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Hi from the UK - Dry, red eyes

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  • Hi from the UK - Dry, red eyes

    Hello all

    This is my first post. I am 25 and have only just been told I have dry eye, although I knew before this.

    I would like to hear from anyone who has managed to help their conditions significantly, especially anyone who has had experience with punctal plugs for aqueous defficiency. Since my eyes have been dry, they have also become quite bloodshot - this looks worse throughout the day.

    I really dont like using those 'get the red out' drops as they only mask the problem temporarily.

    Does anyone else suffer redness as a result of their dryness?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Hi SusieD and welcome to Dry Eye Talk! Sorry to hear about your dry eyes!

    Originally posted by SusieD
    I really dont like using those 'get the red out' drops as they only mask the problem temporarily.
    Not only that, but you may get a nasty rebound effect from those vasoconstrictors. Additionally, if they contain harsh preservatives they may exacerbate your dry eyes. If you need to use over-the-counter drops they should only be lubricant eye drops, and they should either have a non-irritating preservative or be unpreserved.

    If you completely stop use of the red-eye drops, while treating the dryness (see for some ideas), I think you'll probably see an improvement in the redness. Try a search on this bulletin board on "red" or "vasoconstrictor" and you'll find some more discussions on the subject. There are many people here with red eye problems.

    Good luck!!
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone


    • #3
      Thank you.

      I don't think I've ever felt as down as I do right now. I cant imagine my eyes ever feeling better again. I can't face the rest of my life with red, sore eyes.

      I was at university studying a nursing degree and I have had to give it up because of my problems. My life is a mess, all because of my dry eye problems.

      I just dont know what to do.


      • #4
        Originally posted by SusieD
        I don't think I've ever felt as down as I do right now. I cant imagine my eyes ever feeling better again.
        I am so, so sorry. I understand you're going through a very rough period with it. Please keep up your hope though! There are so many things to try, few people have really exhausted the options yet, and many, many people find they are able to at least improve the condition and make it more manageable.

        We'll be better able to help with suggestions if you could tell us a little more about yourself and about what you've tried so far.

        Summarizing from our FAQ section, depending on the type and cause of the dry eye there are many treatments and tools for controlling it, including:

        - Artificial tears (responses to which tend to be very individual - many people have to try several before finding one that feels good and provides relief). Some people use gels or ointments at night. See the ATS discussion archive for more.
        - Punctal plugs and, in some cases, punctal cautery (which is very helpful to many people, notwithstanding the occasional horror story about plugs). Collagen plugs, which dissolve by themselves, are a good low risk way to find out whether you're likely to be helped by plugs. See the punctal occlusion archive for patient experiences.
        - I won't bother talking about Restasis since you're in the UK where it's not available but cyclosporine may be something to be aware of for the future.
        - If part or all of the problem is meibomian gland dysfunction (a common as well as commonly undiagnosed problem) there are several treatments ranging from lid therapy to oral antibiotics such as doxycycline.
        - I think all dry eye patients should consider dietary supplements such as fish oil or flaxseed oil or one of the proprietary supplements designed specifically for dry eye. There are also some less-known types such as borage oil which have had good results for some people. It takes some experimentation. See the supplements forum for more.
        - Eye protection to prevent excessive evaporation and protect eyes when they are at their most vulnerable is helpful to many patients. This can be anything from eye masks at night to special eyewear for outdoors to keep moisture in. See the wraparounds thread archive for more.

        When the potential for all those has been exhausted, there are several more "cutting-edge" type treatments to pursue. Please don't give up hope!
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Zone


        • #5
          Thankyou for your kind words - they are appreciated.

          My family tell me to 'just get on with it' which is easier said than done. Nobody realises how miserable this is until they have suffered with it themselves. Still, I suppose that is true of most things.

          My schrimers test last week was 2mm in the left eye and 5mm in the right. Which surprises me because my right eye is the one that looks and feels the worst - although theres not much in it anyway.

          I was taking accutane (low dose) and had to stop a couple of months ago because my eyes were terrible. I did not really suffer from this problem before that, just used to get occassional dry eyes when using computer too much etc.

          I am terrified that I have done irrepairable damage to my eyes by taking this drug and I am really angry with myself. It may just be coincidence but I'm sure this was what started off my problems.

