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29 y.o. with terrible dry eye

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  • 29 y.o. with terrible dry eye

    I didn't know I had dry eye. All of a sudden over last summer, my vision began to decline rapidly. The world around me became a "Monet" painting, with smudges, smearings, and ghost images of things I looked at. I had no idea what was going on, so I went to an eye doctor, who then recommended corrective lenses. My prescription was slight, but when I attempted to tell him of what I was seeing, he told me that I "didn't even fall into that category...your prescription is almost nothing." I told him I didn't like what I was seeing and wanted to try contacts. He obliged and when I put them on they immediately fogged up and dried to my eyeball. He then said I must have dry eye. He gave me a prescription of Restasis. I found another doctor, completely having lost confidence in this one. I did the Restasis which seemed to restore and repair damage done by the dry eye, but I was still having major vision fluctuations. The new doctor tried plugs, but they scratched my eyes so badly I had to take them out after a day. I went a few more months completely frustrated, knowing that if I made more tears I would be able to see better. I finally found a doctor who put in plugs that were buried and did not touch the surface of the eye. I did the lower ones first. I just had upper ones put in. They itch sometimes, but my vision has improved dramatically since tears are able to remain on my eye surface. I take HydroEye to try to improve tear production and am trying to drink alot of water. What surprised me is the emotional toll it took on me. I was having panic attacks (which I've never had before) if I woke up having a bad vision day. I felt that people were telling me I was silly for supposing this had anything to do with my vision. Hopefully now I have found a routine that works. I don't know why I am dealing with this so young. I have 2 young kids and breast-fed both of them. I actually stopped breast-feeding my youngest hoping that if my hormones got back to normal I would see an improvement with my dry eye. Thanks to this site for making me feel validated and realizing this is a true problem.

  • #2
    Hi, MJF79.

    I'm sorry to hear about your vision fluctuations. Are your eyes experiencing any pain at all?

    I'm sure that you will get lots of good tips and hints from this place. However, I think that Dwelle might be something that could help to stabilize your tear film, so when it comes back into production, it is something that you might want to try.

    Do you notice that if you use preservative-free eye drops that your vision improves? I'm asking, because Dr. Holly said at one point that one part of good vision is good tear film. So, it might make sense to find something that lasts, if it proves to help.

    Sorry that I cannot be of greater assistance.



    • #3
      MJF, you found the right place for your problem! We all have the problem of having "such a tiny nuisance" to deal with. People do not realize how disabling dry eyes can be. Also, this is on your face, right in front of you and it's not easy to ignore. You can shut your eyes, but if you're awake and have things to do, it's hard to try and keep your eyes shut! If you have an arthritic knee, you can rest your knee from time to time and people understand. Dry eye is not easily understood.

      We do understand you here, though. One young lady on this board, Dianat, has lasik induced dry eye. She had one baby while dealing with dry eyes and is expecting another, but her eyes are better than they were 3 years ago. Good luck. Lucy
      Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

      The Dry Eye Queen


      • #4
        Thanks for support

        Hi, Thanks for your replies. I got upper punctal plugs put in just on Monday. This is my second attempt. For some reason they itch alot. The doctor said I have slight blepharitis, so I have been doing eye scrubs and that has helped with the itching some. Does anyone have any suggestions on why the upper plugs may be itching so much? I really want them to work since my tear film has stabilized just since putting them in and my vision is more sharp.


        • #5
          You sound similar to me

          Hi mjf79,

          You sound similar to me. I also have two boys - I breastfed both. I first went to the eye dr at about 31 when my son was about 6 months - and I was breastfeeding. I thought something was in my eye and the Dr said no they are just very dry. My vision, pressure, etc are good - just no tears. Now fast forward 6 years - I used over the counter drops for about 3 years, then tried Restasis about a year ago - didn't notice a difference - so the Dr finally put in plugs. Temp first didn't seem to make a difference but Dr said permanent often work better and he still wanted to try them. So, I have had permanent Oasis form fits in the lower lids for four months. I didn't think they bothered me until I read your post about itching. The past few days I've been extremely dry, red and itchy. I thought the itching was just the over dryness, now I wonder if it's the plugs. The thing is that I didn't improve at all with the plugs, in fact I went backwards within about 2 weeks of getting them. My Dr said to discontinue Restasis once he put in the plugs and since it wasn't working anyway, I did. Now, that I got worse, he said the Restasis must have been doing more than I thought and discontinuing in made me worsen - because he didn't feel I was having a reaction to the plugs of any kind. I started the Restasis again but only for about a month and am now back off it because I discontinued birth control pills (have read they could cause dryness too) and might get pregnant. Eye Dr and OBGYN are not sure of whether it's safe so I don't want to risk it. Now for 2-3 days my eyes have been red. This has never happened before. Before it was mostly a morning issue in which I couldn't open my eyes before the drops - sensative to the air - once I got rolling and used the drops throughout the day I was fine. Every once in a while they would get a bit red - but rarely and they would be back to normal - as normal as possible - the next day. Now that's it's been 3 days, I'm worried. I've also been itching more - all of this caused me to search the web again finding your post. I also read on the Restasis website that those drops don't improve tear production if you have plugs in - my Dr obviosly didn't know this since he told me to take it again after the plugs. I'm just at my witts end. I have tried Omega 3 but not consistently. My Dr said he could plug the top ducts but since the bottom ones didn't help, I don't know that the top will. He said the drainage is different for everyone and maybe plugging the top will benefit me. I just don't know what to do. I almost want to get the plugs out since I seemed to get worse once I had them put in. Did you do the plugs one at a time and if so did you notice improvement with the bottom only, or did you have to get upper and lower before you noticed a difference?

