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Anyone else with acute/sudden onset of dry eye?

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  • Anyone else with acute/sudden onset of dry eye?

    My dry eye hell began in early December. On January 1st I went to a windy beach and still was more or less ok. By approximately January 7th I had to quit work.

    I distinctly remember standing in the kitchen and taking either raberprazole (Aciphex) or Tecta (which in hindsight I really do not need). After swallowing the pill I felt as if something sucked out the moisture from my eyes. When I stopped this pill for a week, I instantly felt better. I was at a ski resort next to a fire place and I was still fine. As soon as I got back on it started to notice chlorine in the water. My eyes would feel as if I opened them in the pool while I would simply wash my face. I went out and bought my very first preserved eye drops in mid December.

    While I did a lot of things that I should not have but I am still shocked by how quickly I descended into less than 4 second TBUT and NO yawn tears (they came back).

    Contributing factors: office work in the last year, 12h computer/phone screen days in law October to through December with electrical heating on, exposure to a known allergen for a month in November, extreme psychological stress in November/December, getting off the birth control pill in early December, taking medication with dry eye side effects in mid-late December, taking medication with a rare dry eye side effect, using a sleeping eye pillow because my eyes bugged me (pretty sure thatís what lead to corneal damage), insomnia for 2 weeks in December/early January, preserved eye drops more than 5 times a day for several weeks.

  • #2
    Yes my onset was also quite fast. But what i think happens is that the eye doesnt really need all the glands, just a few. So as the glands stop working the eye tears more and blinks more to try and compensate.

    Then the last glands plug up amd it ges from manageable to hell in a short time. Thats what happened to me at least.

    ive had a little dryness for a while, especially many years ago but then added fish oil amd ate healthier, and then that very mild dryness went away. But recently wrnt from eye styes to complete gland shut down very quickly. I had a new apartment and cleaned it, got some styes, took antibiotics and then after that rapid decent.

    Im on the facebook dry eye syndrome support griup and many people say it happened suddenly. I think its how I described.

    For me it was also intense stress, grief and bad sleep, plus more computer use and then sudden onset corneal erosion and hospital.

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    • #3
      Quick onset can definitely happen. Edmunder summed it up pretty well. Itís a progressive disease, so generally there are signs and red flags in advance. This can be excessive tearing (eyes compensating for lack of lipid layer), increased blinking, contact lens irritation, or a thousand other things. Unfortunately, most of us donít think about these inconveniences, and our doctors donít ask us about them, until itís too late and weíre in considerable discomfort. I also have had a little dryness for at least 10 years yet I basically did nothing about it to prevent it from getting worse besides fish oil.

      Itís also interesting how something as small as changing cities or even apartments can tip the scales. Itís interesting Edmunder mentioned a new apartment. I had also moved into a new apartment, a very old and run down building with an old radiator, and it definitely exacerbated my symptoms (and who knows what kind of mold, lead, or other toxins might have been lurking in that apartment.)

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      • #4
        edmunder so it seems like you had some warning signs but were able to deal with them yourself. I did not notice any problems with my eyes ever until this past December.

        Yes, thatís a good point about the glands. Also, they donít block one by one necessarily, too, so they could just block all together for whatever reason leading to debilitating symptoms overnight.

        diydry Iíve spent a month at my folksí place where the heat was on and I was exposed to allergens. I am sure that was one of the last straws. However, like Iíve mentioned earlier, I have not had any dry eye symptoms before this year so I was caught completely off guard.

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        • #5
          Hmm that is interesting! Hopefully it goes away for you as quickly as it came.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by diydry View Post
            Hmm that is interesting! Hopefully it goes away for you as quickly as it came.
            Oh that would be wonderful! Not sure if possible though.

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            • #7
              I want to comment on you saying, I didn't notice anything til December. That may very well be true, but try to really think back. At first when o told my doctor what happened he said, you had to have been having problems before this. I snapped back, no way. But when I thought about it, yeah, same as Edmunder. I had dry eyes for about 10 years. At first I thought it was allergies. I remember times my eyes would water as soon as I woke up then they regulated and I didn't notice anything. Before the dust in my eyes...I was getting slight burning, slight vision change, but nothing that rang an alarm bell obviously. But again, looking back, this was happening no matter what. Sucks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Dowork123 I did not even know dry eye existed as a disease! Not sure how I managed to do this considering there are isles of eyedrops.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hopeful_hiker View Post
                  Dowork123 I did not even know dry eye existed as a disease! Not sure how I managed to do this considering there are isles of eyedrops.
                  Same, and I still had dry eyes lol! When I look back I'm like, oh yeah dude, you were dry as a bone.

