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My dry eye story and recent LIPIFLOW consultation

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  • My dry eye story and recent LIPIFLOW consultation

    Hi all,

    Just been reading through everyone's posts and I'm feeling really inspired.


    I have had dry eye symptoms for about 10 years now and trace it back to a beach volleyball game where I got a mixture of sweat / sun lotion in my eyes which led to a small infection. The infection was cleared up with chloramphenicol but my dry eye story started

    For initial couple of years doctors / consultants / opticians in UK never took complaint very seriously and I tried a concoction of eye drops which provided limited relief. Eyelids were visibly red, itchy and dry and I could no longer where contact lenses.

    I saw one specialist who confirmed my eyes were dry and did a couple of tests but concluded, "some people just have dry eyes

    One optician suggested I may have MGD (this was then confirmed by a number of opticians / optometrists over the years) and for the last few years heat treatment and eyelid hygiene had vastly improved my dry eye but it is still impacts my quality of life.


    This year my dry eye has really impacted my quality of life so when I saw that LIPIFLOW is now available in Manchester, England I thought this may be the answer and was happy to pay 800 if it made my problem go away.

    At my consultation the following was confirmed-
    1. My oil levels in my eyes were low at 60 (I don't know the unit of measure) compared to a normal 100
    2. I don't blink very well. IN my right eye 7/9 blinks were partial!
    3. TO my surprise my Meibomian glands are healthy and not blocked!!

    Another thing - optician suggested I should use preservative free HYCO SAN extra eye drops but although I get some instant relief I find these drops can paradoxically dry my eyes out and make them feel clogged.


    So now I find myself trawling through the posts on this awesome forum and being inspired by the community's amazing stories but I need a PLAN.

    One of the common themes I have read in the posts is DIET, DIET, DIET. SO first thing I will be experimenting with is what I eat. Staying hydrated and taking omegas including flax will be first thing and trying to consciously improve my blinking!


    Does have anyone have any advice?

    Why would my oil levels be low even though my glands are healthy? Diet?

    Does anyone else find that eye drops can make their dry eye worse?

    When I drink beer my eyes feel better - what is that all about??

    I generally wake up with dry eyes - can anyone recommend any sleep masks / solutions?

  • #2
    Very interested to hear your story. Have you had your lip flow? Is your doctor able to express clear oil when examining your eyes?


    • #3
      Hi Linda,

      The optometrist didn’t recommend I go ahead with Lipiflow due to scan showing glands were not blocked - surprising as every other optician I have seen (even recently) suggested that they were.

      I think MGs can be visibly and perhaps sometimes superficially blocked on the surface of the eyelid but still functioning.

      She didn’t confirm glands were producing clear oil but I didn’t ask. Having read the dry eye 101 post I now wish I had gone to the consultation armed with better, more direct questions. I had, naively, assumed that my MGs would be blocked and that Lipiflow would be the answer.

      i am now going to do some more detailed research and glean as much information from the community. I will also closely monitor my diet, up my omegas and seek out a proven dry eye specialist in UK. @everyone any recommendations??

      I asked the Lipiflow optometrist did she specialise in dry eye and told her my stories of seeing various eye specialists who were not in fact “dry eye specialists” a subtle but important difference.

      She admitted her focus was laser eye and Lipiflow was just something else that she does.

      A couple of things I have learned:

      1. Just because someone is a specialist they may not be a dry eye specialist or passionate about finding dry eye solutions
      2. When it come to your own dry eyes, YOU are the specialist as everyone is unique. You just need an engaged optometrist who can listen to your story and offer professional guidance.


      • #4
        nick84 Regarding waking up with dry eyes, keep a humidifier running from the time you go to bed in your bedroom. I'd bet you'll see a noticeable improvement. I just leave mine on my nightstand and you shouldn't have to spend more than $30US. I keep a humidifier in my living room as we'll as my cubicle at work. It's cheap and, in my humble opinion, effective.


        • #5
          I can guess which UK high street LASIK butcher you went too based on your description. Don't bother with OE.

          Find a decent dry eye specialist. If you suspect MGD or bleth have a look at the dry eye clinic in Salford. They are expensive for lippiflow.

          If you don't mind traveling go to BBR in Hereford, only 550 after consultation.


          • #6
            Hi Nick84, did you go to DryEyes Clinic?

            'Cost Of Assessment With Consultant Ophthalmologist' is 250 which seems a lot. They do the LipiFlow.


            • #7
              My eyes are deep set, and small. The Lipiflow didn’t fit.
              Eyes too small for Lipiflow!


              • #8
                Conscious blinking, staying hydrated, omegas and regular warm eye compresses have helped and my eyelids are generally looking clear and healthy. Despite this I still suffer from significant dryness and eye drops only provide temporary relief. Especially in the office environment.

                The fact that eye drops provide only very temporary belief to me suggests that my tear film oil levels are still low. With my glands looking clear and healthy it may be the quantity/quality of oil they are secreting rather being the problem rather than any blockages.

                orange86 I have looked into the dry eye clinic in Salford. It’s 200 for an initial video consultation which seems both expensive and a little odd; I would have thought seeing eyes, eye lids in person would be better?

                @CJL I may invest in a air humidifier!

                As always any thoughts and advice appreciated.


                • #9
                  Hi Nick - I also think eye drops makes them drier. I avoid them. One thing I'd be careful is tap water in the eye, I only use purified water.( careful with shower too).
                  I also use protection glasses ( like cyclist's) on windy days. My case is severe and it started a year ago ( but have had light sensitivity for 8 years without knowing I was developing this problem...)


                  • #10
                    I've been suffering from dry eyes since I had my LASIK done in 2009. It wasn't never severe until May 2019. I would go to sleep and my eyes would suction cup closed they would be so dry. It was scary and it is still scary. I have seen too dry eye specialist and had mini testing done. I've tried steroid drops I've even tried blood drops called autologous called autologust. This is where they take your blood and spin out the plasm creating and I drop out of your own blood. There's even another one called PRP autologust eye drops where they pull the plasm and platelets out. The difference between the two is one only helps with the inflammation and one helps with inflammation and dryness. I had temporary relief but severe sensitivity to light. I'm no longer on these drops but for some people this might help. I was told I have ulcers informs of dry patches covering both my eyes. My right eye is worse than my left. I do my blinking exercises and hot compresses as well as my many different types of natural tear eye drops. I to also take omegas and trying to switch out my diet. This is my first time going on any forum and reading everyone's experience. It makes me feel like I'm not alone. I'm scared and this is so frustrating. I just want relief. I just ordered a night mask to help hopefully keep in the moisture at night time and reading on here some people suggest having a humidifier which I will put in my room tonight. I never thought to put one at work which is a good idea because it is pretty dry there working in an office. If anybody else have any suggestions I'm all ears.