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Any advice?

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  • Any advice?

    First please bear with my poor English since I am not a native English speaker. I am writing this because I want to hear some more possible treatments and also some career advice.

    To be short, DES has ruined my life.

    Before I had DES, I was a happy husband, and a happy father. I was a computer software professional, and I enjoyed my work. I brought home a 6 figure salary every year. Now after five years since I was diagnosed DES, I am unemployed. As a result, my family needs to save every penny to pay the mortgage and the food. I quited my computer job last August since I suffered so much pain from DES. My vision was getting worse, and I've developed floaters in my eyes due to the eye strain by DES.

    I was a regular visitor of this site, and this site has given me a lot information by DES. I've tried various treatments recommended by others, but, unfortunately, none is really working for me. I've seen eight or nine different doctors, and none of them has really helped me much, if any. Dr. Latkany diagnosed that my dry eyes are caused by ocular rosacea and MGD, and he put plugs into my eyes. That has helped some, but still not enough for me to work on a computer.

    Here is a list of treatments I've used or still using:
    1. warm compress - I tried warm compress for 4 years. It gave me a short relief every time I used it. But the relief does not last long. I stopped it late last year.
    2. restasis - It is not working for me. I've tried for more than 8 months in 2006. I didnt see any improvement.
    3. plugs - I have 4 plugs in my eyes. They've helped me some, but not enough.
    4. flaxseed oil, fish oil - I dont see any effects on my eyes.
    5. moisture chamber - A lot of people speak highly of moisture chamber. I went to Long Island and got myself a pair. It didnt do wonder for me. My eyes still feel dry and pain when I work on computer for more than 30 minutes. Plus the glasses can get fogged very quickly.
    6. eye wear - I wear Tranquileyes at night. But this does not help my dry eyes in the daytime.
    7. eye drops - The only eye drop works for me is Dwelle. Other bands of eye drops just make my eyes blurry when I apply them. When finally my eyes are clear, the pain is back.

    8. acupuncture - At first I had high hope on acupuncture. I am a Chinese, and I searched Chinese websites for the treatment of dry eyes. A lot of Chinese said acupuncture helped them deal with DES. So I flied to Beijing, China late last year and stayed in Beijing for 40 days for acupuncture. Dr. Yang, the best doctor in China using acupuncture to treat DES, is very nice and caring, and he really knows how painful DES can be. I've heard a lot success stories in that hospital. Every time after acupuncture, my eyes felt great. But when I tried to use a computer, the pain comes back again. I've tried 15 times, and then I gave up.


    Most doctors say my DES is just moderate. They dont understand why I feel so much pain. In fact I feel much better when I stay away from computer. But when I start to work on computer, my eyes feel pain and dry in 10 minutes. I dont know if this has something to do with my near-sightness. I am very near-sighted(-9, -9.5). Maybe it is the combination of both dry eyes and near-sightness.

    I've been resting for 8 months now. My eyes are a little better than when I quited my job. I dont know if I should go back to find another computer job. Or I should forget about my computer professional career, and start doing something different. The thing is, in this day and age, any decent white-collar job demands the computer use. I am 38 yrs old, and I still need to work.

    Like I said in the beginning, I want to hear more treatments, and also some career advice.

    Thanks for reading...

  • #2
    Hi Jazhou,

    I am sorry to hear about all your troubles. I had to also quit my job 3 months was a tough decision. I am only 25, so not working is like crazy, but luckily, I do not have children to support.

    Since you have mgd and ocular rosacea, it is imperative that you keep you eyelid care. That means warm compresses (not hot!!!), preferably in the shower, followed by eyelid massages twice a day. You need to open up your meibomian glands and get those secretions flowing again. If that makes your eyes feel worse or if you have lots of inflammation, then you should do cool compresses instead of warm compresses. But since Dr. Latkany put plugs in your eyes, I'm going to assume your inflammation is under control. Taking care of eyelids can only help if you stick to it...that means months and months of sticking to this regiment.

    Also, ask your doc for either oral doxycycline, minocycline, or tetracycline. They help people with MGD and ocular rosacea by reducing inflammation and thinning your oil secretions. The exact mechanism is unknown. You should see a difference within a few months.

    If you cannot tolerate oral antibiotics, or they don't help, Azasite has also helped a few people with MGD on this board.

