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Dry Eye Relief After 7+ Years of Symptoms - treatments, products, books

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  • Dry Eye Relief After 7+ Years of Symptoms - treatments, products, books

    For the past 7 years I've had dry eyes with painful symptoms of constant burning and redness. My symptoms increased annually until about a year ago I was suffering so much I became desperate and tried just about everything. I've now found which of those many treatments I tried worked and which did not. A lot of what I discovered was from reading two books I got at the library - The Dry Eye Remedy by Robert Latkany, and Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome by Steven ******. I also received care from Dr Garrett who is the dry eye specialist at Oregon Health and Science University's Casey Eye Institute.

    1. Began about 2011
    2. Pain and burning sensations in eyes all hours of day, worst in AM
    3. Feeling of a scratch in center of right eye that was constant
    4. Blurry vision, sensitivity to light
    5. Often had eyelashes in eyes, often felt like there were objects in eyes
    6. Redness in eyes
    7. Inability to wear contact lenses
    8. People commonly asked what’s wrong and if I had been crying

    Daily Treatments at Height of Symptoms (all the things I did consistently at the peak of my symptoms that didn't necessarily help)
    1. Warm compresses with therapearl twice daily, as well as cold compresses
    2. Eyelid massage
    3. Night sleep mask because eyes were especially dry in AM
    4. Preservative free drops – Refresh plus
    5. Gel drops – Refresh gel – these worked ok for me but made me dizzy
    6. Ocusoft lid scrub 2 times daily minimum
    7. Coconut oil on lids in dry or windy environments like at work
    8. Blink exercises
    9. Consistent breaks and eye rest while working on computers
    10. Use of a humidifier at home at bedtime
    11. Never use fans, wear sunglasses to protect eyes
    12. Have thrown away all makeup
    13. Fish oil and flax seed oil supplements 2-3 times daily
    14. I also tried using baby wipes on my eyes which I HIGHLY do not recommend! This irritated my eyes which are quite sensitive.

    The Most Beneficial Treatments

    1. Sleep Masks. Since my eyes were not relieved during sleep (which should be refreshing) I began using sleep masks. I use two different kinds but actually prefer the cheaper method of cutting pieces of saran wrap that are a little larger than my eyes and using a regular travel sleep mask over them which cost $8. This treatment was THE BEST in relieving discomfort. I finally woke up with refreshed eyes. The other mask I use is specifically for people who sleep with their eyes slightly open called Tranquileyes from which is fine but I prefer the other. I was able to finally make the discovery that I sleep with my eyes slightly open by reading the books mentioned above. This condition is called lagophthalmos. I use a humidifier in the room as well to help keep the environment from being too dry.
    2. Xiidra eye drops. These are prescription drops that are supposed to calm irritated nerve endings in your eyes from overreacting to your environment. They have a program where you only pay $10 a month if you have prescription insurance. I no longer have prescription insurance benefits so have stopped using these but did find that they helped. Out of pocket they are very expensive. My eye doctor told me about the company and encouraged me to call them because they will try to help.
    3. Computer eye rest reminders. I use an extension for the Chrome browser that sends an alert every 20 minutes to stretch, blink, and rest your eyes. I also cross them as I find that relieves eye strain the most. I thought I was doing enough to rest my eyes while working on the computer but this has been a tremendous help. It's called eyeCare - Protect your vision. It's free and you can customize it.
    4. Pain management. My eye doctor actually recommended this to me at a follow up appointment after 6 months of treatments with the xiidra drops and using sleep masks. She said my eyes were healthy like a normal person's again and were producing adequate tears, but I still had painful symptoms. I read some pain management books from my library and learned a lot about how much thinking that my eyes were unhealthy was triggering them. This actually helped although I was very skeptical at first. I don't remember all of the books I've read about this but I do recommend You Are Not Your Pain: Using Mindfulness to Relive Pain, Reduce Stress and Restore Well-Being by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman. I am recommending this only in conjunction with other treatments of course as I don't believe it would have fixed my problem on it's own.

    Here are the things I've STOPPED doing as I didn't find them essential; warm compresses, cold compresses, eyelid massage, over the counter eye drops, coconut oil, I do use fans again but never pointed at my face, I use makeup rarely and am much more diligent about removing ALL of it, fish oil supplements (although my doc said these are really important), any kind of sanitizing wipe.

    I hope this helps someone as I know I read countless forums!

  • #2
    Thanks a lot for sharing with much useful info.

    ''had eyelashes in eyes'' - wondering if dr mentioned the causes?
    Last edited by MGD1701; 31-Jul-2018, 14:28.


    • #3
      ice_is_nice did you had mgd


      • #4
        I read some pain management books from my library and learned a lot about how much thinking that my eyes were unhealthy was triggering them.
        Fascinating! I am kind of in the same boat. My optometrist (who is not an optimist of overly cheerful person) was super excited on my last visit. Yet I still don’t feel good. I am obsessed with my eyes at this point and monitoring them.

        Could you please share any more info on this topic? I will read the book for sure, as well.