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My journey so far with MGD

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  • My journey so far with MGD

    I feel a bit alone dealing with dry eyes at the moment, I hope you don't mind me sharing my experiences here. I am fortunate that for now at least my problem is fairly mild but I still find it quite stressful and worrying, especially as I have no idea why it happened, and because I developed a whole load of other symptoms around the same time and am quite worried about my general health.

    I've had dry eyes for about 5 and a half years, diagnosed after 18 months of endlessly being prescribed chloramphenicol eye ointment by my GP who for some reason thought it reasonable that I had recurrent conjunctivitis non stop and didn't care why! Yes I am now allergic to chloramphenicol.

    Thankfully we moved house and I was finally diagnosed, and prescribed carbomer drops (Viscotears or Gel Tears depending on what the chemist gave me). Ahhh the relief! I was basically happy until a few months ago when they drops started to irritate my eyes (mild burning feeling and redness) which is when I came to this site. Now I am glad I developed that reaction because otherwise I'd have been using BAK in blissful ignorance!

    At first I thought it was my eyes becoming dryer as they were sore, red and crusty in the mornings just like when they are dry. But then I realised they stung a while after putting the drops in and that the drops weren't helping at all and the penny dropped after reading on the internet and realising I was probably reacting to the BAK.

    I have switched to using Clarymist, I found an Ebay seller who does it at a very reasonable price. It works really well for me as long as I don't forget a dose, or go for a walk in the wind without my glasses etc. I went back to the GP this week to discuss that, he had never heard of Clarymist, he prescribed me Viscotears preservative free... according to his dosage recommendation, 7 days worth for 7.20, ouch! He said to come back and say how I get on, I assume he's prescribe me more in one go if I say it's working for me.

    But I think I will stick with the Clarymist and keep the Viscotears PF for just if I need it. I have meibomian gland dysfunction and Clarymist seems to be closest to mimicking the natural effect my tears should be having by stabilising the tear film. My eyes feel better with Clarymist than they ever did with carbomer drops, I didn't realise until I switched that I had a low grade soreness all the time with the drops.

    I totally agree with the poster I read earlier, that it is treated as a non-issue by GPs in the UK. "You have dry eyes, here's some Viscotears, bye". I went home with my head spinning thinking "OMG I have this life long eye problem, why, how, what?!". Also when I was diagnosed she just called it blepharitis and told me about lid scrubs with baby shampoo (which I couldn't do as it irritated my very sensitive eyes too much) but not about massage. I never had any crusting, swelling or any other sign of infection, just tiny dots where the glands were blocked every now and then. I hardly ever get the spots on my eyelids that signal blocked glands and now suspect that's because the oil production has reduced over the last few years.

    I am now doing heat with a rice bag and massage every night, clarymist 4 or so times a day, plus Viscotears PF if needed, I also use a proprietary eyelid wash in the shower each morning (forget the name- is recommended here). I also stopped putting moisturiser on my eyelids as I heard that could make it worse. I hope things will settle down again now.

  • #2
    Hi , welcome to the site, i'm also from the UK

    I have a similar situation only diagnosed recently ... MGD/blocked glands/bleph, been nearly two years following a very short course of isotretinoin which I am certain caused my probs.

    Sounds like you have been using drops with preservatives ? maybe worthwhile switching to non-preservatives ?

    I know exactly what the situation with UK docs who seem not to care too much about dry eyes. Fortunately I have now found someone who does care and am addressing the problems using his advice.

    If your buying drops in UK the following sites have been really useful sources ...


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