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My struggle

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  • My struggle

    Hello everyone,
    I've been visiting this forum since early February when I was diagnosed with dry eye. I have never heard of dry eye before and when I searched the web thats when I came across this site. Althought my struggle pales in comparison to some on this site I thought I needed to tell my story.

    It started back in December '05 when I went on Zoloft for depression and anxiety. When I jumped from 50 mg to 100 mg is when I really noticed a change in my eyes. My eyes where always bloodshot and painful and getting worse. I used Visine, bad move on my part, to relieve my eyes. It worked for a little while but soon stopped and my eyes would get worse the more I used it. Finally went to my PCP to find out what the problem was. I though it may have been from the Zoloft but he didn't think so. I was referred to an eye institue where I was diagnosed with blepharitis, by an intern, and was told to do lid scubs, stop using Visine, and start using artifical tears and to come back if things did not improve. Nothing about dry eye was discussed.

    Well things got worse. When I went back I was seen by one of the founders of the institue and was diagnosed with blepharoconjucntivitis and dry eye. This doctor was great and explained what was going on with my eyes and that is was going to take awhile before things where going to get better.

    He put me on Tobradex for the infection and to continue on the artifical tears. After 2 days on the Tobradex my eyes never looked so white but that soon faded and my eyes were red and painful as before. After 2 weeks on the Tobradex and using art. tears things were starting to improve. Yeah, so I thought. I went back after three weeks with another infection. Was put back on Tobradex and tears and started to improve a little. At the same time I was diagnosed with severe dry eye. Was the dry eye caused by the infection or the infection caused by the dry eye? Will propably never know.

    That is when I had plugs put into my lower lids and continued with art. tears. Things really began to improve then. It seems that I would reach a certain level of comfort with art. tears of all kinds and that was as far as I could go. I was still nor satisfied with the results, althought my eyes were looking and feeling so much better by now.

    That is when I decided to try Dwelle, Dakrina, and Nutra-tear. These and my routine of lid scrubs, compresses, fish and flaxseed oil supplements, and diet change which I had started doing all of these thing right from the beginning of this ordeal, has helped so much.

    Here it is 5 months into this and I can now say that I am feeling so much better about my eyes and myself. My eyes are not as white as I would like but a lot whiter than than they were 5 months ago and they are feeling so much better. Where I was doing drops every hour or two for releif I only have to do once or twice a day, if that. I also failed to mention that I work at a computer for part of the day and I got Prios glasses which have helped take the strain off of my eyes.

    I've been wanting to tell my story for awhile but was reluctant because from what I've been reading here is so many people have it much worse than I do. I really feel for all of you as this condition can be unbearable at times. I hope to god all of you finally get the relief you so deserve. Just keep trying and you WILL over come this problem.

    Reading all your stories has inspired me to continue on with finding the relief that I was so desperately searching for. Thank you all.
    Last edited by Mark; 07-Jul-2006, 12:24.

  • #2
    Hey Mark,

    Thanks for sharing your story, and glad to hear you're doing much better. Do you wear contact lens by chance? Anything else you can think of that may have made your eyes dry besides the anti-depressant?

    Dakrina has helped me a lot as well, and I'm looking into getting plugs.

    Keep us updated!



    • #3

      Thanks for sharing your story. Your story is important to us. Everything is relative and it matters little how your pain and discomfort compares to the rest of us. We all deserve to be comfortable.

      Congrats on managing your dry eye as you have. Have you tried doing warm compresses am and pm? I don't recall reading it in your story. It may help improve things for you even more. You can do a search on suggested ways of doing this. Compresses help me as much or more than drops do.

      Best of luck to you.

      Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.


      • #4
        Flick and Diana,

        Thanks for your support.

        No, I don't wear contacts nor have I had Lasik. I only wear glasses for reading and working on the computer. I think what caused my dry eye problem was multi layered. I think it was a combination of the Zoloft, the eye infection I had, and I failed to mention that I am also on meds for high blood pressure which I am not sure how it works... a blocker or diruretic. That is a question I need to ask my PCP at my next visit.

        Also, my office is very dry in the winter and that is when things really turned bad with my eyes. I purchased a humidifier and that has helped a lot. My employer was great. They did an air qaulity test in my office to see if there was something in the room causing problems. The only thing that came back was the humidity level was extremly low. I also got a humidifier for home and have it in the bedroom. Both have helped with my recovery.

        Yes I do the warm compresses and they make my eyes feel much better. In the beginning I was using them no less than 3 times a day and my eyes felt great afterwards. Now only occassionaly do I do a compress and everyday I use Ocusoft lidscrub foam when I take my shower.

        I have found that while using most of the over the counter drops that after a week or so of using them they would make my eyes start to feel worse. Has anyone else had that experience? I don't have that problem with Dwelle, Dakrina or Nutratear. Since using these products my eyes have felt and look much better.

        I think now I am at a maintenance stage and need to keep at it so as not to go backwards. I use Nutratear as needed in the morning, maybe once or twice during the day and Dwelle before bed as needed, I quit smoking, drink plenty of water and have changed my diet...considerably. I live in PA and it can get quite humid here in the summer months and that may possibly contribute to my eyes feeling better also.

