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Another sad story

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  • Another sad story

    Hello all, I'm a 22 y.o. guy from Spain who is in great pain and suffering after going through this serious desease for over 2 years now.

    First of all, sorry for my bad english.

    In my case, it all began with an acne treatment. I was medicated with Isotretinoin for 6 months. I was ordered to use suncream every single time I went out b/c of skin peeling I was experimenting. Anyway, I didn't use to go out that much, in fact, I barely left home during that period. Most of the time I was watching TV or sitting in front of the computer, sometimes I would be awake late at night until 4am playing computer games, I know I was forcing my eyes, a little.

    Eye trouble started just after the acne treatment. I remember talking to my dermatologist about eye burning, usually in hot sunny days, air-conditioned places (subway, university, ...) or after using the computer for several hours.

    She said to me that the effects of the treatment could possibly last for a short time but once the medication is totally eliminated from the system I would be back to normal.

    Since that didn't happen, I bought a fancy pair of sunglasses and the burning was over. I survive one entire year wearing sunglasses outdoors.
    At this point, I didn't have any noticeable dryness at all, that idea never went through my mind and aparently either my ophthalmologist's mind.

    But happiness does not last forever. Exactly one year ago, I started having major problems. Winter came and cold air striking my eyes caused me lots of pain. One morining, I did noticed some grease coming out of my eyes, I went to an ophthalmologist right away. She said I had blepharitis and recommended me eyelid cleaning which I did. The grease would disappear soon after but not the constant pain when my eyes were exposed to cold air which made them burn. It's ironic, but from the outside my eyes were normal, maybe a little irritated.

    Three months have passed, no evolution. I went back to the same opthalmologist and this time she said I had flaking but it was normal and I should continue the treatment.

    Ok, so my eyes burn in stressing is a fact that I had blepharitis but in any case it wasn't a great deal of a blepharitis, b/c I had no itchy eyelids, no red swollen eyelids or any other of the common

    Things keep getting worse. Every morning when I wake up, I felt my eyes were completely dry, as stones. The kind of dryness that you feel when you are so tired except that I am not tired at all. That sensation lasted for some
    minutes until my glands started to work. But there was one day that it just wouldn't recover, and since then it has been so difficult for me to carry on with my life. Imagine yourself, 22 years, your friends partying till morning saturday and you staying at home becouse your eyes just can't take it. Ok, there are worse things but I can't study, can't go to university, my mind is so disturbed with those ideas of never getting cured, ever.

    I was officialy diagnosed with DES in April 2009. Schimmer test was really bad (0.5,0). "Where did you leave your tears?" said my ophthalmologist.I started to take an antiinflammatory "Tobradex" (Tobramycin, Dexamethasone) and antiallergenic "Opatanol" (Benzalkonium chloride) eye drops along with artificial tears ("Viscofresh 0.5%", "Viscofresh 1%").

    Apparently I had conjunctivitis due to residues-particles getting into my unprotected eyes. At this point I was so hopeless, I thought my glands were somehow dead.

    I did some research and found out about Omega3 capsules "AREC" (DHA,DPA,EPA, Vit C, Vit A,Vit E). I take them 3 times a day.

    In July, I met a new opthalmologist. He was the first one that cared about my condition. He ran a few lab tests.

    The results were slighty better and encouraging:

    Schirmer I : (3,5)
    Schirmer II : (25,25)
    BUT : (23 secs, 20 secs)
    Rose Bengal : Negative

    According to this, I suffer from basal hyposecretion which means I don't produce enough idle tears but if I get estimuled my glands respond.

    However, my tear quality is not normal either as I have a moderated protein distortion:

    Protein concentration: (4g/l,4,5g/l) Normal values: 5-7.5g/l
    Fast Migration Proteins: (20%,22%) Normal values : 30-35%
    Globulins I: 0% Normal Values: 2-7%
    LFT Globulins: 20% Normal values: 30-40%
    Lysozyme: 60% Noraml values: 30-35%

    Those values can be related to allergy according to my doctor. A few days back I went to an allergist, a skin test revealed I was allergic to mites. She refused to give me an injection because I said I rarelly had conjunctivitis in the past, that is true, but I still have low proteins in my tears, what about it ?

