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Im 19 and sadly I have dry eyes.

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  • Im 19 and sadly I have dry eyes.

    Well, it all started when I was about 17. I was always told by friends and family members that my eyes were red. I didn't think much of it but it did start to make me feel insecure.I decide to take a visit to an opthamologist, who informed me I had dry eyes. I told him eyes felt perfectly normal, there was no irritation, no eye strain. I just wanted the red to get out. After two visits I was out a $100 worth of prescriptions and nothing was working. So then I decided that since my eyes did not actaully bother me, I stopped going to him.

    Well, two years later the redness is still there and I realized that it bothered me more than I thought it would. So I decided to go to another opthamoligst. I explained her my story and how I was out so much money,so then she started giving me samples. After a few drops that didn't help, she started me on restasis as well as Lotemax, a steroid. I read about the steroid and how it can have negative side effects in the future and confronted her about it. She said that she would take me off the steroid the next visit, which she did. Now im still on restasis, and additionally im using a Elestat. She said I had eye allergies and that would help.

    Current state: My eyes seem to be white up until about the afternoon where they begin to become red again and stay that way thorugh the night. I have anothe appointment with her next week.

    I decided to join these forums to see if there were others like me. My eyes don't irritate me, or anything, they are just always red. So thats my story, thanks for reading.

  • #2
    Hi, Precise.

    Welcome to this forum.

    If I'm understanding you correctly ... while you may have "clinically" dry eyes, you don't feel any sense of dryness or irritation. Your primary concern is the redness that the doctors think is probably a result of allergies.

    Is this correct?

    If so ... then ... if I were you, I'd be very conservative about what approaches I took toward treatment. Some of the treatments really CAN make your dry eye condition worse, in which case, you could start feeling it ... and be like many of us

    You may want to consider "eye washes," or lubricating drops (preservative free), or even something like cool compresses (a cool, wet washcloth).

    Maybe another possibility is the homeopathic eyedrops, by Similasan

    The methods I've listed are *very unlikely* to do any harm, even if they don't help. If I were in your position (redness, but it didn't really affect me in any other way), I'd try to treat this as minimally as I could.

    All the best,


    • #3
      Are you reading or using the computer alot? Or watching TV, playing video games or driving? How much are you using your eyes during the day? If you are using your eyes alot, you might try taking frequent breaks. Put some drops in during those breaks and try to make a conscious effort to blink frequently. You might also try using a gel or something thicker than drops before you go to bed. Many of us find that the ointments are more irritating than helpful. The Gel or Ointment at night might help keep your eyes lubricated during the night and may help with the redness.
      Every day with DES is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're going to get.


      • #4
        Hey Precise! I'm so sorry about you're dry eye problems and can totally relate. I, too, and a 19 year old who has had problems with my eyes since i was only fourteen. Mine is from an eye problem known as SLK that also developed into dry eye. Although it probably seems like you are the only young person having to deal w/ all this crap, there are other people around your age on this site. Sorry this is a really lengthy reply, but since I relate so much, I just wanted to let you know of other options you can try, etc.

        I can completely relate to the redness issue. Since before I was even in high school I've had to deal with people making comments on how red my eyes were. It made me EXTREMELY insecure. NOBODY i knew had to deal w/ eye problems like mine. My eye doctor at first thought it was allergies and perscribed me a perscription drop, Patenol. To make a long story short, it just made my eyes worse and I went through probably almost 10 different doctors by the end of my senior year to help me figure out what the problem is. Although I have treatment for my dry eyes now, i still have to deal w/ redness and can no longer wear contacts. Red eyes and glasses are the last thing I want to be dealing w/ when all i want to do is enjoy college, hang out w/ friends, and meet guys, but I've learned that this is just my life and it's something I'll probably have to deal w/ till the day I die.

        You said you are taking Restasis and Elestat. I have been taking Restasis for almost two years now, and have been prescribed Elestat in the past. Restasis isn't for everyone, but if you're not having side effects with it, I'd definately continue it, becase in the long run, I feel it DOES make dry eyes and problems with eye inflammation better. Elestat is an allergy drop, so it can actually make dry eyes worse, but it might be helping you. You might want to look into that more. Some other thing I recommend from one 19 year old to another on dry eye tips:
        -plasma serum drops (you can do a search on this site about them- they are drops made from your own plasma in your body and are said to help heal and comfort eye problems. a lot of people here, including me, use them.)
        -A gel-based eye drop for night while you are sleeping, depending on how irritated your eyes feel. You said your eyes don't irritate you, but this maybe might help with the redness?
        -over the counter eye drops (I use Refresh Tears) that are preservative free to keep your eyes moisturized all day.
        -Omega 3 supplements to help the moisture glands
        -Drink plenty of water to keep yourself moisturized
        -As you might know, alcohol can dry out your eyes more. Although almost all my friends drink, I rarely drink because I feel that it just makes my eyes feel and look worse.
        -Other things you might want to look into: warm or cold compresses for eyes, eye washes, steroid drops (for a short term use), and maybe even just finding a new opthalmologist to get a 2nd opionion from.

        I'm sure someone can provide you with more tips, but those are mine. As a teen who has had chronic redness in my eye for five years though, i have to tell you that I've gotten to the point where I feel that nothing will make my eyes white again. It's so frustrating to look in the mirror each day and see red eyes, but i guess some people just have to live w/ redder eyes than others. I know that is probably a hard pill to swallow, but once I stopped obsessing about it so much and started to try accepting the fact that this is how I'm going to look for the rest of my life, I've started feeling a little better about myself. When people make comments about my eyes I just tell them that I have an eye disorder that keeps my tear ducts from working normally, and they seem to learn to look past it if they are true friends. By the end of high school, as my eyes continually got worse, and I could no longer where contacts or eye makeup, I lost a lot of "friends" who I realized mostly just cared about the outward appearance, but there ARE people out there who can see you for the inside. Again, sorry this was so long, but I hope I was some help to you.


        • #5
          I appreciate the replys and will be more aware of what my doctor prescribes me in the future. Im glad I found this site, where we can all support each other. Again, thanks for the replys, its nice to that others care and are willing to help.


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