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    Hello everybody.I have been reading the site for a few weeks and have felt much less alone in my situation. I am a 36 year old who had lasik surgery on both eyes 5 months ago. I had severe dry eye immediately after. A week post op I woke up to a corneal abrasion in one eye. I began using refresh pm at night. I have been on restasis for 5 months and every kind of preservative free artificial tear out there. I had the temporary plugs placed a month post op. They didn't help too much. Now I have had the permanents placed 2 weeks ago and they aren't really helping. In fact I may be worse as my eyes aren't just dry now they are sticky feeling. Now I am researching my options. Do I try to have upper plugs placed to see if there are more tears? Should I quit using the refresh pm? etc. My doctor is trying to be helpful but I don't feel he realizes how much misery I am dealing with. It is exhausting to handle this constantly. I hate to do alot of things I used to enjoy. Even the basics like grocery shopping or going to my kids school are horrible.And I am so self conscious about how my eyes look and the constant blinking.
    Well that is my story. It feels good that others out there do understand what I am talking about. Alot of your stories have given me hope. Thank you for posting them.

    Heather

  • #2
    Welcome Heather

    I am sorry to hear that the 10 minute miracle has brought you to this site, you and I have an awful lot in common that your story made me sick.

    I had epi-lasek on 20 October 2005 and I am still learning to adjust my life to deal with induced dry eyes, you may find some comfort reading my post "6-months post epi-lasek induced dry eyes" in the welcome centre.

    The post has become my diary of my recovery and contains some fantastic suggestions from others, some of which have walked this path before us.

    You mentioned Refresh PM, from what I have read, it sounds an awful lot like Lacrilube (Allergen), which is a lanolin based product that made my symptoms so much worse.

    I now switch between two gels of a night (Genteal Gel and Viscotears) both of which are made by Novartis.

    The problem I (and many others) encountered with the ointments is that they tend to make the eye feel worse.

    When I discussed this with my DR the analogy I used was, imagine rubbing vaseline on the back of your hand and then wet it, the water runs off, this is what is happening with your eyes, and given that your tear film provides the nutrients to your cornea it is extremely vital to get this sorted.

    I also discussed the option of a short course of steroids as I had read that they were extremely good at bringing the inflammation under control.

    I can only provide you with some hope that this will get better. I have seen a very slow but gradual improvement over the past 11 months, whilst this may seem worlds away at the moment, any improvement is welcomed.

    I found that I had a significant improvement when I was completely plugged, although now that my top plugs are now less effective (almost at their 90 days) I am still feeling quite comfortable.

    My nights are by far the worst, I get very little sleep and still get abrasions from time to time. To avoid them I use a gel under my tranquil eyes mask, everytime I wake during the night I put more gel in, before I open my eyes of a morning, I put a couple of drops of saline on my lids (you can feel it run into your eyes) and this seems to help.

    I found the most important things to do are to keep yourself and your eyes hydrated. Drink loads of water and keep up the artifical tears (even when you think you don't need them). When using a warm or cold compress, use the time as "me" time, relax, listen to your favourite music and imagine how your life is going to be when you get through this - you have to stay positive as difficult as it can be.

    Before changing anything, I suggest you discuss the options with your treating DR, don't be afraid to ask question and become active in the treatment plan. My Dr must think I am a nightmare at times but it was their clinic that induced these problems in the first instance, so they can help me resolving them.

    Hang in there, this is really tough but my toughts (any many others on this site) are with you.

    Don't hesitate to contact me if you want clarification on anything I have posted. This site has brought me out of some really dark days, lets hope we can help you as well.


    Ian

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    • #3
      Originally posted by IanPratt
      The problem I (and many others) encountered with the ointments is that they tend to make the eye feel worse.

      When I discussed this with my DR the analogy I used was, imagine rubbing vaseline on the back of your hand and then wet it, the water runs off, this is what is happening with your eyes, and given that your tear film provides the nutrients to your cornea it is extremely vital to get this sorted.
      Nice explanation - very simple and clear. I like that. So long as there is grease slathered all over the ocular surface, tears (what few healthy ones we make...) as the delivery vehicle for those nutrients aren't going to have a chance to do their job.
      Rebecca Petris
      The Dry Eye Zone

