I am 27 and from the UK. I have been told by my opthalmologist that I have extremely dry eyes (fortunately at the moment - no corneal abrasions, although I am using drops at least every half hour). This is most likely due to a course of low-dose accutane I was on. I came off it because of the terrible side effects.
I have also been put on steroid drops as they are very red and inflammed. The steroids (prednisolone 0.5) actually seem to be making my eyes redder and it burns when I put them in. Ive only been on them a couple of days but surely the redness should be decreasing a bit. I thought steroids worked very quickly, or should I just give it a few more days.
It sounds like your eyes are just so irritated that any drop that you put in them (other than artificial tears) is going to burn. I suggest that about two or three minutes before you use the steroid drop, you use the artificial tears. That way you are making sure that your eye isn't dry before you put in the steroids. Drops burn much more on eyes that are dry. You also need to give the steroids more time before you make your decision about whether or not they are working. Sometimes they can take a week or two to really reach their full effectiveness. I am an old pro at this. I use steroid drops for my severe dry allergy eyes too. I have been doing this for about four years now and they do help a lot, but for me it's never going to be "normal" again.
Since your eyes are already so irritated, anything you put in them will probably make it worse. I have dry eyes and I use something called Nature's Tears. It's an eye mist that you spray, and it's just water with no preservatives or anything else added. It will moisten your eyes, but won't irritate them. Hope this helps!
I was wondering, how long have you been having dry eyes? did you use contact lenses before.? or do you have any allergies? Well, in my case it's really wierd, I never used contacts, or neither did I have any sickness which could cause this. The only thing that I have is slight allergies against hay? so earlier, about 3 years ago, I had infections that occured often, and I handled them by myself using anykind of drops from the pharmacy. Now luckily after getting all my 4 ducts closed I don't have any infections. Just last week I was at the eye doctor, and he said that my eyes are extremely dry. Some one told me not to use eye drops all the time, cos your eyes can get use to it, and your eyes won't make any effort to make tears by it self, is that true? well I don't believe this
What really bothers me is the fact that most of the eye specialists I've been to are not taking the "Dry Eye" very seriously. One even said: "Why are you here again? you just need to use eye drops every hour", which is really annoying when someone says that to you. How long can you do that? now at nights before going to bed, I wash my eyes with warm salt water, to clean my eyes, cos having all four ducts closed, eyes can catch dirt, which won't get off your eyes easily, so your eyes are "Dirt catchers". I also have droopy eyelids, when they get really dry. So I massage them everyday for about 15 minutes. And I actually, follow a very good diet, eating carrots, fish (omega fat which helps to produce tears), and extra vitamins. And I try to drink 3 litres of water, which is enormous amount, well I try to. I've experienced that drinking that much water, can actually give you the feel, that you don't have to use drops that often. Well, my life is always sourrounded with this "Dry eye" problem.
P.s:I regret the fact that I haven't been to the eye doctor earlier when I got these eye infections. Now I know: ALWAYS HANDLE YOUR EYES CAREFULLY! never ever do self medication, that makes things only worse!
Your experiences with doctors sounds just like mine. No doctors in the UK pay much attention to dry eye problems unless you are really severe and have ulcers/abrasions etc. My problem with this is why do we have to wait till we reach that stage before we get some help. Ive seen doctors on the NHS and paid privately to see them and to be honest you get much the same attitude. Maybe putting drops in every half hour is ok if your a pensioner and have little else to do - but I am 28 years old and have a busy life, its just not practical. Having said that - if it helped me and made my eyes feel more comfortable then I would happily do it - the point is it doesnt. I told the last doctor that 5 mins after putting drops in - they feel horribly dry again, and he just said 'well, they shouldnt' !! and that was it! I dont care what I 'should' be feeling, I want someone to take notice and aknowledge what I actually AM feeling! It is extremely frustrating.
There is so much more knowledge of dry eye in the states and some really good specialists - I have even considered going over to see someone, but at the moment I cant afford it - still paying off the other appointments.
I asked the question about your eyes not producing their own tears if you're supplementing them so often - and he just said that wasnt how it worked. When you think about it though - there is logic there, if the drops tell your eyes they are lubricated why would they produce more tears? I dont know about this - and I dont think the doctors do either.
Well, I guess we both are going through the same problem, I luckily do not have any corneal abrasions? is that how you call it, my english isn't that good. I think I'm even getting into depression, due to this eye problem. Just yesterday a friend of mine asked me to come to a party with her, and I couldn't, cos it had been a very bad "Eye day" for me. They got tired, even though I poured eye drops every 15 minutes or so. Someone asked me recently, how can dry eyes bother you so much? isn't it just like having dry skin??? well, I wish it was so easy, to put in eye drops, and I won't get this horrible dry eye feeling for at least an hour. But that won't happen, just after 10 minutes I get this dry scratchy feeling again. It drives me really nuts. At times I look really sick or tired. I can't stand this anymore. I CAN't!!!!
