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  • Artificial Tears Cause Burning

    I cannot figure this out and would like to hear from someone that knows more than me.

    My "dry eye," on its own, causes substantial tearing and painful burning about once or twice per day. These are my only symptoms. Long story short, I have decided that my best treatment is hot compresses and OTC artificial tears, using the tears numerous times per day. Regardless of the brand and whether or not they contain preservatives, the drops always feel very refreshing...........................for about thirty seconds, at which point my eyes again begin tearing and burning substantially. This happens about 50% of the time. My opthamologist seemed a little perplexed over this and suggested I try different brands. No Help.

    Why in the world would the drops seemingly exacerbate my symptoms? Any suggestions on how to remedy this?

    Thanks much.
    Last edited by tperk100; 11-Feb-2020, 03:25.
    Tom P in Sunny Virginia Beach, Va.

  • #2
    I can't answer your questions. But artificial tears don't work for me either. I think they got me worse. So, of course I quit them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi, I had the same problem initially when my eyes got really bad. I was using over the counter Refresh drops. Sometimes I would put in a few and it would be okay. Other times for every drop I added I got worse.

      The problem it turns out is that I was not producing enough oil to properly coat the eye. I was told that the tear film has three layers, a water layer, a mucus layer and an oil layer. If you are lacking in oil for whatever reason, your tears are going to evaporate really fast, as the oil basically seals them in and keeps them from drying up. IF this is your problem and I'm not a professional, obviously I can't tell you that, but if it is an issue, some of the eye drops out there will not help you. What happens if you use one that deals only with the water layer is they just evaporate. In a case like mine I needed a very particular eye drop formulated to deal with an oil deficiency.

      All this being said it could be there's something else going on. For instance, if the drops have a common ingredient there's the chance you are sensitive to it or more than one ingredient.

      If you are unsure what the cause of your dry eye case is you have to ask and if your doctor either doesn't know or won't go into details you may have to find someone else. I had to go through many optometrists to get to one I felt was helpful. (And if you see anyone who tells you to put baby shampoo around your eyes, find someone new, this is very outdated advice and in some cases like mine does nothing at all to solve the problem.)

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      • #4
        HOW,

        VERY interesting. I also use Refresh, having tried 3-4 others, because I get it free from the VA. Could you share exactly what the drops are that you are using?

        As for med advice, 3 optometrists and 2 opthamologists have all said the same thing. They do not know exactly what is causing my dry eye, and to use the baby soap and cotton balls daily. No help.
        Tom P in Sunny Virginia Beach, Va.

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        • #5
          t perk,
          Have your doctors checked your ocular surface/conjuntiva to see if it is smooth? I had burning and redness and nothing I tried helped until my doctor saw that I had irregularities in my conjunctiva. I had a small procedure that corrected it and I do not have burning or redness any more.

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          • #6
            Taryn,

            Thank You. Will look into this.
            Tom P in Sunny Virginia Beach, Va.

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            • #7
              Have you tried Patanol and cold compresses? They helped with the burning and redness until I had the procedure to smooth my conjunctiva.
              Good luck

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              • #8
                When the surface of my eyes were severely dry (like sandpaper per my doctors), drops would only give a little relief for less than a minute, then my eyes would revert back to debilitating dryness and sometimes felt worse than before I put in the drops. The only thing that helped me personally was Genteal Severe Dry Eye Gel, as it is a thicker and moisturizing product that lasts longer on the eye. I used it day and night. To get more mileage from it, I would use it while wearing moisture goggles during the day and night goggles while sleeping.

                https://www.amazon.com/GenTeal-Sever.../dp/B0000534X3

                It was somewhat similar (although not in pain level) to having severely chapped, red, dry hands. In this condition, when one runs the hands under water there is relief, but after the hands are dry the skin feels dry again, sometimes even drier. And applying lotion or moisturizer that is not thick enough and moisturizing enough does not work well. So the Genteal Gel for me was like the thicker more moisturizing thing that coated, soothed, protected and stayed on my eyes longer. It’s been a long time favorite of many severe dry eye sufferers. If you have not tried it yet, it may be worth a try. The Genteal is different than night ointments which are thick, but not moisturizing, at least not for me.

