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  • Dry eyes make me want to give up my life - please read !!!

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this forum and I would like to share my experience about dry eyes and hope to get some positive feedback...

    I am in my early 20s, graduated last year and now have just started my career but my eyes are really affecting my everyday life and I am on the urge in giving up my life. I do wear glasses (mainly for computer and tv), but I have never worn lenses. I do not wear make up anymore.

    At the beginning of 2011 I noticed that my eyes were painful and would burn a lot especially under artificial light and I had little but deep red veins in my eyes. One of my friends at work questioned me about my eyes being red and from that day I became very conscious and quite obsessed about my eyes.

    1. In mid 2011 I visited my GP about my eyes and she told me that my eyes were slightly swollen and little reddish and prescribed me hay fever eye drops - NO HELP
    2. After a few weeks I went back to the GP and she prescribed me eye drops as she thought I might had an eye infection - NO HELP AGAIN
    3. After a few weeks later I went back to GP and she diagnosed me as having blephairitisies and told me to do daily scrub with baby shampoo - DID NOT REALLY HELP
    4. I went back to GP again and asked her to send me to an ophthalmologist but she refused to send me and told me I was wasting her time.

    In 2012 my eyes were crying for help and I was desperate to try anything. I visited another GP and he said I just had to live with the eye redness and maybe to try eye drops over the counter.


    Now this was the turning point in my life - EYE WHITENING DROPS !!!!!

    In April 2012 I used eye whitening drops for 6 days (not straight) in a 2 week period for about 4-5 times a day (sometimes 3-4). In May 2012 I noticed that the veins in my eyes got bigger and redder and it made my eyes appear more red.

    After September 2012 I visited a few ophthalmologist (private) and this is what happened:

    1. Optometrist (specsavers) told me I had very dry eyes and given artificial tears (with preservative) - DEVELOPED 2 VEINS IN EYES
    1. I went to ophthalmologist and he told me I had inflammation and was given lotamax eye drops - NO HELP but made my eyes slightly worse
    2. I was given non-steroid eye drops for 2-4 weeks - NO HELP
    3. 2nd ophthalmologist told me my eyes were quite red for my age and told me to take ibuprofen 6x day for 2 weeks - NO HELP
    4. Then told me to wear artifical tears 6X a day - NO HELP

    All the ophthalmologist were quite surprised and told me I did not have dry eyes !!!

    In 2013 May I got another GP to let me visit ophthalmologist (NHS) and this is what has happened so far:
    1. 1st visit - I was told my eyes are permanent red and I have to clean my eye lids regulary - NO HELP
    2. 2nd visit - Different ophthalmologist I saw and he told me I had quite dry eyes - told me wear eye drops daily and eye ointment - NO HELP
    3. 3rd visit was told my eyes have improved - RUBBISH STILL RED AND PAINFUL

    I have tried artificial tears, eye ointment, omega capsules, cold and warm compress, sleeping more, changed my diet (drinking plenty of water and eat fruit and vegi) but nothing has helped. Recently I have noticed that my eyes veins are getting worse and now I have developed red tiny veins in the corner of my eyes.

    I feel hopeless and I feel like I have nothing to live for. I avoid going out now and I have almost stopped living. Its depressing bearing the pain and looking in the mirror and seeing red eyes.

    Please can anyone advise.

    Many thanks,
    Bubbles

  • #2
    Hi bubbles, im only 20 and i can totally relate to what ur are going through but here some advice that i can give u that i hope will help u to stand back and try to see the bigger picture cause i did the mistake to stop my life cause of my eyes for 6 months and i regret it

    if im not wrong ur main problem is about red eye right ? I can tell u that i know about it, cause my eyes are particularly awful, with a lot of veins (espcially Under artificial lights), but please DON'T LOOK AT UR EYES, AND DO NOT COUNT UR VEINS (i was like this before but there is no point doing this, exept being more stressed and depressed because u ain't got ur beautiful eyes of before).

    why don't u buy TINTED glasses??it would almost solve the looking problem right?

    and when someone ask u about ur eyes, tell him that u got bad allergy and it will understand and they won't ask after. In school, everyone know i got eye problems and now nobody ask me about my red eyes lol, they got used to it. Still its very difficult to look people in the eyes, i agree, but red eyes are not the end of the world i can tell u.

