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Unsure what to do about my dry eyes

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  • Unsure what to do about my dry eyes


    I decided to sign up for this site after spending many hours trying to research on my own to fix my problem. I've had dry eyes for over a decade. When they first started to bother me I was diagnosed (by an optometrist) as having blepharitis. I don't recall any tests being done for this. I have rosacea and was told the reason for the dry eyes was the rosacea. Thing is, though, I've had a long list of other possible causes for the dry eyes so despite rosacea being a possible culprit, I'm not sure that it's the sole issue or even the original issue. I've taken pills that are linked to dry eye conditions, wore makeup, used computer for long periods etc.

    I have a number of questions...

    First up, is blepharitis just a general term for inflammation around the eye, and if not is it different than ocular rosacea?

    Are there any tests for ocular rosacea?

    I used to wear contacts and the solution I used was recalled, I stopped wearing them after that...Is it possible that's what did it?

    For most of the past ten years I was able to get by by just doing one warm compress a day. Sometimes I'd forget and it would not be a big deal. Other times I'd have to do it. I have humidifiers in the house too in the winter.

    Starting about last summer things started to deteriorate. Every so often when I'd be out somewhere I'd have stinging and have to do something about it. Way back when I used to use different eye drops, can't remember most of them now but suspect they contributed to the problem (one was a "get the red out" drop which I'm sure is not a good idea to take). Until I was diagnosed they did not bother me but once diagnosed they started causing obvious issues so I stopped them too. I was afraid to try any others in case they made things worse. The drops I was using were run of the mill kinds you can get in pharmacies, not generally for serious eye problems. Anyway so last summer when things started to get worse, I didn't resort to taking drops while out and about as I didn't trust they'd make things better. Instead I'd go home to do another cloth. One time I was also forced to use whatever was available (after searching in vain while barely being able to see to find a store to buy a cloth from), so had to use a clean napkin I wet in a bathroom.

    Overall though for the last six months of last year this still was not that big an issue--I sometimes went out and was fine--so I didn't think much of it. A few hours north of where I live we had big forest fires last summer (which is not the norm here), so, I assumed we might be getting an influx of extra pollution and so blamed the increased problems on that.

    But then around holiday time things started to go drastically downhill. It turned out one of the humidifiers in the house wasn't even up and running (I can't work it because I've an injury and it's too heavy for me to fill. ) Initially I thought that was the problem and thought I had solved it. But though adding it helped a wee bit, when a cold snap hit suddenly things were really bad. I had to do three cloths a day and in between those eyes were constantly stingy. I had light sensitivity and my eyes were pink. But as it was too cold I couldn't even leave the house as it felt like to do so was burning my eyes.

    Finally when it warmed up a bit I dashed off to a doctor and was given an antibiotic drop. No major tests just looked at my eyes. I said I had blepharitis so I guess it was assumed (based on rosacea) it's a staph infection?

    The drops did seem to help a bit--immediate feeling of relief from them coating my eyes..but of course they weren't intended for long term use so after I ran the course things started to be get worse again.

    Unsure what to do and again in the cold weather predicament, I decided to try treating myself. I had a kind of herbal tea (to drink), which boosts your immune system so started using that. I had an immediate improvement to overall health--I suffer from fatigue, and it helped immediately with that. The tea also seems to have helped a bit with my eyes, and generally they are not constantly pink too.

    I have since added other teas. One it's claimed is an anti-inflammatory.

    I am due to see someone once the weather improves, to have this looked at in more detail.

    What I'm wondering is....once that infection set in, I developed "bumps" along the lash lines. I had had swelling along top of eyelash line on upper eyelid but that's basically gone (thankfully.) It's just now on the bottom mostly near the inner corners of my eyes. One night before I had the antibiotics after doing the eye cloth I actually watched as these areas puffed up. They have not since ever fully puffed down and I'm worried I have some sort of permanent damage now. I should mention the bumps look almost purple.

    Oh and I forgot since stopping the antibiotics, I tried refresh drops without preservatives. The first time they seemed fine--my eyes felt better. However the second day I used them twice if I recall (ie two drops per eye in one application), and my eye started to sting. Tried again the following day just one drop, was okay. However I later took them before bed, did that the following night and both following mornings I woke up with SEVERE dry eyes, like they were not moist at all, very red. Worst I have been on waking ever. So I discontinued the drops altogether. I'm getting by now usually on two cloths a day, sometimes three. Sometimes if they start to bother me I'll just run water over them with the shower head. One of the great hassles with this condition is having to try to put on a clean cloth when your eyes are so stingy you can't even see what you're doing properly. Today I tried instead spraying my eyes a bit first THEN putting the cloth on and that seemed to work better.

    And I should say too from reading I believe I probably have MGD. Those eye drops didn't seem to last long on my eye, and I think they made things worse because they just...evaporated. I also get a bit of white "goo" in corner of my eyes which I've read is what can happen with MGD? Where the oil is not the right consistency.

    Also I am in a bit of a situation here as there are treatments I really can't have owing to other health issues and the likelihood of aggravation. I really wish to if at all possible avoid oral antibiotics. I'd like to know if there is some means of testing for what kind of infection I may have specifically too.

    And I also have an issue with the skin on my face, it hasn't been diagnosed yet (partly because I can't get out due to cold right now but also because our health care system where I live is really slow.) In reading it sounds very likely I have seborrheic dermatitis (don't know if I spelled that right). I seem to fit that profile, very flaky skin, and it seems it can be tied to rosacea. That got worse over winter too, and I'm wondering if maybe that did something to my eyes?

    I may have a demodex mite issue too, as I have flaking/crusting.

    I also tried the standard "clean your eyelashes with baby shampoo" routine. When first diagnosed I think I used straight baby oil. Eyes were none too pleased about that, so I stopped. Lately I tried it diluted in water. Still didn't work out.

    I've also tried using black tea on a q-tip as I had read that's antibacterial. Didn't seem to do much but slight feeling it might be making things a bit worse.

    I'm wondering if the following are valid solutions:

    -diluted tea tree oil (in water) to treat lash line (the optometrist I saw said not to do this but as he seemed to have no clue what he was doing I wonder if he's right or not)
    -coconut oil--eyes are a bit dry now around corners, is it safe to put cold-pressed coconut oil along lash rim, is this likely to plug up MGs even more

    And what kind of cleaning products are actually safe to use--I have one to try called blephagel but am a bit leery of trying it right now since I can't handle a worsening, and can't get out of the house due to cold if I have to see doctor fast. Also if anyone has a suggestion for lubricating drops, not just artificial tears that will dry up in five minutes, I'd love to hear that. I had found one I wished to try but will have to dig up the name again.

    Lastly, sorry this is so long and all over the place. My eyes are bothering me right now, and I'm rather spaced out due to poor sleep.
    Last edited by How; 10-Oct-2019, 18:48.