I know I have been asking lots of questions, but I am new to this Sjogrens syndrome and am trying to figure out what is normal to Sjogrens and what is perhaps unrelated. I have dry eyes that are bad enough to use drops several times during the night. Sometimes I wake up with eyes almost glued shut and sometimes hurting so bad that I have to get up and put a cold damp cloth on them. But then I can read a sad book or see something sad in a movie and I can cry a bucket load of tears. Don't tears come from the same tear ducts, regardless of the reason? Just wondering...
Dear Texas Mary, what you describe is exactly my experience. Struggled with eyes so dry that I couldn't open them, and had to feel my way to bathroom to soak them open! I finally found a great ophthalmologist who taught me about the different tears, and how to stimulate them. Crying tears are watery and come from the lacrimal glands above the eyes. We have another set of glands below the eyes that provide a more waxy type of tear (sebaceous) that helps keep the watery kind in place. As you age, it is not unusual for these ducts to clog. The way to unclog them is simple. First soak with washcloth using warmest water you can stand for up to 5 minutes (I do this every morning and before bed), then scrub your eyelids with Johnson's baby shampoo. There are many expensive eyelid washes you can find, don't waste your money. Your eyes feel so much better! (Put some kind of cream on lids after) This same doc put me on Restasis. I learned you have to start it with a steroid or it will burn. Also, keeping the drops cold makes them more comfortable. The third thing that has helped me is pilocarpine. It was prescribed for saliva, but also stimulates the lacrimal gland, sweat glands, and others. So, almost a year later, my tear film tests have improved immensely, and I can actually sleep for 2-3 hours without getting up! Hope this helps you. I was diagnosed in 1998, and for years had very little help with these issues.
The Following User Says Thank You to MsMarty For This Useful Post: texasmary (07-14-2012)
I have had dry eyes for the past two years and worsened to date; this was credited to my Grave's Disease. Recently had a conversation with a Dr. about my very dry "paper dry" mouth at night and this led to a very quick diagnosis of SS as fortunetly my discussion was with a Doctor that had studied extensively the salivary glands. I use lots and lots of artificial tears and must drink through the night because of the dry mouth. I did try Restasis and could not tolerate it, it was just too irritating. I have had some improvement with duct plugs as they keep what moisture you do have in your eye and prevent it from draining.
Has anyone had these symptoms and then have a break from them? In other words do
these symptoms ever rest or is it always like this?