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PPI's (Acid Reflux Meds) Horrible for Dry Eye

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  • PPI's (Acid Reflux Meds) Horrible for Dry Eye

    I've been having a terrible problem with Acid Reflux lately and, unfortunately, I get bad side effects from virtually every medicine for it. I tried two different PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors) this week: Prevacid and Aciphex. Both of them severely dried and irritated my eyes. Horrible stuff. Some of them say "dry eyes" as a possible but unlikely side effect. Some of them say "dry mouth". But from what I've experienced, if it says "dry mouth", you can count on it drying out your eyes, too (at least those of us in DEZ).
    I felt like sticking my face into a vat of ice cold Systane and keeping it there.
    So, if you have acid reflux, be careful with the PPI's and keep in mind that even the H2 Blockers (like Zantac) also wreak havoc.

  • #2

    I seem to have developed reflux over the past 2 months and have been given Losec - once a day - 40 mg. My eyes seem to be OK (gotta keep going with hot compresses and lid massage tho) but the Losec (omeprazole) doesn't seem to be doing much for the reflux. Thanks for the warning about the other meds. I am looking for a cure? that is dry eye compatible!
    When the going gets tough - the tough get going!


    • #3
      Both Prilosec and Prevacid really made my dry eye worse. I discovered this when they lowered my dose to every other day. Bingo! Every other day my eyes were worse.


      • #4
        Unfortunately, also, most Sjogrens patients have Acid Reflux. The scanty stomach "juices" often give us a terrible pain from acid reflux. Hmph. Can't they get anything right?
        Don't trust any refractive surgeon with YOUR eyes.

        The Dry Eye Queen


        • #5
          Ruby, Did you switch to something else that helped without side effects? I've been through every PPI except for Prilosec, although I see no point in trying Prilosec considering that it caused dry eye for you already, so I know I'll have the same problem. I had an assortment of side effects from the others, including having an anxiety attack from Prevacid.
          Lucy, what are you able to take for reflux when you have Sjogrens? Virtually all of the Rx drugs cause dry mouth. I can't imagine that you could take that.


          • #6
            acid reflux and diet

            I know I have banged on about this to one or two of you before, and you may not consider this relevant to your particular case, but I do urge you to at least give this some thought and perhaps do a little investigating.

            Now, I realise that with some people the reflux is caused by systemic disease, and sometimes by reaction to medication (like doxy). However, your digestive processes - and all bodily functions in fact - can be deeply affected by diet. And there may, or may not of course, be a connection to dry eyesl.

            Yes, I'm coming to the point: the Blood Type Diet.

            I discovered this about 5 years ago, when I had been suffering from seriously debilitating acid reflux and oesophagitis plus constipation for nearly 20 years. For the past 7 years I had been taking Zantac (ranitidine) which had STOPPED WORKING...I was desperate.

            I found Dr D'Adamos book by accident, thought it was worth a go, got tested, found I was a type O - and changed my diet, because I discovered that although I had been eating what conventional wisdom decreed was a very "healthy" diet it was WRONG for ME. Within a week I was cured and as long as I stick mainly to the foods that are OK for me I have been free of the condition ever since.

            I'm not suggesting that changing diet is going to cure anyone's dry eyes or anything like that - but I'm a strong believer that putting into your body food which it is designed to process has to be supportive to general health. I compare it to putting leaded petrol in a diesel car. Bound to cause problems.

            I'm a masage therapist, and have been teaching anatomy for over 10 years, and I've passed on this info to hundreds of students, many many of whom have reported improvements in all kinds of physical ailments.

            If you're interested there is a website where it's all explained.

            p.s. I have no vested financial interest of any kind in this system/philosophy, just wanting to share what I have found to be profoundly helpful to me.

            p.p.s yes, I still have eye problems...and am now working with a refinement of Dr D;Adamo's work: the genotype diet, to see if it makes any difference.


            • #7
              They put me on a high dose of Nexium today. The acid reflux is harming my vocal cords. I am a teacher and have to be able to teach in order to keep health insurance. Had the blood work to see if Sjogren's might show up. What a frustrating, vicious circle. What helps one symptom makes the other worse. I see that dry mouth is a side effect of Nexium. I already have that!! Seems like if it dries your mouth, it dries your eyes?


              • #8
                I've done a bit of research about acid reflux and I am now taking L-glutamine and also have started taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar plus 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water 2x a day. You can add a little honey. It tastes OK and I had a better day today but I am very careful what I eat and only have small meals!!! We have a glut of feijoas on our trees and I fear to have more than an odd one when I feel brave!! I used to love eating lots of fruit.
                The Dr had doubled my dose of omeprazole but that could only be done for a few days and I don't want to be stuck on that forever and it wasn't working very well. I use slippery elm 5 mins before a meal too.
                I think the doxy (not on it now) plus antibiotics caused the reflux.
                When the going gets tough - the tough get going!