    Oh! And I almost forgot ! I do have punctual plugs but they do nothing to me. I had them put in like a month ago,

    I am not feeling better at all.

    I want to point out something. I do not have red eyes or any other visual symptom. My eyelips are ok too. I certainly do not feel scratchy or sandy feelings as if something is in the eye. THEY JUST HURT AND BURN omg I
    can't stand it. The wind, making direct contact with my eyes surface, I HATE IT...I feel totally powerless. I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, eye drops just won't help, they cause me misty vision but do not humidify my eyes. I can't count the number of times I went to the E.R. this year. Each time I am in great pain I go to the E.R. asking how is my cornea. Do I have any lesions ? It's what I ask. Fortunately I always had a negative response. Also, I HAVE NEVER USED contacts.

    The results also reveal I have not evaporative dry eye. So ? I just ran out of tears ? Maybe so much computer work made my glands lazy. Or did Isotretinoin ruin them?

    Ok, it was supposed to be my introduction, sorry for such a long and nonsense story. I dream of having a better life, I dream of getting my life back, It seems like an insignificant problem but it is causing me so much trouble, it makes you think about going on or not, is the sacrifice of dealing with it worth it ? I'm so far of getting a solution, I found another doctor but he lives in another city. He does more exhaustive lab tests. But, even If I get to the source of my problem, identify what is causing it, it is not certain that I can revert the signs of it, too much time has passed...this problem tends to chronification.

  • #2
    hi, and welcome to the site. Firstly, your English is amazing! Much better than my Spanish!!

    It saddens me greatly that you are in so much pain. My eyes are better after 2 year, but I can very much sympathise with alot of what you're describing.

    You will get alot of help on this site, as I have, and I found out so much. Mine turned out to be hayfever/allergy, so won't dwell on that as mine was easily curable, just took 2 years to diagnose!!

    I hope you find this site a source of comfort and information, as I did, and I wish you lots of luck



    • #3
      Christian--me too dry eyes in your 20s...

      Hey Christian,

      I don't really post on these boards anymore because I found a solution to my dry eye problem. I promised myself to check in from time to time though because I use to be on here all the time searching for some answer to my problem.

      Like you, I was diagnosed with dry eyes at a young age. It was shortly after my 22nd birthday. There was no apparent cause for this dryness and I went to doctor after doctor.

      I have tried EVERYTHNG! Plugs, Restasis, OTC drops, Diet and still I had a schirmer of 0! I had no underlying genetic explanation for this dryness and believe me I know how not fun it is to have those paper strips stick to your eyes.

      Anyway someone posted on this very board telling everyone about his success at the BOSTON FOUNDATION FOR SIGHT! I have looked into their website before and saw that you needed a doctors referral to qualify for the boston sclera lenses. I tried to ask local doctors but they said that it simply would not work. Well you actually do not need a referral you can just call up Bill Rosenthal and tell him your story.

      I know Boston, MA is very far away from you but I am telling you it changed my life. I HAVE MY LIFE BACK! Like you, I became very depressed and angry because I could no longer do anything! I had such severe eye pain, and it was very hard for anyone to understand! A trip to the mall was impossible with dry eyes. Now I can work 12hrs a day and still go out with my friends later....all because of these lenses.

      When I was being fitted with these lenses, there was another man there in his 20s who got dry eye after using acne medication. So the foundation is familiar cases like yours. Whether you decided to go is up to you, but I think it is worth a shot to call them. I no longer have dry eye pain with the lenses in. Every morning I wake up and it feels like dirt is in my eyes. The sensation is so bad I can't even open them. However, once i pry my eyes open and stick the lenses in my eyes feel normal again.

      My local eye doc has noticed significant improvements in both of my eyes!

      I hope you find something that works for you!
      Last edited by erinlins; 01-Nov-2009, 06:38.