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artificial tears - how often should I use? what else should I be doing?

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  • artificial tears - how often should I use? what else should I be doing?

    For those who didn't see my other (ridiculously long) thread: I'm almost 5 weeks post lasik and having what docs say is a typical level of dry eye.

    However, I'm still feeling the need to use the preservative-free artificial tears a lot - like at least once every hour and sometimes more.

    Is this too frequent? Also it's beginning to get expensive w/the # of vials I go through.

    L eye is just dryness, no other problems, but the last 2 days the dryness in this eye has actually gotten worse - or at least feels like it's worse! maybe allergies due to weather change, but doc says he doesn't see allergy inflammation - either way this eye has craved the drops even more.

    R eye there are also some other things going on: had to re-float flap on day 1 due to wrinkle, eyesight 20/20 but blurry edges (maybe contrast sensitivity loss), still having some pain and discomfort in this eye and the tears help alleviate that temporarily

    I've asked both surgeon and eye doc how often I should be using the tears and they say it doesn't hurt or help to use the tears as much as I want; it's just a comfort thing. So they're not really giving me any guideline. But I gather some docs say it's better to use the tears less. So yesterday I tried to cut back a lot on them.

    When I was at the computer, which I have to be at least 4-5 hours a day b/c of my job, it was really, really hard. I need them more like every 30-45 minutes. Tried going 2 hours and my left (good) eye got so dry it got blurry. Then when I put the drops in two doses close together (maybe 20 minutes), L eye vision was fine again. And R eye hurts more when I don't use the drops, especially when it's working hard (I'm an editor - worst job to have for this kind of problem - oh, how dumb was I to do this?)

    Also, when I'm driving I have to use the drops a few times during each trip or else I have trouble focusing and have to forcefully blink or close one eye to focus on signs, and then I get really nervous the person in front of me will slam on brakes right when I blink or that I won't see someone on a bike or something!

    But the rest of the time when I'm just doing stuff around the house or interacting with people, I can go longer without the drops. Last night I think I went almost 3 hours after dinner until it was Restasis time. Not sure if it's b/c I'm more distracted from thinking about my eye discomfort or if it's b/c I naturally blink more when I'm not driving or reading/typing.

    Other than the tears, I'm also doing:
    -Restasis in both eyes, but it hasn't been long enough to kick in yet.
    -Tapering off Lotemax on R eye - now down to 1x/day with no worsening of symptoms so I'll probably be off of it within a week.
    -sleeping with a humidifier in the bedroom and wondering if I should have one in my home office too so it's running while I'm at the computer?
    -Doing warm water rinse of eyelids a few times a day. Been afraid to try to massage or scrub thus far b/c of fear of dislodging the lasik flap, but I think I'm close to being able to do that now.

    Also, is there anything else I should be doing?

  • #2
    Hi & welcome to this great forum. Sorry your experience has been awful to date. I too have dry eyes from lasik. I'm coming up on my 1 year anniversary... Bleh! I wanted to suggest Oasis Tears Plus for PF artificial tears. They seem to last much longer than the ones my lasik MD suggested. They are a bit more pricey but well worth it for me. You can buy them on their on line website or can find out if eye docs in your area sell them in office. Hang in there