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  • prattstar
    started a topic 6 Months post Epi-Lasek. Induced dry eyes

    6 Months post Epi-Lasek. Induced dry eyes

    I have been reading this forum since having bi-lateral epi-lasek eye surgery on 24 October 2005. It is such a shame that I didn't read it before hand, as I am certain that I would not have gone ahead with my "procedure".

    I am a 37 year old male and I decided on epi-Lasek as I was told that it was far less invasive on the eye and that complications were rare and any complications could be easily treated.

    It is amazing that when you read of the "life changing event of laser surgery" one automatically assumes that the benefits are positive, little did I think that there could be such a negative impact on my life.

    My pre op vision was L – 2.75, R – 2.0 (with very mild astigmatism), my expectations were to be less reliant on glasses but had no issue accepting that any residual prescription could be corrected with a pair of low prescription glasses should I want/need them.

    My post surgery result is good (plano with -0.5 astigmatism in each eye), however, the mild astigmatism does cause me some challenges in low light, my vision does fluctuate depending on my mood and the state of my dry tired eyes.

    My challenge is that I started to suffer with dry eyes within weeks of the surgery. I experienced my first corneal abrasion soon after the bandage lenses were removed. The clinic put me on Lacrilube (preservative free) until my new "sticky" cells healed (most likely 2 - 3 weeks).

    I stopped using Lacrilube after being instructed by another consultant at my clinic during my 3 week checkup.

    This was welcomed advice given that I hate using the stuff and I actually feel that my eyes felt and looked worse whilst using it. I took a holiday in Australia for 2 months (no computers or eye strain) and only experienced very mild discomfort on very rare occasions maybe the humidity helped.

    To cut a very long, frustrating and often debilitating story short, I am six months post epi-Lasek and my dry eyes has gotten worse during months 4 - 6.

    My eyes have looked like I have been on a month long drinking binge (terribly bloodshot and red bottom lids)

    I have tried the following artificial tears/gels
    - Refresh Contacts (preservative free)
    - Hypromellose (preservative)
    - Viscotears gel (preservative free – I think)
    - Blink (preservative free)
    - Refresh Celluvisc (preservative free)
    - Systane (preservative free)
    - Lacrilube

    In addition to this I have also used the following:
    - Vitamin supplements (1 x Multi-Vitamin A – Z with minerals)
    - Omega 3 Fish Oil (2000mg/day)
    - Humidifier in the bedroom
    - Warm and cold compresses
    - Eyelid scrubs
    - Eye mask of a night

    I find that my eyes feel like they are “on fire” by the end of a day. It is a bit like wearing contact lenses that desperately need to come out, unfortunately, it is difficult to get relief.

    After getting extremely frustrated and upset with my current clinic constantly dismissing me with “well that was on the consent form” and a fairly debilitating corneal abrasion (severely affecting my vision), I insisted on seeing another doctor at another clinic within the company.

    Finally, I was referred to a doctor in London, the first Doctor in this company that I can talk to and understands my position. More importantly, he is committed to working with me to find a solution. At last, I feel that I am back on the right road to recovery.

    I started with temporary punctual plugs in my lower lids, this did not resolve the problem but certainly helped.

    Then he suggested that I stop using lacrilube, to use a night time gel and Systane as required during the day.

    I was very reluctant to stop using Lacrilube at night due to the pain inflicted by a corneal abrasion on waking. Whilst I hate the stuff it seems to help avoid corneal abrasions, instead, I used Viscotears Gel and Refresh Celluvisc.

    Since having the surgery, I only get about 3 – 4 hours sleep at a time, so each time I wake up, I reapply Celluvisc. I prey for a night sleep of more than 4 hours, maybe one day I will receive my wish.

    My eyes are still very dry when I wake in the morning, so I start the day with a few drops of Refresh Contacts (or Blink).

    I regret that I had this surgery but I am not prepared to live a life of regrets. I made the decision to have this surgery and I have accepted that decision as being somewhat questionable. I am not blaming anybody else, I am simply looking for a solution that works for me and makes my induced condition manageable. I am determined that this is not going to rule/ruin my life.

