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  • Newbie


    This is my first post, though I have been lurking around for quite a while. I am dealing with dry eyes, severe anxiety, and general sadness. I had LASIK just about a year ago. I thoroughly researched the procedure, carefully chose a surgeon with a ton of experience. The surgery was my 25th anniversary gift. I will say that I see issues at all with that. I have, however, been on a roller coaster in terms of dryness. I have some long stretches where I feel pretty good, and then dryness punches me in the face once more. I am SO frustrated.

    My vision, as I said, is excellent. 20/15. I haven't seen this well since I was 10. I have been examined abundantly by my corneal specialist and by another eye doctor, both of whom assure me my eyes look mostly normal. I have no dry spots and no redness. I do have punctal plugs. My corneal specialist inserted them. I just had a new pair put in two weeks ago, since the others came out.

    I use countless drops, I have a humidifier and an air filter. I sleep with a sleep mask. But, without rhyme or reason, my eyes are good one day and crappy other days.

    My corneal specialist also had laser correction, and she said it took more than a year before she felt mostly normal, and th at even now she has occasional bad days My other doctor also cautioned me that some people do indeed heal very slowly. So, I suppose I shouldn't give up, emotional state is just not good. And, to top it off, I think menopause may be setting in, so my moods are all over the map.

    I just feel bad. The doctors urge patience. They said if I really wanted, I could try Xiidra, but our insurance is sucky, and I would basically have to pay $500 a month for the stuff.

    I also have rosacea, which may be impacting my eyes. My regular eye doctor prescribed doxycycline, but guess what? I am prone to yeast infections, and it caused a flare up.

    I guess I am just feeling so frustrated and alone. I am trying to be calm, but I have anxiety disorder and it is a struggle to keep my mind in check. I have a terrible fear of making wrong decisions, and I am haunted by my LASIK surgery. In my mind, wrong decisions are the worst, and I feel like I am being punished for my mistakes. It is awful.

    I am a very complicated person, as we all are, I guess. I just hate feeling this kind of despair. I cannot give up...I have a family that I adore. But, it scares me that sometimes even all this love cannot push away the claws of my own fears.

    In addition to the physical manifestations of dry eye, I am 99% sure that, for me, there is a psychological component to my condition. For example, as I vent here, my eyes are feeling better. Also, when I am at the doctor's office, or shortly after, I feel good. I also feel good if I am totally distracted, but that isn't always easy for me.

    I also have some issues with chronic pain...fibromyalgia and vulvodynia, though these are mostly under control.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say hello, and make my little presence known.

    Please help me see the sunshine again...

    Thank you for reading...

  • #2
    I'm not sure how I missed this earlier. Welcome to the forums. I had LASIK a year ago too, so I totally get it.

    The recovery is a hard road. I think the ocular pain and discomfort is only half of it. The other half is the feeling of guilt and regret at having chosen a possibly risky elective surgery, anger at medical providers for failing to educate us about the risks, and feeling uncertain about the chances of recovery.

    How are you doing since you posted? It sounds like you have few clinical signs of dryness (dry spots/redness). You said you have rosacea... any MGD? What about symptoms besides dryness? Any pain?

    Don't give up. I would also focus on improving your emotional state. Have you looked into a therapist? It's helped me.


    • #3
      How am I doing...not well. The guilt feelings about LASIK are eating me up. My eyes are up and down. I went away for vacation and had a stretch of about two weeks feeling 90% normal. When I got back, everything got stressful and my eyes started bugging me again. They feel sandy right now. Not painful, but annoying. It is like my own personal water torture. I am just past the one year LASIK mark. As I said, I don't really have much in the way of clinical signs...still no redness or dry spots. I have a small stye on my left eyelid, but it will probably heal.

      I am grateful that I am not in actual pain, and I am sorry that I am such a wimp about this discomfort. It is that the amount of time I have had to deal with this is killing me. I had LASIK done to spare myself this kind of crap. I didn't want to keep paying hundreds of dollars a year on glasses. And, to be fair, my vision is perfect. Close up isn't quite as good as before, but that is because I was so terribly nearsighted. So, I have cheapie readers and 20/15 distance. But now I get to be a freak who always uses eye drops and has, for lack of a better term, eyes that behave like they are bipolar. I can't count on any normalcy with them from day to day.

      I am finding it so hard to concentrate on anything anymore, including life itself. I am living for other people that I love, but I feel like I have destroyed my personal happiness. My health insurance sucks, I have no funds to pay for the Xiidra that costs $500 a month...I am not eligible for the $10 a month Xiidra because my insurance deductible is too high. The doctor wasn't even really sure I needed Xiidra because my eyes don't look bad!

      Anyway, I am very, very depressed. It feels like there is no hope that I will get better. I am sad and angry...angry at myself. I hope other people are doing better than I am.

      Thank you for caring enough to reply. That means a lot to me. I am glad a therapist has helped you...I would go if I could afford one.