Well, if this get's much worse, I've decided to live in Sri Lanka, where I probably might not have that much problems due to the high air humidity.
Or I'd just live near the sea or something
you've asked how I've ordered this Restatis, well I called a international pharmacy and they are ordering it for me from the states.
Nikijo, I wish you the best, maybe you'll find somekind of medication that will help you. I know it isn't easy having kids, and running a household, and then to always think about putting eye drops, every minute.
well, international pharmacies are in every city, you surely will find out, do U live in London? I did try to find it through internet, but I couldn't see any place where I could order it, so I just looked in the "Yellow pages" and I found a "International pharmacy" where they order certain medications from abroad. Yes I've asked my eye doctor to write me a private prescription. I'll get it in a few days
Wish you the best
I forgot to ask you another thing. I guess you know that there are 3 layers on our tear film, so, if one of these layers don't exist or is not covering up properly, we get the dry eye. I never got this "Shirmer test" done. If we know which layer is broken, does it help if we use the appropriate medication for it. For a example, if my oily layer is not there, would using oily stuff help?, I don't know, but I was wondering, I guess not, cos as I can see, so many have used and tried different kind of things which don't really help in the long run. Well, I was just wondering
Im from the UK, im new on here but i post on another dry eye forum all the time. Hi nikki.
I can second everything that nikki has said, and i can relate to everything you have said shahara. I am 21 years old from the UK and have been suffering with bad chronic dry eye for over a year now.
Sahara: you must have more knowledeable doctors on dry eye in germany than we have in england (who know squat) if he has persricbed you restasis? We have an international company which can import restasis as well but the problem is the doctors look at you blankly when you ask for it, and you dont get any where, i have been to many specialists and get the same response. They dont take dry eye seriously and keep telling me it will go away on its own. I concur with you-drops only last 5 minutes at best and even thats only to wet your eye not make a normal level of comfort and at 21 it is certainly not practical to apply drops every 10 minutes of my life. which i keep telling them- but they just dont get it! Probelly like nikki said they typically see elderly patients that may not mind doing this and also may not know of any better treatments out there. So just accept what the doctors say more than young people who typicaly turn to the internet.
I know what you mean people just think its the same as 'DRY SKIN' and i think thats where alot of the problems come from over here. Dry eye is so poorly defined. And also this gives the impression that dry eye is a diagnosis on its own, which its not. Dry eye means not enough tears, but if you havent got enough oil but enough tears, your eyes are not dry 'in the real sense' and go undiagnosed. beacause not enough oil produces the same symptoms as not enough tears. But most specialists in europe only test tear production. and they tell you nothing is wrong. If i tell people the problem is MGD (which i think my problem is) i get alot more sympathy than if i say dry eye.
I have now given up with doctors in the UK im flying to New york at the end of the month to see Dr Laknay. To get restasis and doxy and a better diagnosis.
maybe in the future doctors in europe will start taking dry eye seriously and stop playing down the pain it causes, you would think that being eye doctors they should know that after all the cornea has the most nerve endings per small area than any other small area in the body and constantly has lids wiping over these nerves, so any slight disfuction in the delicate tear film is going to cause discomfort, let alone if there is alot of disfunction.
Its interesting reading about those like me who live in the UK, I've seen Opthalmologists both on the NHS and privately, and the biggest problem I have had is convincing them that I am suffering! The last Opthalmologist I went to said he didnt think there was any problem at all! Then why are my eyes sore & red? I'm 25 and had my problems for almost 1 year. I dont know why eye specialists here seem so unhelpful.
I too, have seriously considered going to the States for an opinion, I'm pretty fed up with the UK at the moment. The only worry is that I could spend a lot of money going there only to be dissappointed once again. I am also becoming frustrated by people around me (family, co-workers) who dont seem to understand in the tiniest bit how life altering it is to have this problem. I spoke to my Occupational Health department recently about taking time off work because of the discomfort, and they just gave me a blank expression as if I had said something stupid like "I cant work today as I left my brain in the blender..."
PS has anyone from the UK tried going to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London? I've been there 3 times and I fail to understand why it has a "worldwide reputation".
I know exactly what you're saying - and I bet Im not the only one.
Im also planning on visiting the states later on this year. This doctor in NY is supposed to be very good and apparently has dry eye problems himself - so he should be able to sympathise much much. The last doctor I saw said my dry eye was 'mild' the doctor before that said it was 'severe' - Where does that leave me then? Its pathetic. Going to the US may seem extreme to some people but when you've exhausted all your options this side of the pond what is there left - you have to help yourself. Because honestly, unless your eyes are about to fall out - the docs here dont give two hoots!
did you get to order restatis? I was just wondering. I just used to using restatis, since yesterday. I was scared, cos some told me that Restatis could cause sideffects that could last longer. But I didn't yet feel anything, luckily, I'm usually allergic to almost everything. I don't think I can use Restatis for very long, cos it really is very expensive. So, hope to hear from ya