feel that Theratears during the day with Dwelle of a night seems to be doing the trick.

                              I don't feel I have a burning need (no pun intended) to use tears during the day now (not doing any computer stuff/reading or anything taxing - just lots of sleeping and wandering around the farm) but I still instill TT every 2-3 hours as I think a bit of prevention will work wonders and give my eyes some quality time to heal.

                              I wouldn't say that the change in weather has had the wow factor - yet, but I can categorically say that I do not miss the central heating or my office or my countless hours in front of a PC.

                              Life has just got a little better and more comfortable.


                              "Every day is a good day, some are just better than others"


                              • #45
                                Great to hear things are moving in a positive direction, Ian. Also good to hear that what you've found on the shelves there is more, better, cheaper.

                                As to flying: when I was prepping for my trip across the pond, the docs agreed: knock him out and let him sleep until arrival. For each of my two flights to and from Europe, I popped a pain pill and a sleeper (in this case, Ativan). There was too much concern about the pain, risk of corneal ulcer, and extensive recuperation time if my eyes were open.

                                I also used an unpreserved antibiotic ointment and a pair of moisture goggles before I konked out.

                                On the way there, it was nearly perfect. On the way home, though--for whatever reason--I woke up a few times and had to struggle to get back to sleep. Either way, though, I pretty much kept my eyes closed the entire time.

                                Continued good luck in Oz. Mind your step on the farm, ya' hear?



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