      • #4
        Trying2StayHopeful I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier! Really sorry for that place you're in. I don't know if I have anything more to offer than just the knowledge that... it really, really, really DOES get better. It does. I've been on forums for post LASIK dry eye since 2001 and my experience observing others (as well as personal experience) is that the one year mark or, say, 12-18 months, is just about the hardest possible place. - Anxiety of course compounds & magnifies everything about this and fibro and rosacea sure don't help.

        Is it about patience, as the drs are saying? To a degree yes - in the sense that time really does help, in several ways - but it might also be about getting more effective forms of relief in the short term. If I can be any help personally please reach out! 877-693-7939, ask Becky to schedule a time to chat, would love to be able to talk with you. I have also been in that place of not being able to afford a therapist. Sucks.The mental health impact of post LASIK complications of any kind is enormous. You didn't do anything wrong to be guilty about, and you're not a wimp. This really IS a big deal, and one that you did not ask for or bring on yourself.
        Rebecca Petris
        The Dry Eye Foundation


        • #5
          ''The doctor wasn't even really sure I needed Xiidra because my eyes don't look bad!''
          Hope this dr did proper objective tests/diagnose
          (for example, gland function/images, osmoarlity, MMP-9, staining, lift upper lids, lid explosure, blinking etc).

          You need to find a doctor who really knows about dry eye to detect root causes then effective treatment is possible.
          otherwise that expensive Xiidra might not help too.

          Last edited by MGD1701; 13-Oct-2018, 12:01.


          • #6
            I'm on the same post LASIK dry eye journey.

            It's hell, but we can get through this!

            I've picked up on a few things in your post.

            Few basic things to thing about:

            1. Don't trust one doc or specialist, seek others out for opinion. You don't say where you are located, but the US has some of the best eye docs in the world.
            2. Nerve damage can take 6 years with LASIK to heal.
            3. I had already started with dry before LASIK but didn't know it, so the LASIK has kicked my existing dry eye into another league. So I'm tackling the root causes of my existing dry eye. I notice you've mentioned rosecea , so think demodex, also think hormones, time of life stuff.
            4. Are your dry symptoms due to lack of basel tears, MGD etc?

            I can't really distil what I've learned into a post, put my journey has lead me to the following:

            1. Ikervis at night.
            2. Tackle my blephatistis using my new docs anti demodex routine, I due believe this has been a game changer
            3. Punctual plugs, two in the left one in the right, but I think I need to get the upper left removed now.
            4. Confocal microscopy this Thursday to check my nerves
            5. Self applying FAB to help with nerve damage.
            6. IPL I have slight thick oils.
            7. Seeing a therapist for my PTSD.
            8. Seeing a new specialist because it looks like I have a androgen imbalance. I did a home based blood test. Androgen is important for a healthy tear film.

            I'm UK based but if you won't to ping me a PM I'm happy to see if I can help further.


            • #7
              @quattroboy May I ask you where you had IPL done? I am also based in the UK, and cannot find anywhere reasonably priced.


              • #8
                Thank you, everyone, for your help and support. I am sorry I had such a meltdown...My frustration has got the better of me. I am trying to refocus my energy on finding some sort of regimen that helps me manage things. And, I have noted a few things about my particular situation. First of all, my eyelids feel gunky. Maybe a little swollen. Two different doctors suggested moist compressed which feel nice, but if I overdo them, my eyelids feel worse.

                One thing that seems to help us dialing back my use of artificial tears, which seems odd if my eyes are dry? I am now trying to minimize how many times I use tears, taking a cue from FarmGirl, and trying .9% saline as an alternate. Not too much with that either, but at least it isn't always Systane or another artificial tear all the time.

                The reason for my trying saline is that I have noticed that I feel nearly 100% better if I am at the ocean. Even if it is very windy! My theory is that it has to do with the extra salinity in the air at the seaside. Does that seem possible?

                I am also trying Heyedrate as an eyelid/lash cleaner. My doctors recommended OcuSoft, but I swear that gives me irritated eyelids. I only started using Heyedrate Saturday afternoon, but for the first time in months, when I woke up Sunday, my eyelids were not pasted shut. Same today (Monday).

                Lastly, I have ordered Tranquileyes without beads. As I said, too much heat bugs my eyes, even though it feels nice temperature-wise.

                So, again, I thank everyone for putting up with me. Rebecca and Quattroboy, I may take you both up on talking sometime. It means a lot to me that you would listen.

                I hate feeling helpless, so I just have to work on changing that. Maybe the new things I mentioned will help. And, I am trying to remember that there is still more healing ahead.

                Thank you so much...
                Last edited by Trying2StayHopeful; 15-Oct-2018, 14:15.


                • #9
                  Hi Trying2StayHopeful

                  Great to hear the new Heyedrate lid spray helps and that you are proactive.
                  Pure HOCL helps me too even all doctors said I did not have inflammation.

                  Last edited by MGD1701; 17-Oct-2018, 09:31.