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Please help! OTC preservative eye drops made my right eye worse!

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  • Please help! OTC preservative eye drops made my right eye worse!

    OK. I hope you can help me, it's a long thread, because I've been suffering from a daily pain that prevent me from being social or completing my school.

    First, just to clarify, 1: I did PRK back in 2016. 2: I am taking flaxseed oil tablets daily. 3: I clean my eyelids with lid scrub daily and Q-tib.

    Feb 2017:
    "I live in the northern side of the US, it's really cold out here" Now, the story started around 6 months ago, whenever I go to my girlfriend's apartment, I would feel this sting burning feeling in my right eye only, it does hurt so much! I thought its just a dry eye, so why not use some of the OTC eye drops in that right eye.... I kept using that with no problem, just a random stings every two weeks or so.

    July 2017:
    So, the real problem started in July. I went to this hot humid country in the middle east for two months!. Because of the weather, and I admit that its my mistake, I start using a lot of preservative OTC eye drops back there, starting with systane balance, cationorm (well-known brand in asia), some ointments like muro 128. The issue here, is that I kept using them like 7 times each a day or even more (my bad).. the more I feel my right eye is dry I use them more and more.. I would say like 15-20 times a day.... (Notice here that I don't use them in my left eye, thats why its perfect now!). Later on, after two weeks of using those eye drops in my right eye only, I would feel this weird pain (burning kinda) in inner corner of my right eye.. so I went to see around 3 opthamologists back there, and all of them said you're eye is fine, just a dry eye!. so they prescribed me more and more of eye drops! so why not, they are the expert, I kept using them for another two weeks till late July. The pain won't go away, and its very obvious its in the inner corner of the right eye.

    Auguest 2017:
    I am back to the US. I went to see three doctors, two optometrists, and one ophthalmologist. The first optometrists said nothing, and referred me to an ophthalmologist, the other optometrists prescribed me anti-inflammtory eye drop steriod, but I did not use it, because I know it will make my right eye worse!....... Finally, before my appointment with the ophthalmologist, I was like why I do not change my routine, let me throw all these eye drops that I am using for one week, and see what is going to happen. So why not, I stopped using any eye drop for one week, and I notice a huge improvement in my right eye! but still have this mild weird pain in the corner.

    Sep 2017:
    Anyways, I went to the ophthalmologist, and once he did put the yellow numbing eye drop, the pain was back. Anyways, I explained that I feel better when I stopped those preservative eye drops. so the ophthalmologist said why not using preservative-free eye drops! I was very skeptical and said to him "I would just wait", maybe its just a reaction to this chemicals in the preservative eye drops and my right eye would go back to normal (Also he said he's not sure, but it might be a calcium deposit, we need to do a CT-scan :S) . So I scheduled another appointment with him in late October "this month". Meanwhile, I've been using benadryl antihistamine oral tablets because I tried to use zaditor eye drops but it just make my inner corner worse and my conjunctiva more red. I think the oral anti-histamine is really helping me. "Notice, the other day my right eye was really good, so why not smoking a cigarette right?. once the smoke did hit my eye, I felt this stings and the pain was back".

    Oct 2017:
    One last thing to mention, after I was depreseed of finding a solution, I did order a castor oil, hexane free, cold pressed. and did an experiment to my both eyes. I applied a drop to my left eye " the perfect one" and had no problem or burning or any kind of pain. but when I applied that to my right eye, the inner corner of my right eye started to feel the burn!, so I rinse it right away with water, so I don't know if I developed an allergic reaction to certain chemicals or something!

    Please, any ideas... I really feel bad, and depressed because of this pain, BTW: I am 23yrs old, male.

  • #2
    Hi John. Sorry it's been a tough 2017. It can get better.

    Given the elements bother your eye, have you tried wearing protective goggles/air shields? It could give you some protection from the air and cold weather, and some immediate relief. Many dry eye sufferers wear them both indoors and outdoors. They come in both clear and shaded. Some popular brands are 7Eye, WileyX, and Ziena. This forum's Dry Eye Shop has several to choose from:

    You might also benefit from wearing protective night gear, like TranquilEyes or EyeSeals:

    Definitely try not to use any drops with preservatives, whether OTC or prescription. Preservative-free artificial tears typically come in individual vials, and there are some PF steroid drops (ask your ophthalmologist), however anything PF typically costs more, but is worthwhile for your eye health.

    You may want to try using a few drops or rinsing your eyes with PF saline periodically. Some people have found using artifucial tears too often, even PF ones, has bothered their eyes, and instead using drops sparingly and incorporating PF saline like Purilens Plus helpful. There are different brands and sizes:

    One eye gel I did find soothing that is supposed to be PF once in the eye, is Genteal Severe Eye Gel. It was the only drop/gel that gave me some temporary relief from stinging and burning, when my eyes used to be severely dry:

    Some people have found even the oral antihistamines make their eyes dry in the long run, so just something to be aware of.

    Aside from steroids, your ophthalmologist may give you other treatments to help heal your eye, like autologous serum eye drops, Xiidra, etc. so don't lose hope, there are other options available.

    I hope you find relief soon.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hokucat View Post
      Hi John. Sorry it's been a tough 2017. It can get better.

      I did try the goggles shield, and it does really help! it works perfect for me.. I think it protect the eye from the wind that drys the eye.
      Thank you so much for your help and I will consider those.

      Update: I am using a cold moist humidifier in the my room, called "Filter free cool moist" from Vicks, It really help. I hope that I will get better soon.

      Looking for more comments! and advices