        Again, Thanks for you support



        • #5

          Thanks so much for sharing your story. Sounds like you've taken all the right steps in managing this. I'm glad to hear you have an accommodating employer. I remember when I had some back trouble many years ago and to my surprise they brought in an ergonomics consultant. Besides the practical help it was really nice to feel supported.

          Originally posted by Mark
          I am also on meds for high blood pressure which I am not sure how it works... a blocker or diruretic. That is a question I need to ask my PCP at my next visit.
          Good idea. Just fyi, I hear pretty regularly from fellas who date their dry eye symptoms to when they started a diuretic. Not that you can necessarily do anything about it but the more information about what's causing the problem the better.
          Rebecca Petris
          The Dry Eye Foundation



          • #6
            Thanks Rebecca.

            I'm sure that I was able to get this far because of this site and all the information I have received from it. In the beginning I didn't know what I was going to do until I came across your site. Learning from others with the same problem no matter that may be is the best tool for success.

            Thanks to you and everyone else here for providing this invaulable service and information.



            • #7
              Much better.......

              Hi all,

              Just had my yearly eye exam and the dr. said that my eyes look great. My last post was in July and since then things have improved for me tremendously. My eyes look and feel moist again. I have many more good days than bad. I have been deligent with the eye "maintenance" routine. I take fish and flaxseed oil supplements daily, drink a lot of water, wear my glasses when reading and on the computer, turned the heat down at home this past winter, try and eat healthy, use Nutratear drops in the morning before going out the door and just before going to bed and ocassionally during the day as needed, and do lid scrubs everyday. I have switched to Sterilid for the lid scrubs and this product really makes my eyes/lids feel good. Still have lower plugs...had to replace one that came out.
              I am also still on the meds I mentioned in a previous post.

              My eyes still get irritated easily but I try and avoid situations that will cause any irritation or I will take measures to minimize exposure to an irritatant...i.e. being around smokers, dry windy days, dusty areas, using the heater in the car, etc.

              Even though my eyes feel good I still try and visit this forum weekly to see how people are coping with their problems and if there any new solutions/products out there.

              Hoping everyone finds their magic bullet............Mark


              • #8

                hi Mark - thanks for your good news :-) You said that you switched from ocusoft to sterilid. can you tell me why you did this and the difference you have noticed between the two? the reason I ask is that I have used ocusoft for a few years now and it works well for me. but if the sterilid is just as gentle and cleans as well, I might give it a shot if the price is comparable. I use the foaming type. thanks for the info. Lynnie


                • #9
                  Hey Mark.

                  I read your story with interest because it sounds in a lot of ways like mine. (as far as the infections go). I'm just curious....did your doctor say anything about the use of Tobradex "at will" so to speak? The reason I ask is because whenever I have a bad day I find if I use the Tobradex for a few days it goes away much quicker. However, my doctor warned me about doing this. Also, are the plugs painful? Sounds like they would be. One more question....everyone mentions eating healthy. I am taking the fish and flaxseed oil supplements daily, and I know drinking plenty of water and eating fish are beneficial, but are there certain foods to avoid?

                  Glad everything is going better with you. I agree, this site is GREAT!


                  • #10
                    lynnie5510...I switched to Sterlid because like everyone else I'm looking for that magic cure. I gave it a try and I really liked it. I've been using Ocusoft ever since this problem began over a year ago. I like it but when I saw Sterilid at CVS and thought I would give it a try. At first it was a little irritating. It felt like a mild burning sensation. I cut back on the amount I was using and just focused on the lash area of my lids and that worked better for me. I think I was using too much and I was doing the whole eye area. It is a bit pricey. I think I paid $17.00 for a small bottle. It just makes my lids feel cleaner for a longer period of time compared to Ocusoft. I like to apply drops of Nutratear just after the lid scrub with Sterilid and my eyes feel great. Let me know if you decide to try it and how it works for you.

                    darviets...I haven't had any eye infections in about a year...I'm thinking because my eyes are in much better condition than they were a year ago. Personally, I would only use Tobredex for the recommended period of time prescribed by your dr. I believe it has a steriod in it for the inflammation so long term use isn't recommended. I'm not a dr. so I would discuss that with your own.
                    The plugs are not painful, to me anyway. They do irritate for a day or two after they are put in but that goes away and you don't even know that they are there.
                    Eating healthy. I have taken the philosophy of, the less processed a food is, the better it is for you. I try and eat only whole foods but that is almost impossible with the way food is processed today. I try and avoid anything with hydrogenated oils in the ingredients, as well as high-fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients and to much sugar or salt. I'm not a nutrionist but after reading up on the subject I was convinced these are the cause of many of todays cronic health issues. Thats only my opinion. So what i'm saying is try and avoid overly processed foods and gradually switch to eating more whole foods. I took this aproach more for my issues with high blood pressure and high cholesterol and those numbers have been drastically reduced so I truely believe there is truth to this....its all about lifestyle change.

                    Thanks and keep in touch.........