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Is Saline Safe for Dry Eye?

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  • Is Saline Safe for Dry Eye?

    hi all.

    I use genteal ointment at night and upon waking I use systane to "wash" them out.

    this is cost prohibitive and I was looking to see if making my own saline w/ purified water and the proper salt would be a safe alternative for rinsing the eyes out in the morning.

    I have to use genteal ointment or I get real dried up and don't want to risk corneal damage. I refuse to wake up 3 times a night to apply drops. bad sleep is probably the worst for exacerbating my dry eyes.

    I have no MGD, only aqueous deficiency.

    the ointment doesn't feel painless anymore. I do feel a very slight burning sensation now but I can't stop using it for fear of cornea damage.

    i'm really considering gambling and just trying sleeping w/ the humidifier only and see what happens tonight.

  • #2
    I had to quit the Genteal gel as I would wake up all blood shot and swollen, like something out of a bad horror flick. I limp by putting drops in every time I wake up which is about 3x per night. Sure wish I could use a gel. I got some Unisol non preserved saline from the eye doc that is fitting my sclerals. A good sized bottle if it is about $8 so maybe rather than trying to make it yourself maybe ask a contact fitter for Unisol...F/G


    • #3
      ok. thanks.
      on a related note, I did gamble and stuck to using drops at night. I only did it when I woke up (1x), I pounded water, and back to bed.

      my eyes felt great this a.m. So i'm sticking to that. I might give the tranquileyes goggles another try. I hated them before but I might try it out if it keeps me sleeping through the night w/out need for ointment.

      I will also ask contact fitter about saline. I don't want anything preserved.


      • #4
        Much better decision to go for tranquileyes rather than use "ointments" at night. Try and stay away from ointments, they are not good for your eyes in the long term. Why - they are hydrophobic, thus preventing any natural tears from nourishing the eyes, and they are usually high oncotic pressure, thus further worsening a problem that's already there.


        • #5
          I'm with DCRdryeye on this. The moisture chamber goggles for sleep can be gotten used to. Try keeping them on for just a few minutes and add a minute each night. If they fall off it might be because you are moving around a lot or sleeping on your side or stomach. I try sleeping just on my back and hold them in place with the strap under my hair in the back. Seems to work and since I can't tolerate ointments it's a good thing.

          Also, I like the clear ones so I can see if I need to open my eyes in the middle of the night.


          • #6
            In my opinion making your own saline is asking for trouble. First because it will be impossible to keep it sterile and second because it would be extremely difficult to control the precision of the solution.

            I use sterile saline designed for nebulizers ( for my scleral lens. Pick whichever one is cheapest from the column on the right of the page. It is much less expensive than eye lubricating drops and the vials contain more solution. You could try this for rinsing your eye.

            At night I use a couple of drops of TheraTears Gel and wear a pair of Quartz eye shields. I have to clip the band in my hair to keep it from slipping down during the night and sometimes I have bad "raccoon" marks in the morning but they fade fast enough and my eyes always feel great in the morning. I have yet to summon the courage to try using just the saline at night, but I think it would be fine as long as I put the eye shields on right away.

            I found a product that is less expensive than the Quartz eye shields here: (small) and (large). I plan to try them if the Quartz goggles wear out and see how they compare.


            • #7
              hello all. thanks for the feedback.

              I spoke w/ my Opth. this past week. He reiterated what you said saralynn, in that you'd better be on point with the tonicity of the solution.

              As for ointments, I still haven't used it for a few days now and my eyes are better off in the long run. I don't have the mild burning sensation for the entire morning/afternoon.

              I have been doing this w/out the tranquileyes as well. I only really need to reapply systane drops once in the night.