          I have tried the following artificial tears (what are available over here)

          Viscotears (preserved and unpreserved)
          Liquifilm (unpreserved - polyvinly alcohol & povidone)
          Theratears (very expensive as we cannot get them on prescription)
          Lacrilube (contains lanolin which I am sensitive to)
          Celluvisc (Carmellose sodium)

          I tolerate the unpreserved ones the best but I do have to use them every couple of hours - sometimes more depending on how bad they feel.

          I have the collagen plugs in at the moment - my left eye has definately felt a bit more comfortable (still using drops at moment also) My right eye Im not too sure about yet.

          The main problem Im finding is that here in the UK, you just cant get much help for dry eye. Most doctors have a bit of a blase attitude towards it e.g 'oh - its dry eye'. I just cant get hold of most of the stuff that could help - I like the sound of the hydrating goggle things you can wear at night but just cant find any way of getting hold of them - its so frustrating.

          The redness bothers me alot also, I'm not a particularly vain person, but I am young and I like to take pride in my appearance. I dont like looking like Im on drugs all the time. I have used the red-eye drops but only once or twice as I know they are not the answer. I'm not using them at the moment.

          Sorry, the floodgates opened a bit there, I just feel desperate to get some relief.

          Many thanks.


          • #6
            Oh dear, Accutane again. Please don't blame yourself, you couldn't have known. There is at least one other member here (untkicker29 comes to mind), who is also young and has post accutane dry eye, you might want to trade notes!

            Re hydrating goggles: I am pretty sure that Eye Eco ships internationally, at least they have that option on their website. If not, whether for this or any other non prescription consumer product for dry eye, let me know and we'll see if we can help.

            I understand about the attitudes/limited options for dry eye treatment in the UK... lived there for several years. Actually our products Dwelle and Dakrina are popular with a lot of severe dry eye patients over there and that's where I first started using them. However it means having a friend or someone in the US to send them over as they aren't available retail over there yet. The active ingredients look the same as liquifilm but they use different qualities of the PVAs and so the properties of the drops are quite different.

            Have you tried warm compresses? Also, are you working on dietary and environmental factors? Be sure to drink lots and lots of water, avoid caffeine as much as possible. And smoky pubs.
            Rebecca Petris
            The Dry Eye Zone


            • #7
              Thanks again Rebecca

              Yes I am doing hot compresses - but maybe I'm not doing it right or not massaging right as I havent really felt any benefit. I will continue with it though.

              Do you go through peaks and troughs with your eyes? - I just cant stand the thought of them being this bad forever.

              Take care


              • #8
                Hello SusieD

                I think every one of us at one point or another has wondered if our eyes would ever feel normal again. We all seem to go through ups and downs and good times and bad. Two years ago, I would never have dreamed that my eyes could feel even remotely comfortable and was actually afraid to get in my car and drive because my vision was so distorted from dry eyes. I have tried so many things and by reading posts on this forum, I have found a formula that has worked wonders for me. Dakrina, Dwelle, GenTeal Gel and oil supplements, besides lots of water, have been my mainstays. I have lower permanent plugs (2 years now) and they have really helped as well. I did not have good luck with upper plugs because my eyes watered constantly and became even drier. There is hope out there for relief and you just need to keep trying until you find your formula. Please email me at and I can help you with some samples of the Dry Eye Zone drops.

                Good luck and hang in there.



                • #9
                  Hi susie again i left you another post.

                  I feel like im reading one of my own posts, if you read through them u will notice my frustration with regards to dealing with dry eye in the UK, when no one wants to help, offer any solutions, apart from tears and steroid drops which ive already tried. Ive broke down crying in front one of one of them, all he siad was 'see if you had dry eye you wouldnt be able to cry.' i have not met a nice one who understands yet. I have been to 3. Ive been trying to get proper help for 8 months. Who have you seen so far? where abouts in the UK are you? You must of been privatly, if you had the schimmer test. Im 20 so this has taken over my life as well that im rethiking my degree.

                  The only thing i can suggest if the plugs dont help, is try and get hold of restasis. you can get a perscription from the states. Oh and acupuncture, im tring this soon, so i cant talk from experiance.

                  If you have any questions about dealing with this in the UK, im happy to answer anything. I know exactly how you feel.
                  I healed my dry eye with nutrition and detoxification. I'm now a Nutritional Therapist at: . Join my dry eye facebook group:


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