    About Omega 3, try to use it for altleast 3 months and buy a famous brand like TheraTears Nutrition ( it has a lot of sucess). Continue the sleep and diet thing, even if it don't help, at least u are sure that it would nott worsen u.

    Exept red eyes, whats ur symptômes??

    About artificial drop, try preservative one only, don't put too much stuff in ur eyes( i think about ointment).
    About appoitnment, the perfect thing would be to have only one optahlmologist ( a specialist if possqible) that follow u (easier to say right, i know about it, i have seen dozen opthalmologist and im still searching for someone interested in my case).

    so don't stop ur life (because when u will be better, it will be harder to resume a social life ect), and try tinted glasses if u can.

    peace and know that ur not the only Young with eye problems

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi,

      I totally get that this sucks, but you'll get through it - at my worst, I had to keep my eyes shut for several waking hours each day, couldn't read, couldn't use the computer (15 minutes per day for e-mail only, but even that was pushing my luck), couldn't cook (fumes hurt), couldn't do anything that required the tiniest bit of concentration because that led to me not blinking enough and eye pain, eyes burning all day long, couldn't work more than a 4 hour shift (and never 2 days in a row, needed time for my eyes to "recover"), I'd find myself driving home and have to pull over because my eyes hurt so much I couldn't keep them open - it was awful - this went on for many, many months.

      But now, I'm doing much better - still not normal, but compared to THAT, I'm doing awesome- and, more importantly, I can honestly say I'm HAPPY - so whatever you're going through, this isn't the rest of your life - it's just something that sucks right now, but you just have to trudge through it, and fight to get some normalcy and happiness back in your life - it may take a while, but you'll get there.

      To save my eyes typing, here is a link to a previous post I'd written that i think may help you: http://www.dryeyezone.com/talk/showt...ght=#post87318

      Hang in there!
      Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
      Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

      Comment


      • #4
        Sagg what do you think helped the most if you had to choose a few things?

        Comment


        • #5
          The thing that helped the most: Moisture chamber glasses - specifically, my Wiley X AirRage's - with them on (I'd wear the sunglasses version in public), I could go shopping, run errands, go out socially etc. - they looked odd, but as long as I refused to look in the mirror, I could pretend I wasn't wearing them and act like the old me haha

          2nd most impact - getting all 4 puncta blocked off (originally had only lowers, but having uppers AND lowers blocked off makes a huge difference - can use umbrella-style plugs or cautery)

          3rd most impact - giving up wheat (obviously your mileage will vary on this one - in my case, I seem to be allergic and/or intolerant to it - if you aren't then giving it up won't help one bit of course)

          For long-term healing - Restasis 4 times daily combined with the above

          But honestly, I feel like it's over-simplifying things to just cut it down to those 4 things - the first 3 had the fastest results once I implemented them, but could only get me so far - Restasis can take much longer to do its thing, but I suspect that I wouldn't be able to do the things I do today without having Restasis on board for so long as an anti-inflammatory.

          And then there is the stuff that only comes from experimentation and is very individual - I take just over 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day as an anti-inflammatory (source is 4 grams of fish oil) - I take dextromethorphan cough syrup as a mild neuropathic pain treatment (helped me a ton with the burning eyes I would get) - I use naltrexone drops - I use an LED light machine to reduce inflammation (obtained via Dr. Rosenthal when I saw him at the Boston Foundation for Sight) - I use 100% autologous serum eye drops 4 times daily - I no longer wear any makeup since that's one less thing to potentially irritate my eyes (figured if I couldn't wear eye makeup, there wasn't much point in wearing the rest of it) - I monitor my indoor humidity levels, and use a humidifier to ensure I maintain a good level of humidity for my eyes (the monitoring helps me figure out if my eyes are bugging me from too low humidity, or if it is likely something else etc.) - I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night (less than that starts to affect my eyes after a few nights of skimping on sleep)

          Once every 3 months or so, I'll try to change nothing except for dropping one treatment, to see if I get worse - if I get worse, I assume said treatment is helping and I should continue with it - I rotate which treatments I try to stop.

