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My dry eye cure

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  • My dry eye cure

    Although this post may get lengthy, I hope I will be posting to this forum only once as I have had manageable symptoms for 3-4 months now.

    Background:

    I’m an active 34 year old heathy male who lives in Finland and spent most of my childhood in the tropics. No identified genetic diseases, hereditary or otherwise relevant to dry eye. I used contacts nearly every day in university from 2004 - 2007. From 2007 to 2018 I used contacts mostly during exercise. Currently I do not use contacts and only wear normal glasses. I also do not use eye-drops unless I have to travel by air or spend a lot of time in windy conditions. My work is mostly on the computer and can involve 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week.

    First symptoms:

    Occasional dry eyes noticed first time in 2007 when flying. Frequency increased after this but was able to wear contacts for exercise a couple hours at a time daily.

    Major symptoms:

    My first severe dry eye symptoms occurred after getting antibiotic eye drops prescribed twice in October 2016. After the second bottle I could barely work or do anything at all without having dry eyes.

    Diagnosis:

    This section will intentionally be brief as I visited several specialists in Finland with little help. I even managed to find an Oculus 5M keratograph in order to rule out Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. The final diagnosis was “dry eyes”, although the “specialists” were able to indicate that I have a deficient tear film that lasts 2-4 seconds in the left eye and 4-6 in the right eye at most times. Lipid quantity is low, but I have not had a repeat exam since I discovered my solution.

    Due to little help from specialists, I researched my condition online and began to systematically try the following:
    • Eye drops of all varieties
    • VitaPOS
    • Castor Oil
    • Coconut oil
    • Tea tree oil
    • Tea tree cosmetics (demodex protocol)
    • Tranquileyes
    • Heat Treatments
    • Blephasteam goggles
    • Cold treatments
    • Eyelid massage
    • Omega 7 (4-6 a day)
    • Omega 3 already high
    • Dropped egg from diet for 2-3 weeks
    • Dropped OptiMSM from diet for 3 weeks
    • Green tea combined with lemon and honey
    • Increased water intake
    • Blinking exercises (currently daily for a week)
    • Lid scrubs twice daily after heat with boric water (for 3 weeks)
    • Amalgam filling removed
    • Heavy metal detox (mercury) using chlorella (in progress)
    • Manuka honey applied to eyelids twice daily for 1 - 3 months (in progress)
    • Aloe Vera
    • Facial muscle release
    • Neck muscle strength training (related to trigeminal nerve irritation)
    • New eyeglasses
    Even after progressing through the list above I considered Lipiflow but as even this procedure had conflicting results I excluded it from experimentation. Surgery or punctal plugs were never considered an option due to personal principles.

    Fast-forward to summer 2018. Although it took a lot of support from my family and wife along with a lot of mental coaching I hung in there and “made do” until accidentally discovering the following: coffee. I love coffee, but I only started using coffee regularly late in the game in 2011. I gave it up for a week in summer 2018 and my eyes were better. This was particularly confusing as all studies pointed to caffeine and coffee producing positive effects for dry eye patients. After testing this effect for 3-4 months by introducing it back into my diet and removing it from my diet multiple times, coffee is unfortunately now a once-a-week delicacy.

    My theory so far is that coffee is related to the level of cortisol in my body as I have a stressful job and also tend to stress a fair bit quite easily. My dry eye symptoms also get worse when I have strict deadlines and need to work long days. Additionally, I seem to have a sensitivity to caffeine. When I also removed processed sugar from my diet along with wheat and then reduced dairy to a couple slices of cheese a day I felt even better. This seems to suggest a systemic problem - related to the level of inflammation in my body. I further confirmed this with experimentation with sugar, wheat and dairy. Say I “pigged out” and get a pizza, a soft-drink/alcohol and ice-cream with some additional candy = severe dry eye symptoms for a day or two. Coffee causes delayed symptoms in turn, first it eases symptoms and severe dry eye symptoms occur later in the following days. I am unsure as to why the symptoms occur in a delayed manner. In order of effect, the irritants seem to be coffee, dairy, sugar, wheat. Note, however, that since 2016 I have drunk at least two cups of organic green tea daily and it has become a replacement for coffee. Removing it from my diet does not seem to greatly affect my eyes unless I eat the “irritants” - green tea eases symptoms. Another significant effect is simply water: I need to drink significant amounts of water regularly for optimal dry eye health combined with sticking to the dietary restrictions above. Although I use the word “restrictions”, this does not mean a zero-tolerance protocol, I just limit quantities to a minimum and avoid using any of them regularly. Coffee is limited to once a week at most.