                • #9
                  Dot, I had to look up "feijoas"... ...we don't have those fruits here and I never heard of them before. They sound good!
                  How is the vinegar working out for you? I've heard good and bad about that from people. Baking soda does help with neutralizing the acid, of course, but it's very high in sodium, so you don't want to overdo it. How about the L-glutamine? Can you tell if it's doing anything positive yet?
                  I've been just taking Maalox and Carafate during the past week (Carafate is also called Sucralfate - it's a prescription liquid that coats the stomach to protect it from acid and from food but it's not an antacid). I did pretty well for most of the week but yesterday was a bad day and last night, too.
                  I just cannot tolerate the PPI's and, unless I have some sort of emergency, I don't ever want to take them again.
                  Ruby, if the Nexium is drying your mouth more than it already is (and it does do that), it may not be the best way to go. I find the Maalox to be pretty soothing for my throat and esophagus when I do get reflux. Also, if you're not already sleeping with your head elevated, start doing it tonight!! A lot of people recommend putting wood blocks or bricks (or a pile of books) under the legs of your bedframe (at the head of the bed only) to elevate your head at least 6 inches above your mid-section. That keeps the acid from coming up at night and affecting your vocal chords, etc.
                  For me, that wasn't quite enough - I've been sleeping virtually sitting up for the past two weeks. But it does help.
                  There is another bulletin board I found that you may find quite helpful for acid reflux, GERD, etc. Here's the link:
                  It's not as good as DEZ but I have gotten a lot of good info from it.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the link NYer. We had the bed up about 3 inches and increased it to 7 inches last night. I do think it helped. I am hoping I only have to use the high dose nexium to get this crisis on control. I have been put on medical leave from my teaching job for 2 more weeks. I have to get my voice back. I also will have a microphone system when I return. They told me no chocolate, tea, coffee, soda, or anything with caffeine in it. I am also not to eat 3 hours before bed. I don't eat anything acidic or citrus on an empty stomach. I quit my fish oil even though I am convinced it helped my eyes. Eating fish makes my acid reflux worse and so I figured the capsules might not be a good idea either. I hate the vicious cycle. Treat one thing and make another worse. THey can put a man on the moon, but here we sit with these annoyances that can hurt our health and the treatments come at a price to us too.


                    • #11
                      Ruby - really interesting point about the fish oil...I'm glad you mentioned that.
                      I just STARTED taking fish oil this week and I've been belching like crazy this morning. It never occurred to me that it may simply be from the fish oil and not the reflux. I'll stop tomorrow and see what happens.
                      By the way, I've been using Carlson's Cod Liver Oil. It's flavored with lemon and I add a teaspoon to my breakfast. But the lemon is overpowering in some things (like cereal) so I bought the regular flavor and tried that today. BLECCH!!! It was disgusting!!! Now I know why they put so much lemon into the flavoring.
                      Be that as it may, I will cut it out for the rest of the week - thanks for mentioning that.


                      • #12
                        I use Nexium as needed. I don't notice any real side-effects.


                        • #13

                          This is interesting, I also suffer from time to time from acid reflux. I must say after a while I discovered this was originated by my dry is just difficult to work on the computer with such impairment. Especially if one gets a lot of work sometimes. I already realized that for some objectives in a professional level, I ll need to forget from the time being as long I do not control better the dryness.

                          Having said that I want also to highlight,

                          - Whenever my stomach is doing bad and I am really tired due to the reflux, my eyes are not bothering much. But I feel really lousy.
                          - When my stomach improves, my eyes are not doing that well.

                          My feeling is that perhaps, the medication is not doing any my case
                          I take sometimes Omeprazol and it seems to be ok.

                          Keep positive


                          • #14
                            I started PPI's about 2 months before my lasik surgery 2 years ago. I have had severe dry eye since the surgery. After reading your post I stopped my Nexium. 2 days later I started feeling moisture in my eyes when caring for my infant in the middle of the night. This was unheard of for me and I thought that stopping Nexium was performing a miracle. I had a week of good eyes, but then reverted back to severe symptoms with no improment for the past 2 weeks. I am pretty bummed, but plan to give my break from Nexium a good month or 2. Will keep you posted.


                            • #15
                              Omeprazole = TERRIBLE DRY EYE

                              What I find the most hilarious part about any type of medication is the possible side effects that you may be experiencing many times I will call up local pharmacists and tell them what I'm experiencing since being on the medicine and they often times deny my side effect and say that, "well according to my listed drug book (whatever it's called) this is not possible."

                              Well let me tell you something. I have been dealing with TERRIBLE TERRIBLE dry eye. So much to the point that flourescent lights were bothering them, so much to the point that I too just wanted to stick my eyeballs in a vat of Systane ALL DAY LONG. I would leave work with red veiny eyes and be disoriented when looking left to right. My ears were stuffy feeling, I'd have major anxiety, mornings I'd wake up with an elevated heart rate from the gerd/gastritis or whatever it was and I wouldn't even be able to calm myself down, it would sooooooar into a hyper panic attack with my heart beating 180 BPM at its worst. Well, I'm here to say this is the second day WITHOUT Omeprazole and I feel like my life is coming back to me. It makes me want to cry because I thought I was SOO sick, but it was the MEDICINE that was MAKING me sick.

                              Always be leary of ANYTHING that you're taking because even though it may not be a "common side effect" you STILL can get side effects because it is something foreign that you are putting into your body. Especially if your issues came after being on a med.

                              I am just going to stick to a very LIGHT diet. I've read on tons and tons of sites that coconut water apparently soothes gerd/gastritis, so that is what I shall do. Don't eat later at night etc.

                              So let me just close with this is day 2 without the Omeprazole and my eyes (which have been dry/disorienting/terrible for over a month, I awoke WITHOUT sore eyeball pain for once, no headache, no racing heart, no anxiety. I just can not believe it. Thank you God.

                              I guess to all of you I would try and live without it possibly and just eat very lightly, don't eat late at night, try the natural alternatives, pop some tums if need be, water is good for gastritis, because you just may find that eventually your reflux/gastritis will subside after eating better and the stress of all the other symptoms that you were experiencing from that nasty med will probably help resolve your gerd even sooner than you'd think.