          Lastly, there are things that helped significantly when I was on them, but which I no longer need:

          Salagen 5mg 4 times daily (honestly, would still help if I took it, but it was expensive, so I stopped as soon as I could function well enough without it)

          doxycycline 100mg twice daily (or tetracycline 250mg 4 times daily as an alternative if doxy wasn't available) - no longer needed this once I gave up wheat

          Lacriserts (was expensive, so I stopped as soon as I could get away without it)

          cool compresses for burning eyes (quit doing this when I no longer had this symptom toooo badly, or tooo often)

          warm steaming of my lids for Meibomian dysfunction 5 minutes twice daily followed by gland expression - no longer needed this once I gave up wheat
          Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
          Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

          Comment


          • #6
            Bubbles, what part of the world do you live? Hopefully you can see an ophthalmologist who is respected in the field of dry eye. It sounds like you need to get a more specific diagnosis to treat the problem in the most effective way. This requires a number of tests, an important one being Meibomian Gland expression and assessment since this is the most common cause of dry eye.

            It's unlikely that the blood vessels you have noticed forming since your dry eye began are new blood vessels/veins...it is more that the veins have dilated due to dry eye (with many downstream effects such as inflammation, blinking without sufficient lubrication, lack of oxygen and tear nutrients etc.). So the redness will diminish if you can reduce the dryness

            Do you best to keep your head up and know that it will get a lot better, it just takes time to try different things and understand more about whats causing the problem. Try not to be a recluse as socializing will help your frame of mind.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Bubbles: Most everyone on this forum can identify with your distress. I'm with Saag on the first 2 points, those are the things that helped me the most as well. Sorry Saag you forgot one thing though, the serum drops (those are made from the plasma in your own blood and as such contain nutrients and stem cells that help to repair the eye and reduce the inflammation). Most days my eyes are much better than before and as such not nearly so bloodshot.....hang in there, you too will find your answers...cheers...F/G

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello everyone,

                Thank you so much for your time and advice. Just to confirm I live in England so I have seen good opthamologists is London but so far I have had no success.

                Update

                Sorry for the late reply...a lot has happened in the past 6 weeks..

                In Dec I went to a walk in clinic in London and the opthamologist told me that I did have dry eye and instantly inserted plugs in my eye (right only as left was very stubborn). I was very surprised she inserted temp plugs in my eyes as my local hospital said that could wait.

                In the mean time I was waiting to see my opthamologist at my local hospital and I saw him just before Xmas. He told me that I have dry eyes, have little bit of mucus in my eyes and my eyes are slightly inflamed. Therefore I was given preservative free steroids (3rd time), artifical tears again and drops to clear muscus. He even inserted plug in my left eye.

                3 weeks later - I have seen no improvement intact I feel like my eyes have got slightly worse. My eyes hurt and burn so much and my eyes veins look so inflamed. I feel so distressed that I am on the urge of leaving my job. I have even stopped going out and I have just given up hope. I am due to see my opthamologist next week but I really have no hope now....honestly..I cannot believe this is happening..

                Bubbles

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi bubbles,

                  I wish I could offer you more, I just started dealing with this as well. I'm 22 yo, just started a career job as well and have no idea how to solve this problem. I don't think people are judging your red eyes as much as you think. I still go out and my eyes are pretty red (eyelids especially, and tiny veins in the corners like you said) but no one seems to really notice/care--especially at night when we go out, lol. I'm guessing the reason your friend mentioned it is because it was a sudden change. Most people won't give it a fleeting thought. Plenty of people without dry eyes have veiny eyes, just look around.