                You might also consider going for a scleral lens consult if you cannot get some relief. Not everyone can tolerate wearing sclerals, but if you can, it can provide some comfort with it’s dome-shape lens covering and protecting the eyes in saline. Sclerals have been used increasingly to treat dry eye symptoms. I wear mines all day and don’t usually need drops while wearing them, but everyone’s success with sclerals are different. It does not solve your underlying issue, but getting relief while continuing to look for the underlying resolution is just as important. Boston PROSE has a good description on this website of sclerals (I wear PROSE), however there are several different brands and providers:

                https://www.bostonsight.org/PROSE/PR...y-Eye-Syndrome

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                • #9
                  Thanks to both of you for your help. I will follow up on your suggestions.
                  Tom P in Sunny Virginia Beach, Va.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tperk100 View Post
                    HOW,

                    VERY interesting. I also use Refresh, having tried 3-4 others, because I get it free from the VA. Could you share exactly what the drops are that you are using?

                    As for med advice, 3 optometrists and 2 opthamologists have all said the same thing. They do not know exactly what is causing my dry eye, and to use the baby soap and cotton balls daily. No help.
                    Hi tperk, currently I am using a brand called Hylo. Where I live I think only optometrists sell them.

                    Actually this may be a good way to figure out if an optometrist may be helpful--if they carry these drops possibly they know more about dry eyes than the ones who simply recommend baby shampoo.

                    It does sound like you need to find someone else to help you too. Have you looked for a dry eye clinic in your area?

                    Also with the problem I have I was told to use a warm compress on my eyes, so this is not to say that simply taking drops works for me. The warm compress is used because in my case the glands around my eyes that release the oil layer are blocked, so the heat is used to basically melt the oil and get them unclogged.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, and I noticed you are in Virginia Beach, we used to vacation there when I was a kid. What a beautiful place to live!

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                      • #12
                        How,

                        Thanks. I too was told my oil glands were blocked so I use compresses. Being the OC person I am and looking to make things easy, I have a very small microwave sitting on my bedside night table. I keep one of these compresses in it all all times.

                        https://www.amazon.com/Thermalon-243...2187748&sr=8-6

                        I keep Refresh on top of the microwave. Upon waking I hit the 30 second "fast cook" button. It gets the compress petty hot. While cooking I use the drops. Then I lay in bed for 5-10 minutes or so while the compress cools, listening to the radio or TV.

                        Recently I have recommitted to using the compresses 1-2 times per day, and the Refresh around 6-8 times. This has brought me significant but not total relief, but it is still unwanted maintenance. I am pursuing suggestions made in this thread.


                        ps. I've been in Va Beach most of my life, so I guess I have to say I like it.
                        Tom P in Sunny Virginia Beach, Va.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          tperk I used to spend too much time on maintenance too with not enough results. If your local doctors can't help you get the relief you want and you are spending too much time daily on your eyes, I suggest traveling to see a dry eye specialist .. That is what I had to do.

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                          • #14
                            I asked my Opthamologist for a more specific description of my condition. Here is his response.

                            Mr. Perkins your specific subcategory diagnosis is keratitis sicca. Meaning your tear gland is not making the same amount and consistency of tears it did when you were younger. The tear gland also makes tears in a more erratic fashion with aging. The consistency of tears is important because your tears are not just water, they are composed of many minerals and mucoid material which promotes sliding of the lid over the eyeball. In addition your lower eyelids are starting to retract or fall down exposing the eyes to more air movement which increases evaporation and dryness of the eyes.

                            Googling for more info I stumbled over this

                            lacrisert.com

                            Anyone had experience with this?
                            Last edited by tperk100; 24-Feb-2020, 21:19.
                            Tom P in Sunny Virginia Beach, Va.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lacriserts did not work for me, and when I asked my eye doctor if I could try them she said most her patients had not had much success with them but let me try them anyways. But everyone is different...I've read a few posts in this forum in the last few years of people who said Lacriserts helps them. So maybe at some point it's worth it to try it and see for yourself. My tear film was virtually non-existent when I tried it, so that's likely why it didn't help me since the tiny hard insert (the lacrisert) you put under your inner lid is supposed to soften and expand when combined with your own tear film to moisturize the eye over several hours. It worked a little bit when I added a few drops of artificial tears periodically, but the relief was not enough and it often just ended up as an ineffective expanded clear blob under my eyelid I had to remove with a cotton swab.

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