      Comment


      • #4
        Feeling encouraged

        Thank you, Ian for your advice. I did read your posting and can say I know how you feel. I will try to quit using the ointment and use a gel. It is difficult to stop using it because I have a fear of another abrasion to my cornea. That was horribly painful as you know. I am starting on a steroid drop tomorrow per my doctor. If no improvement in 2 weeks I am going to plug the upper ducts as well. The problem is I almost feel worse now that I have the plugs in the lower.
        I am going to keep an open mind and try everything though.
        It is just amazing to me that everyone around me says how wonderful it is to have the surgery. You are the first person I have talked to that had this outcome. Hopefully I will have a good outcome in the end.
        The Doctor first said it could go on as long as 6 months. Now that I am approaching that time he is saying up to a year. I guess it will take patience!
        Do you find wearing sunglasses during the day helpful? I think it takes a little of the dryness away. But I still need the drops. Have you used any of the tears available on the site?
        Again thanks for the advice and encouragement. I will keep my fingers crossed and ditch the ointment ! (and drink alot of water!)
        Heather

        Comment


        • #5
          Heather,

          For me stopping the ointment wasn't a problem as I was getting abrasions whilst still using it anyway.

          I am getting less abrasions now by keeping my eyes as healthy as possible during the day. My drops routine in the morning certainly helps with that. My view is the longer I go without an abrasion the less chance they will reoccur.

          When you do get one, my DR told me it is extremely important to keep the eye closed, I put an icepack on and go back to bed for awhile.

          I still have lots of problems using the computer for hours on end and at the end of some days, my eyes look dreadful (to me anyway)

          I did try the drops, I liked them at first but then seemed to make me feel drier, it could have just been a change in the weather, who knows.

          Just because they weren't really compatible with me doesn't mean you shouldn't give them a try. Lots of people highly recommend them. Just don't change too many things at once, change 1 drop, try it for 3-4 weeks, see how it goes, then try something else. Like everything something may work for 1 person and not the next.

          It is difficult when you are constantly reminded by people about their successful procedure when you are dealing with DES, unfortunately, that's life, I figure that my life is blessed with something that they missed out on.

          I think there are more of us Laser Surgery Dry Eye Suffers than you first think. Most people accept that they will have DES for a few months but don't question it when it goes on longer. I am not good at dealing with delayed gratification, I like things done yesterday, so I did not cope well when mine is still going on nearly 12 months later.

          I don't really find that glasses make a real difference for me (except really windy days). My biggest problem is sitting in front of my computer.

          Take care, I am sure it will get better, mine is very slowly improving. It is difficult to notice it on a daily basis but I think back now to when things were really bad and I feel I have come such a long way. I keep positive in the anticipation it will become manageable very soon.

          Ian
          Last edited by prattstar; 21-Sep-2006, 10:53. Reason: clarification of post

          Comment


          • #6
            one positive thing

            Ian,

            I am thrilled that something I have done has helped a bit. I stopped the refresh pm and the sticky feeling is gone! It took a few days but it worked! While my eyes are still dry and burning at least the stickiness is gone and the constant painful blinking is decreased.

            And the big bonus is I could actually wear eye makeup. Never thought 6 months ago I would be so happy over that small detail. Thanks again for your input. It has made this girl have a bit of hope!

            Hope things are continuing to improve with yourself. Any other tips are greatly welcomed.

            Except no more water please! I am going to have to build an ark as it is.

            Heather

            Comment


            • #7
              Great News

              Heather

              I am so pleased for you that you have had some improvement. It is amazing how we get excited these days about the little things IMHO any improvement regardless of how small is welccomed.

              I just been for optical check and feel encouraged also.

              I seem to be consumed by the redness of my eyes, but the optician said that they are no where near as bad as I describe them, in her opinion they are a little inflammed but certainly nothing more than average..

              She also did a TBUT and for the first time ever, I got 12 seconds in my Left eye and about 8 seconds in my Right eye.

              She said that I am only marginally below normal (15 seconds) in my left eye and should be encouraged by this as it is better than the 4-5 seconds I was managing only a few months ago.

              My right eye has a spot that breaks up really quickly but there is no evidence of damage to the epithileum (??sp). She also said that there was no evidence of the abrasions I have had in the past and there is no scarring.

              All in all I feel better today, but tomorrow at my desk and computer will no doubt be a different story.

              She was concerned that at 12 months I am still having DES which would indicate to her that there may be some permanent form of DES - great!!!!!,

              She did say though not to get to worried because I have had improvement, it is most likely that I will continue to see some improvements in the next few months also.

              I feel like a camel with my water intake, but on the days that I slip back on my water intake are the days that I seem to pay the price at night.

              Congratulations on the graduation from ointment, it was my first positive step also.

              Cheers

              Ian

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