                  Keep doing what you love, and baby your eyes in the downtime. And stay positive. There's my $.02, good luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bubbles06 View Post
                    Hello everyone,

                    Thank you so much for your time and advice. Just to confirm I live in England so I have seen good opthamologists is London but so far I have had no success.

                    Update

                    Sorry for the late reply...a lot has happened in the past 6 weeks..

                    In Dec I went to a walk in clinic in London and the opthamologist told me that I did have dry eye and instantly inserted plugs in my eye (right only as left was very stubborn). I was very surprised she inserted temp plugs in my eyes as my local hospital said that could wait.

                    In the mean time I was waiting to see my opthamologist at my local hospital and I saw him just before Xmas. He told me that I have dry eyes, have little bit of mucus in my eyes and my eyes are slightly inflamed. Therefore I was given preservative free steroids (3rd time), artifical tears again and drops to clear muscus. He even inserted plug in my left eye.

                    3 weeks later - I have seen no improvement intact I feel like my eyes have got slightly worse. My eyes hurt and burn so much and my eyes veins look so inflamed. I feel so distressed that I am on the urge of leaving my job. I have even stopped going out and I have just given up hope. I am due to see my opthamologist next week but I really have no hope now....honestly..I cannot believe this is happening..

                    Bubbles
                    Bubbles, plugs caused me significant backup inflammation when I had them inserted on the bottom. I had to keep just upper plugs. I looked scary. You might talk to your doctor about this. The inflamed cells stay on the eye longer with some people.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi everyone,

                      I visited the opthamologist yesterday. After being examined its confirmed that I have dry eyes, blepharities and mucus in my eyes.

                      I informed the opthomologist that the steriods or drops to clear mucus didnt work but he said that was impossible and I must have kept touching my eyes.

                      He said he cant give me anything else and to use artifical tears and thats it. He also told me that he can refer me to another clinic but i will be moving in circles and i need to accept my eyes and to stop looking in the mirror and not to focus on my eyes.

                      Since yesterday i have been devestated and I have lost all hope..I feel I have lost myself I wish I hadnt worn those vasconstrictor eye drops..my life has changed and so has my familys. Im causing so much distress to anyone and I hate waking up in the mornings. I have decided to quit my job even though my career meant alot to me but im struggling, infact every day has become a struggle. Im scared whats in store for me after this...

                      Bubbles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bless you, Bubbles. I have been where you are too, and am better, but not well. My eyes were blood red for a period of time, and I've had terrible mucous problems, photophobia, you name it. I agree with Spoon, and feel you still do not have a solid diagnosis. Ocular rosacea is hard to diagnose, and lots of doctors miss it, or don't consider it at all. I also think you might have an allergy to one or more of the meds you are using. No Tears has a big problem with plugs and inflammation, so that is another possibility. I had a real problem with mucous drops and also Azasite. In addition to that, I also discovered that some foods caused major inflammation. The key is getting the inflammation at bay, and it will be a real challenge to find the key culprits. I still have bouts of inflammation and issues with my oil glands, but it is much better. It is a real pain in the ass, and you will probably need goggles, at least for awhile. Hang in there. It is picky and takes time, but you will get better. I never thought I would be saying that, but it is true. Our eyes do heal, but it is a lot of work. Hang in there girl!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LaDiva View Post
                          Bless you, Bubbles. I have been where you are too, and am better, but not well. My eyes were blood red for a period of time, and I've had terrible mucous problems, photophobia, you name it. I agree with Spoon, and feel you still do not have a solid diagnosis. Ocular rosacea is hard to diagnose, and lots of doctors miss it, or don't consider it at all. I also think you might have an allergy to one or more of the meds you are using. No Tears has a big problem with plugs and inflammation, so that is another possibility. I had a real problem with mucous drops and also Azasite. In addition to that, I also discovered that some foods caused major inflammation. The key is getting the inflammation at bay, and it will be a real challenge to find the key culprits. I still have bouts of inflammation and issues with my oil glands, but it is much better. It is a real pain in the ass, and you will probably need goggles, at least for awhile. Hang in there. It is picky and takes time, but you will get better. I never thought I would be saying that, but it is true. Our eyes do heal, but it is a lot of work. Hang in there girl!
                          I agree to an extent.. Yes, certain things will make your eyes flare up but I wouldn't doubt your doc's recommendation so much. BUT... There's always the possibility that we can be doing more to reduce inflammation by putting in drops, not touching our eyes, etc. Let's not jump to any drastic conclusions here.

