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Finally getting some answers

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  • Finally getting some answers

    Hello all!

    I'll try to sum up my odyssey of the past 2 years in a coherent and concise way--here goes:

    October 2010: first corneal ulcer

    October 2010-July 2012: at least 12+ painful episodes of spontaneous corneal injury, treated with steroids, antibiotics, constant eye discomfort and dryness. Diagnosed by my then-OD with dry eye. Treated with restasis (didn't help) and discontinuing using my soft-lens contacts. (Which I hated as I have a prescription of -7.5 in each eye)

    July 2012: Started questioning my OD concerning a second opinion and underlying causes. My symptoms had specific patterns that made me question the umbrella diagnosis of "dry eye" such as the specific and consistent placement of the corneal abrasion/ulcers/erosions, extremely red eyes in the middle of the night, and the sudden onset of my condition.

    August -Sept 2012: After gently but FIRMLY requesting a consult with a specialist and taking my treatment plan into my own hands, I saw my family practice doc and then a rheumatologist and a corneal specialist and ultimately learned: my rheumatoid factor was elevated, Vitamin D was slightly low, negative for Sjogren's, no signs of rheumatoid arthritis, no corneal disease processes were going on, and to just "keep on with he lid scrubs and hot compresses, you've got dry eye. Oh and a little corneal scarring."

    October 2012 (1 week ago): Finally found a local ophthalmologist highly recommended by several trusted healthcare professional friends, and within a few minutes she had listened, examined, and diagnosed me AND explained the pathophysiology behind my symptoms. She came up with a treatment/management plan (along with realistic expectations that my problems are not cure able but ARE manageable and gave me hope for the first time in a LONG time.

    Diagnoses: Ocular rosacea, Staph Marginal Disease.
    Treatment plan: Doxycycline orally for 3 weeks to be repeated as needed. Steroid/antibiotic drops when needed for flare ups, and a simplified hot compress and scrub routine. Only a week and the improvement is amazing!!! My eyes feel almost normal. Hoping that lasts!

    I'm continuing my Omega3 and Vit. D supplements and my topical tea tree shampoo and face wash routine which i started 3 months ago as I think they do help. Oh and I use Systane about 4-6 times a day.

    I believe my inflammation-related eye problems (and several other health issues) were triggered by a life-changing traumatic loss just over two years ago. From that moment, I've focused on trying to radically accept what "is" and focus on taking care of myself and my loved ones--this includes accepting what's happening to and in my body. I cannot control things that happen to me, but I can control my response to it--and that is my definition of health.

    Nice to meet you all and thank you for the amazing info. I've been lurking and reading here for several weeks and have been overwhelmed by the knowledge and kindness shared here.


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