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Frank
@frank1

Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 14, 2011

Advice needed on how to live with chronic dry eye irritation - intro

Posted by @frank1, Oct 18, 2016

Hi everyone, I’m Warren. For six years I have had chronic irritation due to “dry eye”, specifically because my meibomian glands do not make enough oil. I have tried different eye drops, eyelid foam, rice bags, wet rags, Restasis, increased omega-3 fatty acids, and probably other things I can’t think of right now. I know that many of you have worse pain than I do and have had it for a longer time. My question is: How do you do it? How to you live day to day with the pain? I am talking to a therapist and am on anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants. Some days I just don’t want to be here anymore. Can anyone offer me any advice about how to get through the day? Thank you. (P.S. I know I am overly-sensitive, but it’s what I have to work with.)

REPLY

Hi Frank…I have had dry eye for years, and found that PART of my problem was due to the meds I was on. The most troubling was amitriptylin, or Elavil. Check your meds first, as they can be real drying. Especially the pain meds. All day I use Refresh brand lubricant eye drops. I use the vials ever hour or less until I get it under control. I also use Refresh PM gel at night. It’s thick and gooey, and you want this brand only. Also, put it in eyes while in bed or right before, as you can’t see well with it in. I never miss a night! This regiment will take a couple months, but don’t get discouraged! It’s worth it!
Another thing you may want to consider are punctal plugs. They never helped me much, but may help you. Restasis, Omega 3, never worked for me either.
I should say that after YEARS of telling my eye doc I thought I had allergys, as spring and fall my eyes were blood red, I finally found a doctor who agreed. I do take seasonal eye drops, but they will burn like crazy if your eyes aren’t healed up somewhat. I also have lots of inflammation in my body which contributes to this condition.
I feel bad for you, and totally understand the pain. Let us know how you are doing!

I am so sorry you are having such pain, Frank. I understand how you feel. I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis), Sjogren’s, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis and IBS. I am on antidepressants and various other medications. I am not on any daily pain medication. I take Aleve when I need to and, in extreme pain cases, I will take one Tylenol with codeine – but that is very rare as I don’t like taking them. I have severe dry eye and mouth due to my Sjogren’s – it is an immune disorder that attacks the mucus membranes. I am on a medication called cermiville (? spelling) for my Sjogren’s. It seems to help. I just do natural tear eye drops throughout the day. I can no longer wear contacts – which is a bummer. I have had these conditions for almost 15 years now. In the very beginning, I was extremely depressed. I used to be thin and active – sky diving, scuba diving, hiking, horseback riding, etc. Now I do well if I can walk around for more than a few hours. I have slowly come to accept the “new” me. I had to mourn the younger me, the more vibrant me, but I realized that this was just a new chapter in my life. The things that made me who I am were still there. I walk and try to swim to stay active. I pace myself. I know if I overdo it, I will have a flare. I just accept it. For me, my faith has been the biggest factor in dealing with the depression and pain. I am so glad you are seeing a therapist. If you have found a good one, they can be of real help. I actually do what I used to think were kinda hokey things – actually taking time to be thankful for what I have; counting my blessings like my children, grandchildren, family and friends; trying to be positive and stop the negative self talk; trying to stay active and engaged with family and friends; and, praying. Nothing changes over night. It is a continuing process and sometimes, even now, I slip. But for the majority of the days, no longer feel sorry for myself or wonder “why me” – especially when I think of others who are truly much worse than I. I don’t know if this helped you or not! I will keep you in my prayers. It is a struggle, but I feel you can do it. The fact that you are reaching out for help shows you have the spirit to fight!

Liked by Jamie Olson, Kim

@blindeyepug

I am so sorry you are having such pain, Frank. I understand how you feel. I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis), Sjogren’s, fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis and IBS. I am on antidepressants and various other medications. I am not on any daily pain medication. I take Aleve when I need to and, in extreme pain cases, I will take one Tylenol with codeine – but that is very rare as I don’t like taking them. I have severe dry eye and mouth due to my Sjogren’s – it is an immune disorder that attacks the mucus membranes. I am on a medication called cermiville (? spelling) for my Sjogren’s. It seems to help. I just do natural tear eye drops throughout the day. I can no longer wear contacts – which is a bummer. I have had these conditions for almost 15 years now. In the very beginning, I was extremely depressed. I used to be thin and active – sky diving, scuba diving, hiking, horseback riding, etc. Now I do well if I can walk around for more than a few hours. I have slowly come to accept the “new” me. I had to mourn the younger me, the more vibrant me, but I realized that this was just a new chapter in my life. The things that made me who I am were still there. I walk and try to swim to stay active. I pace myself. I know if I overdo it, I will have a flare. I just accept it. For me, my faith has been the biggest factor in dealing with the depression and pain. I am so glad you are seeing a therapist. If you have found a good one, they can be of real help. I actually do what I used to think were kinda hokey things – actually taking time to be thankful for what I have; counting my blessings like my children, grandchildren, family and friends; trying to be positive and stop the negative self talk; trying to stay active and engaged with family and friends; and, praying. Nothing changes over night. It is a continuing process and sometimes, even now, I slip. But for the majority of the days, no longer feel sorry for myself or wonder “why me” – especially when I think of others who are truly much worse than I. I don’t know if this helped you or not! I will keep you in my prayers. It is a struggle, but I feel you can do it. The fact that you are reaching out for help shows you have the spirit to fight!

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Dear Blindeyepug: Thank you so much for your message. Your rational approach to the situation will help me a lot if I can do it too. I am still having trouble ACCEPTING that this is a new chapter in my life. I am going to print your response and tape it to my wall so that I can read it when I am having difficulties–it will be invaluable. Thank you for praying for me; I will do the same for you. I like your idea of doing “kinda hokey things”. I spent much of my life thinking I was going to be a famous scientist (my ego pushing me around!) and then this dry eye came up and I could no longer do science. I have learned that most of the time the hokey stuff is the stuff that really matters! I try to spend my time having joyful times with my wife and our cat. I still feel sorry for myself some days, but they are happening less often. I am so sorry to hear of all your challenges–I sound like a pathetic little whiner when compared to you. I am so grateful you chose to reply to my comments–I often don’t feel I deserve any sympathy, and that I am worthless and useless. You have really helped me with your reply, and I do so admire your courage, wisdom, and generosity! Your statement that “the things that made you who you are are still there” really strikes a chord with me–I MUST remember that! Maybe I can develop your virtuous qualities also. You have given me hope. You are a wonderful person! Best regards, Frank.

Liked by Kim

Dear Frank: Thank you for your kind words! It makes me feel better to know I was of help to you. Another thing that helps – helping others when you can! Keep me posted! And I am here if you just want to vent or talk to someone walking your same path. You have been added to my prayer list. May God give you the strength you are seeking.

Please check your private “inbox” for a message about this! Thanks!

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