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                  • #10
                    Hello I can completely sympathise with you. My dry eye problems started overnight - one day last December I woke up with bloodshot eyes, and when I put in my contact lens (RGP), my eyes felt dry and gritty. I thought this was just temporary but it was the same the next day and the day after that, and here we are more than 9 months later and my situation is the same if not worse, because I have not been able to wear contact lens at all since March and my eyes are now burning/stinging non-stop. I have now seen 6 different opthalmologists who have all diagnosed me with various kinds of DED (evaporative, MGD) even chronic allergy? After overhauling my diet, doing warm compresses, taking omega 3, 9/ flaxseed supplements, trying every kind of eye drop/gel/ointment available on the market, as well as prescription steroid eye drops, there has been no improvement. I had lacrimal plugs put in 3 months ago, but had to have them removed after a month as my eyes were inflamed and itching, probably due to allergans being blocked in my eye. The itchiness has gone thankfully but the permanent burning sensation is unbearable. The doctor I saw most recently told me to use eye drops every hour but they only provide temporary relief and not practical as I have a busy job. I am trying to stay positive but it is difficult.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Alix did you do allergy testing? Your glands could be blocked to the extent that you need more aggressive treatments like IPL (or Lipiflow). Serum drops and long term drugs like Xiidra or Restasis could help. Hope you find a good doc in your area. I had to travel 3 hours by car to the states to see someone who had all of the tools.

                      Thank you for sharing your story btw! Hope you find some resources on this forum to get the help you need.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi@hopeful_hiker

                        Re: serum drops - the opthalmologist I saw before the latest one mentioned the serum drops but said it's only used as a last resort and only for patients showing corneal damage, also that as it was so expensive I needed to get tested for underlying illnesses (thyroid/hormone-related) so they can be ruled out as I could be wasting time and money. So I am planning on getting a blood test for that, but am sceptical as I do not feel ill or have any symptoms of under/overactive thyroid. My optician told me in January to get tested for diabetes as my eye prescription had deteriorated but my tests came back negative for that.

                        Re: allergies - I phoned around to see an allergy doctor at nearby hospitals but they all told me they will not see anyone without a referral from their GP (I live in the UK so the health system is different here). I do have hayfever but stopped taking antihistamines to see if it made a difference and it did not.

                        Re: IPL/Lipiflow - the opthamologist I saw in March told me I had MGD but none of the other ones I saw before or after have agreed, also the warm compresses have not made any difference so I don't think this is a route I want to take.

                        As for Xiidra or Restasis, neither are available in the UK as far as I understand which is unfortunate.

                        I have spent hundreds of £££ on eye drops/gel/ointments this year, it is a relief to know there are others out there in similar situations. I hope we can all find a solution here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alix View Post
                          Hi@hopeful_hiker

                          Re: serum drops - the opthalmologist I saw before the latest one mentioned the serum drops but said it's only used as a last resort and only for patients showing corneal damage, also that as it was so expensive I needed to get tested for underlying illnesses (thyroid/hormone-related) so they can be ruled out as I could be wasting time and money. So I am planning on getting a blood test for that, but am sceptical as I do not feel ill or have any symptoms of under/overactive thyroid. My optician told me in January to get tested for diabetes as my eye prescription had deteriorated but my tests came back negative for that.

                          Re: allergies - I phoned around to see an allergy doctor at nearby hospitals but they all told me they will not see anyone without a referral from their GP (I live in the UK so the health system is different here). I do have hayfever but stopped taking antihistamines to see if it made a difference and it did not.

                          Re: IPL/Lipiflow - the opthamologist I saw in March told me I had MGD but none of the other ones I saw before or after have agreed, also the warm compresses have not made any difference so I don't think this is a route I want to take.

                          As for Xiidra or Restasis, neither are available in the UK as far as I understand which is unfortunate.

                          I have spent hundreds of £££ on eye drops/gel/ointments this year, it is a relief to know there are others out there in similar situations. I hope we can all find a solution here.
                          Let me address the warm compress part of this. Almost everyone, including myself, does the compress wrong. It took me 5 months to figure out how to use the compress without causing more issues. I would make the compress too hot, so it made my inflammation worse. Then if I went too cool, it wouldnít melt my meibum. So thereís this fine balance...it takes some time to learn. If you can, buy a laser thermometer, theyíre usually 15 bucks or less...that will tell you how hot the compress is. Keep it under 45C and you should be ok...then, do it for 2 months twice a day, takes a couple months to really see the benefit. If that doesnít work, compresses are not right for you. You may need cold compress. Not sure. I just didnít want you to give up on the compress because it brings me so much relief, when done properly. Good luck!

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