    For short term relief, steroids can help.

    As for career advice...I think it would be best to not be in front of the computer full time right now. With your computer knowledge, have you thought about teaching a few classes at a local community college for now? That way you can still utilize your specialized knowledge, make a bit of money, and its easier on the eyes.


    • #3

      I second everything that odydnas said. I am not very familiar with ocular rosacea, but I also have MGD.

      The idea with a lot of these treatments is to improve your symptoms over the long term as a whole. The warm compresses may feel good only while you're doing them and will not allow you to then work on a computer for hours -- that is to be expected. I doubt that you will find what you are seeking, mainly, "If I do X every Y hours, I will be able to work on a computer without pain."

      I also think that our brains adapt to continued pain signals. When you couple this with the idea that the eyes seem to be very slow to heal, I think you need to take a break (which you are doing), baby your eyes in every way possible, and try to get your symptoms reduced and stable -- for a long while before you try to return to full-time computer work.

      I am an engineer, so I have an idea of the type of work you were probably doing before and the challenge of finding a technical job that doesn't involve loads of computer work (often in an office building with dry, dry air). I thought the idea of teaching part-time was a good one. What other skills do you have, and what do you enjoy doing? Is there a way you could minimize your computer time by being a project lead or supervisor or manager -- guiding others with the software development without doing the programming yourself?

      As for what else you could try, here's my brainstorm: antibiotics, Azasite (which really helped me), finding a competent acupuncturist nearer to where you live (you seem to be near NYC, and there has to be someone good there), lid scrubs (liquid cetaphil, sterilid, or ocusoft) following your warm compresses, autologous serum, DHEA drops, keep wearing the moisture chamber glasses. Do you currently have a good eye doc who is treating you? If not, I'd put that at the top of the list.

      I would try to get your symptoms reduced to a manageable level, if possible, for a few months before even attempting computer work. Then, I'd introduce computer work very gradually, like in 20 or 30 minute doses.

      I'm sorry this has happened to you, and I sincerely hope you find something that helps and, maybe, a second rewarding career that won't be so taxing to your eyes.


      • #4
        I am sorry for your pain but can relate a lot. I have been to around 8 eye specialists plus with my condition. My dry eye and bleph they feel should not be causing the extreme pain I am in. I also have floaters and am getting migraine pressure. I just went for another mri of my brain and more auto immune testing. So I guess I would ask you if there are other doctors you have seen like a neuro,reumatologist etc to rule out other conditions? I have other health problems so had these doctors in place for that but had them run tests for now the eye condition that is way worse and out of control then when it began and none of the normal treatments have done anything. You could have some auto immune condition or other related cause. I have just started more nerve meds for my leg condition but also they are giving it to me for my eye pressure/migraines so maybe something a long that lines for the pain. As for work I would not think a computer job would be the best. I am not sure what would be a more tolerated job. Is there anyone in your family who could help you while you find a treatment to get more stable? Hang in there


        • #5
          Try resveratrol, the supplement from red grapes. I've been taking it regularly and it seems to be helping. It's available from health shops, and it's not a drug. I also eat a few red grapes every day, but the amount I was recommended to take to help with the DES gave me tummy ache!


          • #6

            Thank for all the replies. I will think about you advice in term of being a part-time teacher. In the meantime, I feel my eyes are doing a little better now. I will take time to recover. I hope, with the advance of the dry eye research, DES can be cured in the near future.

            Can anyone shed some light on any promising news regarding the dry eyes research? I hope that day can come.


            • #7
              I'm sorry that you had to quit your job.

              My situation is a bit similar to yours - I don't know how to start a job -in fact I'm really afraid. I'm finishing university next March. I'd actually love to have a career - mentally I'm totally able of becoming some important marketing manager - but physically not... So I don't know what to do. I have to work in an office that's for sure and I'll be always in front of a computer... so I started asking the question whether the computer is really bothering my eyes - and in fact I believe it is not. The computer doesn't make your eyes worse, they just get worse because you don't blink as often. When I try to concentrate on the blinking and my eyes are just as bad as when I'm not using a computer. Anybody else had the same experience? I use drops ever 15min while using the computer.
              Okay, I admit, I try to be "friends" with my computer because there is no other way....


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