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One Year Dry Eye Anniversary - Physical and Emotional Rollercoaster

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  • One Year Dry Eye Anniversary - Physical and Emotional Rollercoaster

    Hi everyone,

    I am approaching my one year anniversary with Dry Eye Disease and thought I would post an update. Overall, the past year has had its successes and set-backs. It is hard to believe that this time last year I was perfectly fine, had never heard of dry eye disease or ever had to use a single eye-drop due to dryness. How quickly things changed, by the middle of July my tear film was quickly deteriorating and had reached severe dry eye level by the end of July.

    It has been a tough year physically and emotionally. After seeing four doctors, I finally found a great Optometrist who diagnosed me with ATD. My TBUT was a zero at that point (pretty hard to hear that). He put in lower permanent punctal plugs and told me to continue to use my restasis, by December my TBUT was back up to 12 seconds and my tear production was back to 70% normal. At this point I was ecstatic and nearly back to my normal self. I returned to school to continue working on my MBA and had no issues working on the computer long hours, walking in the cold, or handling heated forced air environments. I saw my doctor again in May and he confirmed that my TBUT was still 12 seconds and my tear production was still around 70% normal. We both felt confident that my condition had stabilized. I almost posted in the success forum but decided to wait until I got through the summer.

    Unfortunately I experienced a setback shortly thereafter. I moved to Minneapolis at the end of May for a summer internship and lasted two weeks before having to quit because the office environment was to "harsh". I am back to having issues with computers and conditioned environments, not as bad as last summer but still having issues. I made an appointment with my doctor who informed me that my TBUT had dropped to 6 seconds and my tear production was very low again. Of course he had no explanation for the decrease and put me on Lotemax for a couple of weeks which didn't have any impact. We decided to try flow control upper plugs at my next appointment in two weeks if things still haven't improved.

    I am happy that I have improved from last summer but this setback really knocked me back down again. Overall the past year has seemed like 2+ years and been emotionally draining. I should be launching my career at this time instead of questioning my ability to work, provide for my family, and worrying about my eyes on a daily basis. For the first time I feel like my life has no direction, I feel lost in the sea of life. Thankfully my wife just finished nursing school and got a good job so she can take up the financial responsibility until I get to a stable place.

    I am still fighting this and am hopeful that the flow control plugs will allow me to function better. Still hopeful I am going to be able to post in the success forum sometime in the future.


  • #2

    I'm in Minneapolis too. Are you a LASIK case, or did dry eye just happen for you? I'm 15 months post-Lasik, in Minnetonka. I've been trying to find a good doctor here who could understand a treatment path - let me know if you recommend one.

    I'm so sorry to hear that things reversed again to bad. That's too bad. I had a few good weeks, and now I'm back in pain again, so I really don't understand what causes this...confusing and frustrating. I plan on working in an office setting this fall, so I have my worries about that as well.

    take care and hang in there, chandra


    • #3
      Hi Chandra,

      I did have Lasik about four years ago, unsure whether that caused my issues or whether just was a contributing factor.

      I'm actually not in Minneapolis anymore but during my two weeks there actually lived in Minnetonka and have to say it was one of the nicest communities I have ever visited in America. I loved the lakes and the biking trails. Needless to say that I don't have any advice on doctors since I was only there a couple of weeks.

      Good luck with your new job, hope that everything goes well.


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