    Keeping the above in mind, I have now had a solution for my dry eye that enables a normal life (albeit without contacts) for now. Hope this helps someone else find their own solution. I will keep working on improving my eye health and will post if I come across further information that may be of help to other people suffering from this debilitating problem.

  • #2
    Hi JMac, thank you for your post. I will definitely try your solution.

    When you say "solution that enables a normal life", you mean that you can do everything? For example, my yardstick for a normal life is the ability to read books and see movies without feeling any dry eye symptoms. Before starting my job, I could watch tv series, movies, read books. Now I can't read, or see movies without starting having dry eye symptoms.

    My theory so far is that coffee is related to the level of cortisol in my body as I have a stressful job and also tend to stress a fair bit quite easily. My dry eye symptoms also get worse when I have strict deadlines and need to work long days.
    I started having dry eye symptoms everyday when I started working as a full-time software developer. I don't know if the stress factor is the driving and working routine or the strict deadlines. But I'm sure that when there are scrict deadlines, I tend to concentrate and stare the monitor more, and to blink less. Maybe this is one of the reasons.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Fenix, "everything" encompasses nearly all I could do prior to developing the issue. I cannot, for example, wear contacts and as such I do not play badminton anymore, which used to be one of my primary sports. Running is fine, biking is fine with glasses that minimise wind. Watching movies, reading etc are all fine. I do notice my eyes at times in heavily air-conditioned movie theatres or for example in a car. Mostly, though, I am able to do everything a normal person can do without major symptoms as given the level of discomfort earlier I had to exclude a lot of activities that would have been enjoyable with my wife. An illness such as dry eye is often not properly understood especially when it gets to the point where it impacts a relationship or marriage. As I'm writing my eyes have been worse for the wear today, but I half-expected it to occur as I had a fair bit of stuff to eat and drink over the weekend I generally should avoid. Nonetheless I try to ignore symptoms especially if they are minor as I believe the "mind-game" that is often quoted for low back pain applies to most every other symptom in the body. The psyche can both heal and hinder any "disease" or illness.

      As for your observation regarding screen time: it is something I tend to overlook but is very applicable in my case - I try to adhere to the 20-20-20 rule but when a deadline is pressing, you just work. Increased water intake offsets the decreased blink time effect a little, but at these times I just "suck it up". If only we could all work outside and without screens.

      Finally, I think that although systemic inflammation and allergies are critical when attempting to understand the root cause for an individuals dry eye, at least my eyes seem to respond in a delayed manner: if I get them to the point where they bother me all the time, it requires adhering to the treatment I've found to help symptoms for a while before they eventually respond. Healing doesn't seem to be very quick even though I'm only 34. Ideally I'd like to experiment even more and do a full reset by modifying my "diet", but that would take a lot more effort and for proper understanding I'd need to be able to either work all the time or not work at all as screen time is a definite factor. "You are what you eat" seems to be a common factor in lots of "dry eye cure" cases and I think as everyone changes over time and their surroundings/lifestyle change, individuals develop new allergies or sensitivities to things they always tolerated before. And for some, even just experimentation for a week or a month is too much if it means giving up something they love...even if it would remove their pain and discomfort.

      Comment


      • #4
        HI JMac, I have just discovered something that makes my eyes really good.
        I have been taking strong probiotics for 3 days, and my eyes are in a really good condition. Today specially. It hadn't happened for 1 year.

        I have been eating healthy food + 2 litres of water + fish oil + flaxseed oil for two weeks without improvements. When I added probiotics, I have started feeling good.

        If you search "probiotics dry eye" on Google you can see that someone has discovered that probiotics really helps dry eye patients.

        I don't know if probiotics helps to restore a weakened immune system, or helps to assimilate better omega 3 supplements.

        Can you try probiotics too?

        Comment

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