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Dry eye from LASIK can greatly improve

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  • Dry eye from LASIK can greatly improve

    Hi all first time logging in for many a year. I thought I had written a success story a few years back, but checking my post history I can't see it, so hear is my story.

    I first encountered dry eye after LASIK surgery in August 2011. I lurked on these forums for a few months before registering at the beginning of 2012. My dry eye was absolutely horrendous, I had a TBUT of 2 seconds and my right eye(worse of the two) felt like it was full of sand and on fire from the moment I got up to the moment I went to bed. I tried everything to improve my condition - hot compresses, cold compresses, probiotics, Lipiflow, manual gland expression, sleeping with a humidifier on, a whole host of supplements nothing seemed to make any difference in the first year post surgery. I was in a bad place, I couldn't work and had some very dark moments. I also noticed something which I'm sure many LASIK patients have noticed - floaters. The floaters caused me severe anxiety and I had numerous panic attacks.

    This place was an absolute life saver for me and Rebecca is one of the kindest people I've never met(if that makes sense). The community on here was fantastic and a lot of those from my time seem to have moved on which I take as a good sign in that they have overcome their dry eye issues. I see a couple of familiar names still here namely Littlemermaid and SAAG.

    I didn't see any real improvement in my eyes until Autumn 2012 which was about a year after my surgery. Even then my eyes were still in a bad state and into 2013 I was still struggling. Then for reasons unknown to me things improved dramatically in a fairly short space of time. I think it was around Summer time 2013, my eyes just seemed a lot less dry instead of using eye drops pretty much hourly I used them maybe two or three times a day. I didn't do anything in terms of eye hygiene to prompt this, by this time I was just using preservative free eye drops(which I had been using since early 2012) and doing nothing else. Once my eyes started feeling less dry and I wasn't thinking about my eyes 24/7 I no longer noticed my eye floaters, my brain literally turned off my perception of them. Don't get me wrong the eye floaters are still there it's just that I very rarely notice them and when I do I simply go back to ignoring them a second later, typing this now and thinking about them means I can now see them it's just that there is no longer any emotional response to them.

    The only time I use eye drops regularly now are when I wake up in the morning as my eyes are always a little bit dry after sleeping and then I'm good to go for the rest of the day. I have maybe one or two flare up's a year that last a few days then my eyes settle back down into being a non-issue, these flare up's are the only time I ever use eye drops apart from when I first wake up. It took two years to get to a place where I wasn't obsessing about my eyes 24/7 and they felt normal. The healing process from LASIK can take a long time, but for all those less than 2 years out from your surgery don't give up hope, even those more than 2 years out don't give up hope. I never thought my eyes would get to where they are and have been for over 7 years now.

    I remember saying that if I ever recovered I wouldn't just disappear from the forum, but when I did recover to be honest I was so mentally exhausted from thinking constantly about my eyes I didn't want to post on the forum. I did log back in Christmas 2016 and was heartened to read about a members (Sazy123) recovery from dry eye. I contacted her via email and she relayed that her success was totally due to dietary changes. By all accounts she was in an even worse place than I was(and I was in a BAD place), the point I making is that it is possible to recover from very bad dry eye whether caused by LASIK or illness.

    I know that not everyone will recover and for those that don't you have my upmost sympathy as I know how horrible this condition can be and I lost two whole years of my life due to this. Without being macabre some good did come out of my dry eye nightmare as I started Yoga in 2011 and Karate in 2013 to try and take my mind off my dry eye issues. All these years later and I'm still doing both Yoga and Karate.

    I don't know if you'll ever read this Rebecca, but I did try to private message you, but it said your inbox was full. Thank you for your help when I was in my darkest place. I'm going to make an effort to stick around for a while, so if anyone wants to ask me anything then send me a private message or ask on this post and I'll do my best to reply.

  • #2
    Awesome thanks for the hope. I am 8 months post op. Sometimes I have good days where I hardly notice dryness. But other days they burn like crazy. Glad youre doing better eyes take forever to heal


    • #3
      robster I am late getting to this... I apologize for having my private messages switched off, just have a few more channels than I can deal with these days I have all the posts collecting in an inbox and I try to occasionally scan through, alas I don't get the time to respond to the ones I want to! But I couldn't let this one go by!

      First, I was just so happy to see your post subject line. If there is anything that is most needed, it's messages from "the other side" that it really can get better. Really and truly.

      There is just so much in your post here that is so incredibly descriptive of so many people's experiences, I could go on and on. But there was one part that really went to my heart even more than the rest : "I remember saying that if I ever recovered I wouldn't just disappear from the forum, but when I did recover to be honest I was so mentally exhausted from thinking constantly about my eyes I didn't want to post on the forum." That is the reality. It speaks volumes to the truth of the trauma of ocular surface pain - enhanced by all the special features that come with an elective surgery gone awry. It's a heavy toll.

      I am so happy you came out the other side of this so well and so grateful that you've taken the time to share here. I wonder if you'd be willing to let us use this on I'm going to switch my private messaging back on - you can also reach me at rebecca @ dryeyefoundation . org if you ever need to, or 800-484-0244.

      Take care and thank you so much for posting!

      Rebecca Petris
      The Dry Eye Foundation


      • #4
        Hi Rebecca, yes of course you can use it on the other site. I've noticed the forum seems a lot quieter than when I was first here, is there a forum at the other site you mentioned?


        • #5
          Thank you! I might reach out with a question or two if that's okay.

          No group on dry eyestories but an awful lot of people migrated to the Facebook dry eye talk group. Forums are a better place for meaningful conversation IMO, but the groups are very accessible and pretty gratifying because it's easy to get lots of answers quickly.

          Another new thing we've been doing is Dry Eye Happy Hour... a Zoom meeting every Friday at 3pm Pacific (actually this week it's at 12 Pacific). We did one on elective eye surgeries last year. This year we do panel discussion on a specific topic about once a month and the rest of the meetings are more like a support group.

          Here's the archive

          and the calendar

          If you ever want to come and share we'd be thrilled
          Rebecca Petris
          The Dry Eye Foundation



          • #6
            If you need me to talk to anyone then by all means just let me know, I'd be glad to help. I am UK based though, so there's abit of a time difference.


            • #7
              I just saw the Dry Eye Happy Hour for today, and it was much a much needed hour that made it a lot less lonely to have dry eyes!

              I will definetely watch next week, this was a great idea


              • #8
                I watched some of it to. Definitely would like to partake in one in the future if there's one dedicated to laser eye surgery this year.