    I just hope if anyone reading this post is considering laser surgery that you consider all the options and ask your surgeon about the possible complications. Like you, I thought “These things don’t happen to me”. Well they can happen to anyone and chronic dry eyes can be debilitating and life changing condition.

    Thank you for taking the time of reading my post, sorry it is so long. I feel so much better that I have at least broken the silence and feel that I am ready to tackle this condition head on and get it sorted out.
    Last edited by prattstar; 05-May-2006, 16:55.

  • Angela810
    replied
    I read a post from him in 2012. He is basically recovered now. No red eyes or erosions. Sounds like it took 6 years but he got here. I like 'hope' stories like that.

    Leave a comment:


  • nori2015
    replied
    Anyone????

    Leave a comment:


  • nori2015
    replied
    H everyone. Has anyone in this group been I'm touch with Ian (Prattstar) since his last post here? I'd love to know how he is now. I've messaged him but I didn't get anything back, although I assume he's avoiding all this dry eye stuff since he got better, which I don't blame him for!

    Leave a comment:


  • Irina
    replied
    Hi nori,
    I've started Restasis when I was 6 months post LASIK. At that time I tried plugs too. It's not too early if you feel that you need something more than just OTC drops.

    Leave a comment:


  • nori2015
    replied
    I'm only 6 months post PRK and Ive had about 6 erosions in those 6 months, not had any for almost 8 weeks now so I'm hoping I've put them behind me.
    I use systane ulta preservative free vials. I think these give me the most comfort. Im using them about 6 times a day, and absolutely soaking my eyes with them at night. My eyes suffer most when using a PC, in air con, the supermarket or outside. I know I'm early days and that I may still improve with time. But right now my eyes are so dry, dull, red yellowy.....yuck! Also have an ache feeling behind the right one.

    I wanted to use blink vials as they have HA in them as I heard they'd be good for red veins but they dont seem to feel as comforting as systane.

    Im also taking omega 3, visioncare capsules and drinking lots of water. Just wondering should I try anything else? Is 6 months too early to be looking for restasis or plugs, or should I should I just wait it out until 12 months and see how things are then? I have my six month check up next week.

    Im also on antihistamine drops and pred mild steroid drops for the next 6 weeks, so far they've not helped the irritation.

    Leave a comment:


  • patientpatrick
    replied
    Ian your journey has been amazing. I fight everyday and feel that I can barely stand. I wake up in tears most mornings and sometimes cry myself into exhaustion. I'm over a year post lasik, well beyond the 6month healing time and still have painful dry eyes. I have shared my symptoms, causes, treatments on many forums seeking the advice of doctors and other professionals, and the more I hear back the sadder i become. I've been fighting for the last year to convince myself that I would get better, that I would heal, and return to a life that I could be happy with again. I saw a therapist and it turns out I'm going thru the 5 stages of grief I'm apparently in phase 3. Your 5 year healing time does give hope, and not to take anything away from your inspirational journey, I just feel I don't have your strength and the chips are stacked far too high against me. I have searched for stories like yours and have found little hope. I also find false hope to be damaging as well. Guess I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I miss my life before this mess, and I desperately miss my glasses. I struggle everyday feeling not only a loss of hope, but a loss of who I am. I wish i had your courage.

    Leave a comment:


  • prattstar
    replied
    Hi there DEZ friends

    Well it feels like a lifetime since I was regularly glued to this board seeking answers and due to a number of PMs I have received of late, I thought it time to do an update since my last post was November 2010 and pretty much when I decided it was time to focus on something other than my eyes.

    To those of you out there that have Dry Eyes as a result of epi-Lasek, there is hope. It may take many years, countless drops and lots of heartache but don't ever give up.

    My biggest hurdle was overcoming the recurrent corneal erosions. I can honestly say, they are behind me (touch wood). My eyes are still dry of a morning when I wake up, and I have some difficulty when I go swimming with my daughter but other than that, I am relatively symptom free.

