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A problem like no other

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  • A problem like no other

    I have been dealing with pain of all levels in my right eye since my eyes went dry 1 1/2 years after lasik (That was more than five years ago). My left eye is drier than the right (right is double plugged), but the pain in the right eye is always there, but varies.

    It's a guess, but I think I finally know what's going on and two doctors say it's a possibility. My right eye may have a tighter fit between the eyeball and the lid (my eye could stick out more than the left). The rubbing of my cornea, by my lid, when I blink is very painful. Sometimes I have enough tears to make it a smooth blink and other times I don't. And when I don't, it's painful. And the pain builds with every blink.

    I know it sounds strange, but I have some unscientific proof.

    Prior to lasik, I had a harder time wearing contacts in my right eye. Right on the spot of the cornea where the lid comes down and goes over the cornea, the contact felt like it was digging into my eye. This is the same spot where I have all the pain. (I knew something was weird with that eye prior to lasik and had planned to do only the left eye, but in the end, I thought to go ahead).

    I feel the scraping on my dry cornea all day. I do not have any dry spots. Sometimes I have tears to create a barrier, other times I don't.

    Bandage contacts do not help at all. They also rub on the cornea.

    My left eye has no problems like this at all. I have conjunctivochallasis (sp?) in both eyes, but only felt the right eye. I actually felt the wrinkled surface of the conjunctiva and that also caused pain until I had the amniotic membrane transplant. Now I do not have pain on the outside of my eye, but I still have the pain on my cornea.

    I also have very heavy, thick eyelids that when looking straight ahead, my lids sit on my eyelashes which creates more pressure and rubbing when blinking. (And I'm only 41).

    I think I have what one optho on Surgical Eyes termed "nerve wind-up". You see, when my eyes first went dry, I did not seek medical treatment for four months and by that time I had to go to the emergency room because the pain in my right eye was so bad. I know I should have gone sooner, but I really thought it would go away and I was in denial that something was wrong.

    After that, I didn't get the quick, "hit it with everything you've got" treatment, so it didn't get better, it got worse. And I went into an anxiety-filled depression and cried a lot which made it even worse.

    Nerve wind-up is when the nerve gets so irritated and painful, the harder it is to relax it. Which makes sense in my body because I have muscle tightness in other parts of my body (called chronic myofascial pain syndrome) and I always need to relax my muscles, and I can't be massaged (that will inflame my muscles and cause more pain).

    The things that have helped me are an hour rest everyday in the afternoon and Neurontin-300 mg/3xday.

    I may soon look into a scleral lens which are designed to not touch the cornea. I could wear that kind of contact now because I've had AMT.

    My rest (nap) is the very most important thing I do all day. My day and my family's day is scheduled around my rest.

    I have been working 9-1 so I could rest everyday at 2:30-3:30 before picking my kids up from school. Because of a position change within my company, I will soon be either working 6 hours a day or without a job. So, I'll either be in more pain without the rest, or not get health insurance. What a choice.

    I am not the typical dry eye person (except the left eye) and I'm just trying to figure this out because no doctor I've been to has been able to, and I've flown around the country to try and figure this out.

    I don't wake up in the middle of the night because of dry eye, and in the morning, my right eye feels fine and then the blinking starts and the pain starts. And then, at 9 pm, when I'm watching tv or reading, the pain gets better, not worse. I think because I'm not raising my eyelid as high as I do throughout the day.

    My pain is especially worse because when my eye starts to hurt, my facial muscles will begin to tighten toward the eye and cause even more pain and headaches. It's a terrible cycle.

    I remember Lucy saying that the scleral lens helped her trigeminal neuralgia that started after lasik. I think she may have some type of nerve wind-up too. I take Neurontin (which helps some trigeminal neuralgia patients) to ease the nerve pain I have.

    Well, I know this has been a very long post and I'm not usually one to do this, but you know how it is, sometimes you just have to get this stuff off your chest.

    Thanks for having a forum for me to do this.

    Also, the sinus saline flush helped my sinus problem. It's not gone, but it's better.

  • #2
    I wonder if the "lid wiper epitheliopathy" (or something like that) that another poster talked about might be part of this too. ??


    • #3

      I think you might be correct about your right eye. I too have a eye which has more lid/lens interaction. This make fitting for rgp lenses difficult because the lenses get rubbed between the corneal and the lid. I don't think it will be an issue for sceleral lenses.

      I wish I had some answers.

      Have you tried all of the new lubricant eye drops to find one that buffers (lessens the friction) between your lid and your cornea? I know that Soothe drops make my eyes very slick feeling.

      Hindsight- thanks for the reference. I am going to check that out now.


      • #4
        At some point I may have eyelid surgery. Many members of my family have had it done.

        My mom and dad both wanted it done but won't do it now because of all my post-lasik problems. They both have very heavy eyelids.

        A scleral lens will be my first line of defense though.

        Yesterday (Sunday) I stayed home all day in my sweats and got some things done around the house. I woke up at 9 and had my one hour nap in the afternoon. It was the best day (least amount of pain) I've had. My eyes were open less because I got so much sleep and the air was controlled because I was in my house.

        If I don't open my eyes really wide during the day, then they feel better because my lid doesn't hit my cornea as hard and as often. And as I was reading in the other post, I know why it hurts -- because of all the dense nerve endings in the cornea, scary stuff.


        • #5
          Chris, I have Boston Scleral Lens. Anytime you want to talk about it, let me know.
          Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

          The Dry Eye Queen