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Severe Night Dry Eye from PRK: What seems to be helping

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  • Severe Night Dry Eye from PRK: What seems to be helping

    I had PRK in November 2011 and have had severe night dry eye pretty much from the time the bandage contact lenses were removed. My eyelids stuck fast to my eyes every time I slept. Even if I just dozed for 20-30 minutes they would be stuck fast.

    I had some erosions early on before I was cognizant of what was happening. Once I understood what was going on I became adept at waking up with my eyes closed, sensing that they were stuck and massaging them or placing drops on the eyelid seam to work them open gently.

    After seven months of trying lots of different things my eye doctor came up with a new combo of drops that have produced immediate results. While not complete resolution, I noticed the first night that when I woke during the night about half the times my lids were not stuck. When they were stuck they were not nearly so tight. After about two weeks I'm now to where in the past five nights my lids have only been stuck one time. My eyes are still very, very dry, but this seems to be real progress. Here is what I'm getting results with:

    At bedtime:

    FreshKote drops - let them work in for 15 minutes
    Alrex Steroid drops - let them work in 15 minutes
    Systane Night Time ointment
    Thermalon Moist heat mask

    Some comments on each:

    The FreshKote drops are RX only and I've seen some posts from people who had reactions to them. They do burn at first, but it lasts for only a minute and after that my eyes feel far better, and for longer, than any other drop I've tried. (My OTC favorite has been Thera Tears).

    The Alrex steroid is the third one my eye doctor has tried and the first one that seems to be doing anything. I'm not sure what's different about it then the others, but it is definitely working better for me and seems to really work well in tandem with the FreshKote.

    Systane Night Time ointment is my recommendation because it has the smallest Mineral Oil:White Petrolatum ratio. It's only 3% mineral oil. I've found mineral oil to be an irritant, and also the more oil in the mix the thinner the consistency. For me Systane Night Time has been by far the most comfortable and most effective/longest lasting. I've read the concerns about using ointment. My eye doctor (my actual doctor, not the guy who did the PRK) said there is no long term detrimental effect to the night time ointment use. He's very reputable and I trust him on this.

    The Thermalon mask I heat up and put it on when I get into bed. I just leave it there until it's not warm any more, or until I'm close to asleep.

    Upon waking I put in FreshKote drops, use an eyelid wipe to clean away any residue left over from the bedtime routine, and do a ten minute Thermalon treatment. In addition to helping, the moist heat mask is a soothing way to start and end each day.

    One other thing I've noticed - if I sleep on my back with my eyes facing the ceiling I seem to have more problems with my eyelids sticking. If I sleep on my side or stomach with my eyes more facing down the eyelid sticking seems to be lessened.

    Anyway, I'm encouraged by this recent progress. I wanted to put this out there in hopes that maybe it would be helpful info to someone else with a similar problem.

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