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dry eyes in Thailand

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  • dry eyes in Thailand

    My dry eye story.
    Firstly, after 7 years of dry eyes, I just find out about this website. It makes me feel better to see that Iím not alone in my case and thank you in advance for all your contribution. Iím looking forward to read and learn more about our problem.

    Iím Swiss and live in Thailand for more than 20 years now. My first language is French, so forgive me if my writing is sometime ďfunnyĒ.

    I started to have dry eyes in 2001, probably because of wearing contact lens. So I went to the local hospital were the doctor, without much proper examination decides that I must have an allergy and gave me antihistamine. A few days later, it was not better so the doctor gave me more medicine for allergy. 2 weeks later, it was worst and I went to see another doctor who says the same and gave me the same medicament. (Antihistamine contributes to make tears drier). After 2 months, with so many scratches in my eyes and so much pain, I decide to visit the best clinic in Thailand (Rutnin hospital) where after a short examination the Doctor told me that I have dry eyes. After 1 week of proper medication and drops, my eyes were back to normal, but no tears. After 6 months still no tears. So the doctor says that it will be for life. My tear canals have been cherubically blocked to avoid drops flowing down out of the eyes. You all know about the discomfort, pain, so I pass on it.

    Some interesting stories specific to Thailand. In Thailand, when people have red eyes (conjunctivitis), they thing that that person is possessed by a Ghost. I donít have conjunctivitis, but dry eyes, but both make red eyes. So Thai people are afraid of people with red eyes and sometime they show their tongue to scare the ghost away. Just imagine when you donít know that yet... Another story about dry eyes in Thailand is that when I explain to Thai people that I have dry eyes, they laugh and find that very funny. They think it is a joke, but sometime I have difficulties to find this funny especially if Iím in pain. Quiet often, in the evening, my eyes are so sour and red, that people will send me to bed, thinking Iím tired, or they may think Iím drunk or on drug...

    Iím working as tour leader now, and the first thing after introducing myself is telling people about my dry eyes, so they know Iím not on drug or drunk. I wear sun glass as it eases a little bit, even at night.

    Another interesting thing: Acupuncture. Iíve been to a hospital in Bangkok called Huakiew. Itís a Chinese hospital with a traditional medicine branch. While the specialist ophthalmologist says that there is no hope at all to get my tears back, the Chinese doctor could do it. I had my tears back for 3 days... And then dry again. Hoping to get more successes, Iíve keep going to acupuncture for more than 100 times (until I run out of money). Sometime, I had my tears back just for a few hours. Note that I had no insurance to cover eye problem, and still now, it cost be a good part of my income just to buy artificial tears.

    I use to have a small guest house in the North-East of Thailand, but because I had to go to Bangkok often for the acupuncture, I had to find more money. I find a job as tour leader and Iím still working for the same company. I like this job. But as I was rarely home, I lost my guest house business.

    Both my eyes are completely dry. But strangely, I always have problem with my right one. No doctor are able to explain me that.

    Iíve been visiting doctors in Thailand, Switzerland and Australia, Iíve seen Buddhist monks with magic power (he rubbed tiger balm on my eye balls!!!!!). On bad days, Iím considering removing my right eye ball to replace it with a fake one which doesnít need tears...

    SO YES! Thank you everybody for this forum, and I hope I will be able to bring useful contribution..


  • #2
    can sympath1ze with danintrang

    danintrang,ive just read your tale of woe,and mine is very similar indeed at least here you can get a fairly quick assesment from a doctor,then you can pretty much live with it. i drive 50 miles back and forth to work every day on a fast moving freeway,and put everyones life on the line that come near me,my friends at work dont exactly understand what a problem im having,but one told me if he had to go through he would shoot himself.(sometimes i want to).i squirm and can only look out the bottoms of my eyes and they stop hurting for awhile.i cant wear glasses,the cleared vision just makes it worse.many days im in bed by 8pm being fed up with the whole war. the only help i have are thera-tears,soaking my eyes with hot compresses,and looking down.i havent used this service much,and this is the first time ive come out with my problem on this sight!but after reading your post,i felt the same way you did.alone.good luck with yours my friend.


    • #3

      that is an interesting story about the Thai's reaction to people with bloodshot eyes. Quelle horreur!

      I am going to Koh Samui next month and am looking forward to the higher humidty levels than here in Australia, as it helps a lot. Combined with being away from an office environment and the computer, I am hoping it is going to be a nice holiday for my eyes!

      Do you not find that the humidity helps you? Have you tried some omega 3 supplements such as the ones they discuss on this forum?

      au revoir


      • #4
        Don Lute. Thank you for your reply.

        I sympathize with you too, Don Lute. Driving 50 Miles per day in these condition! Personally, I gave up driving cars or motorcycles. I use to have a big bike, but it is too much trouble with the air and change of light. As I do tour, I still sit a lot in minivan and that is very bad conditions for me. Air condition, frequent change of light (ie riding under trees). Recently, I got an email from a specialist searcher / doctor who told me that they expect to find a cure within 2 years... Wish you good luck too.



        • #5
          Hi Jamie, thank you for your reply.

          Yes, it is possible that people are afraid of you if you have red eyes, But please try not to be offended. Nothing to to about this.

          As for your holiday in Koh Samui, I find the sea water very helpful. I do tours and often, we go snorkeling. It makes my eyes feel much better and often, I don't need to use tears drops for a few hours after it. I find it so great, that a few years ago, I use to collect sea water to use as tear drops. It works for a few month until I had an accident with that sea water because it became wrong (no preservatives in sea water). So I end up in the doctor and 1 of my eye closed for a few days... But fresh - clean sea water should be nice...

          Yes, I find humidity and darkness helpful. The best place for my eyes is the jungle, when we go trekking. But I wouldn't spend all my life in the jungle. Too much insects, no other people, sleep in hammocks etc... Nice a dew days but not too long.

          Yes, I try things like Omega 3, but I don't see any obvious improvement. Very difficult to say as for me, it's up and down since 7 years and I still don't understand what's causing the ups and downs.

          Anyway, I wish you fantastic holidays in Thailand.



          • #6
            Welcome Jean-Daniel
            What an interesting post. You will find much to help you on this site.
            I went snorkelling in Fiji last July every day for 4 days and it was wonderful for my eyes - The optician told me later that salt water is drying for one's eyes but generally I didn't get water in my eyes and floating along in that warm tropical water and seeing all the wonderful sealife and not needing drops - Wow!!
            Thailand sounds interesting!
            When the going gets tough - the tough get going!


            • #7
              Hi Dorothy,

              Thank you for your post.

              Yes Thailand is very interesting and have something to offer to everybody. There are many different and interesting snorkeling spots in Thailand. Snorkeling is a beautiful experience and yes, makes the eyes feel good.



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