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Dry eyes for over 15 years

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  • Dry eyes for over 15 years

    I don't really know what kind of dry eye I have. It seems like this is such an elusive question for ophthalmologists.

    My dry eyes are not surgically induced and started out very mild at age 19, with only bothering me if I wore contacts. I never needed drops or had any problems as long as I stayed away from contacts. My dry eyes progressively worsened over about five years to the point where they were bothering me all the time. I didn't know about plugs and finally after going to numerous doctors found one who put some lowers in. They completely relieved my symptoms. Then a few years later the plugs weren't enough and my eyes bothered me all the time. My vision became very blurry from whatever was wrong with my tear film and my eyes burned like they were on fire. I had to go on disability from work.

    Thankfully, my eyes aren't blurry and aren't burning like they were. I used Restasis as long as I could (side effects were more awful burning for me, but figured dry eye symptoms were so bad at the time I tolerated it). It definitely helped my eyes improve, but I stopped taking it when I became pregnant. Throughout my pregnancy my eyes felt good. After my pregnancy, my eyes reverted back to painful and burning. I have two lower plugs..one eye feels like it's watery but still dry. My eyes feel the worst upon waking and then somewhat better throughout the day and then when I close them to sleep they bother me. I now use hot compresses, TheraTears, and nutritional supplements. I even use Alrex on occasion. Doing these things have helped tremendously but not to the point of my eyes being normal. My last TBUT was around 7 or 8, but was around 2 or 3 when I had the blurry vision.

    My eyes look completely normal and white. When I look at them in the mirror it's hard for me to even believe how much they hurt since they look so normal. Like I said, they especially hurt upon waking and this puts me in a bad mood and makes me feel bad overall. I get headaches and sometimes my stomach hurts. I just get this sick feeling associated with my eyes. I have suffered with this problem now for over 15 years and can't believe only the only treatment available is just Restasis. It's insane. I had problems with elbow tendinitis from repetitive stress (typing) and got more help with that than I've ever gotten for my eyes. My overall health and well being has suffered because of this eye condition..stress, headaches, etc. My children will be suffering as well, because mommy won't be feeling up to doing fun things. I can only hope and pray a new medication will be out soon that can help me and others.
    Cause of dry eyes: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

  • #2
    Dear green eyes,

    Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. I know it must have been awfully frustrating to see things gradully worsen over the years.

    I had a couple of thoughts as I read your post, particularly these parts:
    Originally posted by green eyes
    My eyes feel the worst upon waking and then somewhat better throughout the day and then when I close them to sleep they bother me. I now use hot compresses, TheraTears, and nutritional supplements. I even use Alrex on occasion....
    ... Like I said, they especially hurt upon waking and this puts me in a bad mood and makes me feel bad overall. I get headaches and sometimes my stomach hurts. I just get this sick feeling associated with my eyes. I have suffered with this problem now for over 15 years and can't believe only the only treatment available is just Restasis.
    What form of hot compress have you been using?

    Have you ever tried saline rinses in the morning - either immediately after rising, or even before you get up, to loosen things up and start off the day feeling better? I use Unisol for this when I need to.

    For overnight use, have you ever tried any of the other overnight aids for more severe dry eye such as a humidifier in the bedroom or an eye protection/moisture retainer product such as tranquileyes?

    Have you tried other brands of overnight lubricants? Genteal gel is very popular for this use. Some people here (including me) have had good success with Dwelle and/or Dakrina for this use as well.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

    Comment


    • #3
      For hot compresses I usually wet a washcloth and stick it in a ziploc bag and microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds. It stays warm for about 10 to 15 minutes. I also sometimes use a facial steamer. I have given up wearing any type of eye makeup since that only irritates my eyes more -- not to mention that it doesn't stay on very well with all the drops anyway.

      I have eyedrops at my bedside and put them in as soon as I wake up. I'm concerned about using any type of saline solution...don't they have preservatives in them? I definitely need to get a humidifier -- thanks for suggesting that.

      I have tried gels, but I hate the way all that gunk feels in my eyes. I ordered the trials of all the drops on this website, but upon instilling them they caused a terrible stinging sensation so I stopped using them. If something hurts that bad upon putting it into my eyes I'm averse to using it.
      The tranquileyes definitely sound like they would be soothing and helpful, esp with the addition of the ThermoEyes. I would really like to try them, but so far all the dry eye stuff I've bought has added up to one big expense and not much relief.
      Cause of dry eyes: Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by green eyes
        For hot compresses I usually wet a washcloth and stick it in a ziploc bag and microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds. It stays warm for about 10 to 15 minutes.
        Just for variety you might want to try a dry method like the rice baggies popular here.

        I'm concerned about using any type of saline solution...don't they have preservatives in them?
        Not Unisol. It is preservative free, 3 bottles for about $7.50 at most drugstores (comes in a box of 3). It's got a puncture-top and has to be thrown away within a month.

        I ordered the trials of all the drops on this website, but upon instilling them they caused a terrible stinging sensation so I stopped using them. If something hurts that bad upon putting it into my eyes I'm averse to using it.
        Quite natural response! Now I'm not saying this to persuade you to persist, but I do want to mention it for reference if other things don't work out: Personally I also get a lot of stinging if I apply Dwelle or Dakrina (or any high-polymer drop) first thing in the morning so I first apply some Unisol and don't attempt heavier drops until my eyes have quieted down a bit. Also, I remember when I first started using them that the first few days were rough but when I persisted it paid off.
        The tranquileyes definitely sound like they would be soothing and helpful, esp with the addition of the ThermoEyes. I would really like to try them, but so far all the dry eye stuff I've bought has added up to one big expense and not much relief.
        Yeah I know OTC things for the eyes add up very fast. Just for reference the cheapest way to try tranquileyes is $34 (the "Mini" kit) or both is $59 (the Thermoeyes "Travel Kit" which contains both the goggle and two sets of ThermoEyes). But there are cheaper ways to achieve something similar. I remember years ago using saran wrap over my eyes. A simple eye mask may help a bit.
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Zone

        Comment

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