                          Try following doctors orders for at least a little bit - stop anything that might cause inflammation - warm compress, massages, certain eyedrops etc. For me, Steroids did nothing until I stopped attempting all the crazy at home remedies suggested on forums like this...quite honestly, anything you find on this forum, ask your doc and get their opinion. Otherwise, while you're in this stage, focus on things that are anti-inflammatory. Heat, touching, germs, etc. will all cause inflammation. Good luck!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I did not mean to infer that Bubbles should not follow doctor's instructions. I do mean to say, and did say, that I think she may not have an accurate diagnosis, and perhaps this is still a missing piece to the puzzle. I did not tell her not to follow doctor's instructions! I was sharing my experience, just as you are.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bubbles, welcome to one of your mutual support networks - you are certainly not alone here being young with dry eyes, and there are lots of kind people with good experience.

                              Best to find an ocular surface specialist Ophthalmologist you want to work with. If you have to be seen out of hours, it's best to go to the same cornea team, if poss, so they know your history and have your Notes. That made us feel very much better and hopeful, to be managed by one Consultant and team.

                              We don't bother our GP with the eyes, it's been so awful, though you've done better with referrals (there is a 2014 initiative by RNIB and NHS to establish GP eye training - yay), but we do have a high street Optometrist who works 'portfolio' in the hospital Eye Clinic. He can refer straight to any Ophthalmologist or Emergency Eye Clinic. You can also be monitored regularly by NHS hospital Optometrists, especially to have eye pressure checks if you are on steroid eyedrops, and they refer to your managing Ophthalmologist if they see any changes.

                              After Visine and all those random eyedrops, it might take a while. Best to let a doc you like manage this if poss. Have you tried these guys? http://www.dryeyesmedical.com/

                              NHS website 'dry eye' and 'blepharitis' info is good now http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dry-eye...roduction.aspx. The most information ever in one place is the 'DEWS report' (just Google).

                              My young d. hardly thinks about her eyes now, as long as she does her daily treatments and uses eg Hyloforte maybe 6xday. She has stopped having the inflammation flareups which we had to control with steroids. But she needs to sleep and eat well, and be careful eg on the computer. Plus we eat lots of oily fish and we've gone wheat, dairy and sugar free, which has stopped the flareups for some unknown reason. So loads more good food.

                              What are you doing to improve your comfort right now? do you have lubricant eyedrops that help? are they treating for meibomian gland dysfunction? what do you need to do to get comfortable (wraparounds, humidifier, gentle eye cleaning, reduce screen time, more water, more sleep)?

                              I don't have much training but you're very welcome to PM me about your feelings and we can talk about that. Some Eye Clinics have counsellors too. Moorfields are particulary good. Samaritans are, of course, amazing.

                              Consider GP or self-referral into your local counselling services so you've got someone to see every week. Do Not Hesitate. Depression is a mood and temporarily stopping work to sort out the eye probs would be a big change. It's easy to get stuck in a downer without a plan, and that means talking about what's happening to you with a professional you like.

                              Best to sit down now with a bit of paper and map out your support network so you know where you are. Nobody plans for this stuff to happen but we can take a professional approach to life's unexpected problems (hugs).

                              It's tough riding out the bad times. Not always so good feeling 'special'. And it can go on for longer than it should. But when the eyes are feeling better, we feel great again, and we are stronger and more compassionate people for dealing with this.
                              Last edited by littlemermaid; 12-Jan-2014, 13:18.
                              Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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