So I am a 23 year old female and I have been having these extremely dry eyes. I have been wearing contacts since I was 15 and have never had an issue with them - I would be able to wear them for more than 12 hour days, everyday with no problems.
Recently, it appears as though I have seasonal allergies. My eyes would become red and extremely photosensitive. They also burn and sting and are very itchy. This has happened periodically since January of this year. I would have about 1-2 weeks with very sensitive eyes followed by a good few weeks. I've been wearing my glasses more lately. The one time a week I wear my contacts is a gamble. Sometimes it goes smoothly, other weeks, a slight redness begins in the top edge of my contacts and once they are removed, my eyes become sensitive again for the next few days, appearing frighteningly bloodshot, like I have burst blood vessels or something. And during a ceremony held outside a few months ago, my eyes could barely open due to the watering and dryness and pain.
I've seen an ophalmologist about this and he said I most likely have an allergy to "something" but it is not my contacts. And it's not my makeup because on some makeup free days with my glasses/contacts, everything is fine. He says my eyes may be dry and recommended Refresh and to also use Opti-crom for the allergies. Opti crom stung tooooo much and didn't work over 2 weeks. I've stopped using that but the Refresh instantly soothes my eyes. I apply that a lot during these episodes and they definitely help.
I wore my contacts yesterday for 10 hours. My left eye was slightly red and once again, once removed, it became BLOODSHOT. Same symptoms, itchy, burning, pain...and slowly, its been going away. Now they are slightly pink but they feel too dry to put in contacts.
Any thoughts on these symptoms? Is this normal? How can I wear contacts regularly ever again? I really want this to stop happening.
I'm 75, a grandmother, and hypo-thyroid all my life, diabetic, have had a lot of laser treatments for extra blood vessels in eyes, cataract surgery in both eyes, so can't hope to ever wear contacts, and just since taking up knitting this fall, (maybe allergic to the acrylic yarn, or maybe some infection left over from an ear and sinus infection,) one eye feels like it's full of mucus, and this morning the lid is swollen. (Wow, one run-on sentence is five lines long, sorry!) Wore a tiny eyelid tape on it Saturday and Sunday, which seems to have disappeared, dropped off. Was just reading about "pink-eye".
If I were you I think I'd try a different contacts cleaner, and if that doesn't help, I think I'd just see another opthalmologist.
At another forum one time they were saying increasing their thyroid dose helped tremendously with Dry Eye. And that you can get a chemical burn from drops if used too often, but like you, I, and a friend my same age, use Refresh, more comfortable than Systane. I still try not to use it more than twice a day. Most doctos are still very wary about thyroid medication, which is usually Synthroid, and think it causes heart attacks, tell you they only studied it about ten minutes in med school. In recent years, a Dr. John C. Lowe, himself hypo-thyroid, has written online that adequate dosages of the "T4" are required if you have anti-gland antibodies, which very gradually destroy the thyroid gland. You just might want to get tested for antibodies? He passed away last year, head injury from a fall, I think it was, and his wife seems financially unable to keep up his sites any longer, so I don't know if you could still find any information. There's probably a thread here about thyroid and eyes.
About heart attack risk, one time at a doctor's office I couldn't help overhearing that an elderly woman patient in the hallway was being admitted to the hospital because of her heart, and her husband spoke up to tell the doctor she often feels cold, in summer, or when the thermostat is pretty high. So for the first time, the doctor was going to finally do thyroid tests. Low thyroid may have been CAUSING heart symptoms? Just my uneducated tentative guess. Truth may be the opposite of what doctors were originally taught? They also at first depended on testing only the TSH, which is from another gland, doesn't have much to do with thyroid, and "FREE" T4 and T3 plus antibodies and Reverse T3 all need to be tested. A "normal" range will be shown on the results page for comparison to see if you're out of Range. None of this may apply to you, but it's all I know for now. Someone else will probably be able to share news about your very same symptoms. Good luck.
I'm not sure if the thyroid issue applies with me, although I am aware of the connection it has to dry eyes (and dry skin, and weight gain, etc) especially if hypothyroid. When your doctor said Synthroid can "lead" to heart problems, maybe he meant that high thyroid levels are associated with arrhythmia's? There is also an association with high cholesterol which is what contributes to weight gain seen in hypothyroidism. High cholesterol is a risk factor to heart disease as well. Additionally, TSH is "thyroid stimulating hormone"; its produced by a gland and then travels to the thyroid and stimulates it to make T3 and T4, so it actually has a lot to do with thyroid function and levels. Doctors test TSH because it is used as a diagnostic tool in hyper and hypo thyroidism. (Sorry for the long explanation but I'm a pharmacy student, thought I could clarify a few things!)
My thyroid function has been fine all my life and I do not exhibit the other symptoms. Changing my cleansing solution is something I thought of in the past but I've been told that Acuvue Oasis and the non-rub solution is the best and "most comfortable" options. And when I originally switched to them a few years ago, I did notice a difference (a good difference lol). But I am definitely considering that now.
I wore my makeup today but with my glasses and my eyes have been fine. So I guess I can rule that cause out?
Yes, I knew all that too, just went overboard a bit in the other direction because I, like so many of us at thyroid forums through the years, am so tired of wasting time on old-fashioned doctors who haven't bothered to learn anything new since med school when they thought TSH was the main and only thing that had to be tested.
Since you're studying Pharmacy, maybe you'd actually enjoy explaining to us here in simple terms, all about Thyroid Resistance, Autoimmune Disorder or Disease, including Hashi's, Allergy to Own Bacteria, and Antibodies which gradually destroy the thyroid gland, and maybe slow or destroy others, including eyes, the _______ (I'm 75, long-term diabetic, forgot my ginko biloba today, often forget a word just as I'm about to use it. Sorry. Fill in the blank, if you don't mind, please. Just came from yarn club, then cooking, cloudy day, and I'm so tired.)
Last time I used my Refresh drops, although my mucus eye is lots better since taking a lot of odorless garlic, they burned a little. I wonder if that was because infection was being washed out, or I need fresh ones, may look for the kind you're using. Thanks for mentioning. Glad we have you here.
Oh, re-reading, I see your eye drops are for people who use contacts.
Glad you're better, and so am I, since taking some garlic pills from CVS, 2000mg, odorless, especially if you use some peppermint oil from a bake shop, just a touch on the tongue. Antibiotics, including some hospital IV ones, haven't cleared up my chronic ear pain, from an ear and sinus infection. Seems a large enough dose of the garlic works better than antibiotics. Wonder if there's such a thing as Resistance to that? Would you happen to know what my dx would have been, if I'd been able to make an appointment instead of using the garlic? Husband just retired and may not be feeling well, doesn't want to do ANYTHING, not even drive me. Thx.