          Thanks for any advice and I hope your eyes continue to improve.


          • #6
            Originally posted by mjf79 View Post
            Hi, Thanks for your replies. I got upper punctal plugs put in just on Monday. This is my second attempt. For some reason they itch alot. The doctor said I have slight blepharitis, so I have been doing eye scrubs and that has helped with the itching some. Does anyone have any suggestions on why the upper plugs may be itching so much? I really want them to work since my tear film has stabilized just since putting them in and my vision is more sharp.
            Itching can be a sign that the plugs are migrating or in some way are being irritated by rubbing against the eyeball, even if they are intracanalicular. I suggest you go back to your eye doctor and have him/her check to see that the plugs are properly placed. I had severe itching with my intracanalicular plugs, rubbed my eyes and now the plugs are in a place unknown. Please don't rub and see your eye doctor.
            Every day with DES is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're going to get.


            • #7
              Melanie, Sorry you are having such a hard time. Most sites talk about how hormone changes affect dry eyes, but make reference to menopause and not the hormone changes of pregnancy. I truly believe that my problems with dry eye began with pregnancy and breast-feeding. I was often dehydrated during pregnancy, and noticed vision fluctuations that I just chalked up to another pregnancy symptom. I got the lower punctal plugs first, and still have these in with success. I tried upper plugs 3 different times, but just couldn't tolerate them. I could feel them in the punctum and, even though they were buried plugs, I could feel them putting pressure on my eye. Just to clarify with you, the itching was on the tear duct itself, and not the eye. It was located specifically at the plugs. He had to flush them out. I have taken Restasis before and stopped thinking that it wasn't helping, only to lose ground quickly. I am now back on it. Intradep has good posts on how Restasis actually works better for people with plugs because they help keep it in the eye longer, and it's use in people who had plugs was what actually got it finally approved by the FDA, so I would say continue to use it if your doctor recommends and you find that it has helped.
              So, in summary, I have my lowers plugged, take Restasis, drink lots of water, and take fish/flax supplements. I also use heat compress at night and use theratears eyecleanser foam to wash my eyes due to mild blepharitis. I still deal with dry and burning eyes, but I feel that I am doing my best, trying to cover all bases, and that is all I can do.
              Last edited by mjf79; 10-Feb-2009, 21:39. Reason: wanted to add something


              • #8
                The Form Fit plugs are a hydrogel material and when inserted are 90% water.

                Unfortunately the statement about Restasis not working with plugs is erroneous. In fact Restasis was only approved by the FDA after being allowed to include the patients who HAD plugs. you can visit and read the entire submission if you would like.

                Your signs of mornings being worst for you are indicative of a blepharitis issue.

                As for upper plugs I would first have doc insert the 90 day type dissolvable plugs. The itching issue needs to be localized to your ocular surface or the skin between the corner of your eye and nose.


                • #9
                  Sorry I got your name wrong in my post indrep! Thanks for your info.


                  • #10
                    New Diagnosis...rosacea!

                    After months of wondering what was wrong with me, I finally have a diagnosis that makes sense. I have been put on Restasis in the past and told to do warm compresses at night, etc. I have plugs in my lower lids, which has actually helped to some degree, but I was still experiencing the blurry vision and aching, itchy eyes. I finally went to the dry eye guru of Baton Rouge, and he immediately looked at me and said that I have rosacea, both facial and ocular. He put me on a course of Azasite to get it under control (the ocular is much worse than my face), and I go back in 3 weeks for progress report. Does anyone have a routine that helps with maintenance of this issue....and do masks and tranquileyes help?

                    This diagnosis really makes sense. My mom was diagnosed with rosacea, and my sister has the facial issues as well (neither have the ocular issues, though). I guess it's that great Irish ancestry...fair skin and red cheeks. I have always blushed and flush easily. I need to learn how to keep this under control.
                    Last edited by mjf79; 22-Feb-2009, 11:28. Reason: wanted to add something


                    • #11
                      day to day life

                      Firstly, I'm new to this site. I so sympathise with you, and it's so nice to speak to people who understand. I think it's a very understated condition. I'm 44,and this started when I was 42. It has basically ruined my life, as after 7pm I cannot function properly, and wouldn't consider driving. I deal with it best I can, with a ridiculous routine of supplements, eye compresses, drops etc, but nothing really helps. I also have the plugs, but they do not seem to work. What I find most frustrating is waking up with my eyes welded shut, and having to open them myself, and looking like I've been punched in both eyes untill I've been awake for about an hour. I know in the scheme of things, this is a small problem, but I cannot wear eye make up either, as you can imagine, if I do, after using the drops, I look like a panda (who's also been punched in both eyes). Although if I attempt to go out anywhere special, I do wear make up, but seem to pay for it the next day, as it aggrivates my symptoms. Any suggestions or tips gratefully received.


                      • #12

                        What are you usuing at night? Many people here are using Geteal GEL for severe dry eye. I find it a lifesaver.

                        Also, be careful how you ope your eyes in the morning. Maybe try dripping Preservative free drops in as you wake up, it's important if that your eyes don't get damaged as you open them.



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bernmee View Post

                          What are you usuing at night? Many people here are using Geteal GEL for severe dry eye. I find it a lifesaver.

                          I'd like to try Genteal Gel,unfortunately it doesn't appear to be available anywhere in the UK.


                          • #14
                            Hi Sam

                            Have you tried this site for Genteal?



                            • #15
                              Cheers Irish Eyes.Have you ever used Genteal?


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