    I don't spend anytime at all looking at my eyes now, the whites are white again minus the road map of red lines that used to be so evident.

    I still have some days that aren't as good as others but overall, I am very happy with where I am now.

    My vision has even stabilised. I have a very light prescription glasses for when I am tired or of a night when I want that little extra clarity but generally, they spend most of their time in a drawer gathering dust.

    My advice to those of you suffering so badly with this is, hang in there. It will get better. Don't give up.

    My life has gone onto improve in so many ways and if it wasn't for the wonderful support from some of my friends on here (Rebecca - you are an absolute saint, Lucy, DianaT, Eligamore and countless others - thank you).

    I honestly don't think I would be where I am now if it wasn't for the support I received from this board during my very dark days.

    I wish you all the best. I am happy to answer any questions (if I can, just send me a PM). I will also check back here if anyone has posted anything.

    Warm regards and I wish you all well.

    Leave a comment:


  • kayc
    replied
    Progress?

    Hi
    Have not been on this site for ages so I will give you an update on my situation!
    I went for a second opinion on the stromal puncture to Harley St. The guy there that I saw recommended using a simple eye ointment for 1 month, this was back in June last year. I tried this and there was no change in my RCE'S.
    I then started to wear bandage contact lenses in both eyes for 3 months night and day. Still no change. I then started to just use the lenses at night and continue to do so but now only in my right eye. I have been doing this for over a year now. My left eye has been very good and has not stuck for about 6 weeks but then last night it stuck and it has upset me becasue I really did think that that eye was going to be ok! I am quite scared now to try my right eye without the lens as I dont hold out much hope for it. I just dont understand how the eye can stick one night and then not the next. I continue to go back to OE to see the professor every 3 months and he has told me that I will have to make a decision as to whether I opt for PTK to try and rectify these RCE's. The problem is there is no guarantee that if I have it done that it will work!
    It will be 3 years on 18 July since my surgery.

    Leave a comment:


  • joanna
    replied
    Hello Ian,
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    I wonder how are you?
    I had epi-lasik 2 years ago and RCE. I learn a lot from your story.

    Siany - howe are you? I sometimes have the dark thoughts too, every time I think I could loose my sight and I could not see my beautiful son growing up I start crying and only wish to go back in time and not to do this surgery

    Leave a comment:


  • siany
    replied
    Dear Ian

    Im hoping you still visit the website as wanted to say I read all your posts from the start and its because of them I have started to feel more positive about my DES.
    Like yourself I had Lasek 24th Oct (maybe that date is doomed) but in 2010 so will be a year next week. On my initial consultation they picked up on that I had dry eyes but said it was of no concern and were able to proceed, I only wish now Id had researched more before going ahead. After half an hour of my surgery when the numb drops had worn off I was in the most horrific pain(on the M25 with my husband driving), this pain continued for 19 hours and not even 6 sedatives would knock me out. Put it this way I have 2 children and would easily choose child birth over the pain I had. I had awful discomfort and blurred vsiion for 4 weeks and then the RCE'S(stuck eyeball) started. With all this happening I also had my 2 children to care for of ages 3 and 9 months, my youngest was'nt sleeping through the night as yet so the added disturbed sleeps was a killer.The clinic actually told me it was probally down to the sleepless nights with my child that was probally making my eyes worse which would make sense as they were'nt as rested but maybe they should add in their small print that sleep and resting eyes can be vital. I had my first bad RCE in Dec which was not only frightening but so deflating as the healing I had managed with my vision by then sent me backwards. The amount of visits I had back at the clinic were countless and each time my vision was'nt improving and the times it did Id have another RCE and drop back again. Thankfully I have'nt had any bad ones for few months now just the scracth type ones that you now get Ian but I so so sympathised with what you had been through,it actually brought tears to my eyes(what little I have left of them). Now on to drops!!! well beleive me Ive tried them all Viscotears, steriod drops, Clinitas Soothe, Refresh, Blink, Celluvisc 1% and just recently my local G.P gave me an ointment to use at night called Simple Eye Ointment but it actually made my eyes worse hence how I ended up finding this fantastic website in sheer desperation. Straight away by reading all peoples posts I thankfully read that ointments can in fact make dry eyes worse so in the bin it went and Im back to useing my Celluvisc and blink for night. I have also been taking Flaxseed oil for 3 months which in my opioion has'nt made any great differnece even though the clinic assured me it would and Id be discharged as a patient by my appointment next week(yeah right). I do kind of have it down to a skill now, at night or morning if waking I squeeze in some Blink drops or Celluvisc to the inside corner without fully opening them and gently massage lids to move drops around. There is times I have a RCE before getting chance to do this and I also get them from eye movement in deep sleep, if I do have one I find sleep heals it faster so for instance if happens through the night I can wake by morning and its mostly healed otherwise I use lots of Celluvisc. I suffer mainly with my left eye and by night notice how tired they can be. b I had no idea about the cold press and ice packs working so will def be trying that if was to have a bad one again although Im praying I dont. Although they have got less severe as times gone on now Winter is approaching I know ill be extra cautious and use more drops as fearing bad ones may visit again.Shows how much this changes your life, we are even thinking of having our house chimneys opened to have an open fire in the lounge so we are not using as much central heating that will dry out my eyes more. In all this time I saw my own G.P to be refrerred to an eye hospital as to be honest I just wanted a second opinion to what the clinic was telling me. After general testing they diagnosed me with Bilateral Dry Eyes, the lady also said she saw some spots in my eyes that she thought was an allergy and prescribed me allergy drops. After reading about the spots you had in your eyes Ian Im wondering now if it was the same thing but this lady just thought it was allergy. If its possible would you be able to pass me the details of the person you thought overall was best, but I know you had a mare in Dr's all saying different things.I just think I might be best seeing a Corneal Specialist like you had. Im just so very grateful to finding this website as ive gone through some real lows with this, it may sound drastic but at one stage I was petrified that all the RCE's would eventually destroy my sight and I would'nt be able to see my children. I realise just how precious sight is. Once again Ian thanks for sharing all your trauma as its defintly helped me, the best part was reading that you did finally get to a copeable stage with this and Congrats on your wedding and baby Daughter. Hope alls well with your eyes these days. Also would be great to hear how Kay the last posted member got on too? Siany

    Leave a comment:


  • kayc
    replied
    Well I tried the sodium chloride and although my eyes felt better when I stopped using it my eyelids started sticking again! Have now being wearing a bandage contact lens at night for 2 months and went to see another surgeon now in Harley Street. He said my options were ASP or some further laser treatment as my eyes still stick at night without the lens. They are fine during the day now. He wanted to do the ASP there and then but I cold not bring myself to have it done although I think that I will in a few weeks time. He did say that if I opted for the laser treatment it could affefct my prescription (great back to glasses!)

    Leave a comment:


  • kayc
    replied
    Ian

    Thanks for the info.
    My sodium chloride drops have arrived, from spain(?) not muro though. Will give them a try and see how they go.
    My eyes are not too dry at the moment so we will see how they progress now winter is here and the heating is on full whack!
    The thought of more surgery terrifies me so I think I will steer away from that.

    Have a good Christmas and hope you continue to improve.
    Kay
    x

    Leave a comment:


  • prattstar
    replied
    I certainly wouldn't recommend it. 5 years on is one heck of a recovery time for near perfect (debatable) vision.

    The risk is far too great in my opinion.

    Kay I didn't have more surgery I just hung in there and used clinics ultra 3. I still have stuck eyelids but predominately during winter when the heating is raging.

    I too tried Muro (at considerable expense in the UK due to being charged import duty) but hated the stuff.

    I must admit most things are to try before more surgery.

    As for the Doctor, get a second opinion.

    Regards

    Ian

    Leave a comment:


  • smb43432
    replied
    Having read this post I am still curious to the surgery..

    Will it ever be perfected? I don't want put myself in danger just to have near perfect vision..

    Leave a comment:

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