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    Old 11-29-2003, 11:04 AM   #1
    xandrr
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    doxycycline

    I just got perscribed doxycycline about 4 days ago because my doctor thinks that my glands are clogged/swollen (there are bright red lines between each one). Has anyone been on this, and how long does it take before it starts working? I heard it can be awhile.

    Also, i've heard lots of different methods, but what is the best way to do warm compresses? Any opinions?

    Thanks

     
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    Old 11-29-2003, 10:05 PM   #2
    iChrisi
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    Re: doxycycline

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xandrr
    I just got perscribed doxycycline about 4 days ago because my doctor thinks that my glands are clogged/swollen (there are bright red lines between each one). Has anyone been on this, and how long does it take before it starts working? I heard it can be awhile.

    Also, i've heard lots of different methods, but what is the best way to do warm compresses? Any opinions?

    Thanks
    What dosage did he prescribe doxy at? And how many times per day?

    There are a lot of different methods for the warm compresses, and it's really just what's most convenient for you. Here's some ideas though:

    1) Put some rice in a plastic ziploc bag that is big enough to cover both your eyes. Heat that up in the microwave for about 1:45 (varies with the microwave). Then take a clean washcloth and run it under warm water. Wrap it around the bag with the rice and hold it to your eyes. The rice will stay warm for a longer period of time, and therefore keep the washcloth warm. Plus, the rice can be reused. The plastic baggy needs to be replaced pretty often, but I don't see why you can't use it more than once.

    2) Take a potato and heat it in the microwave after cutting it in half. Wrap a warm washcloth around it and hold it to your eyes...each half covering one eye. Again, the purpose of the potato is to keep the washcloth warm. Unfortunately, you obviously need a different potato everytime.

    3) This one I do while at work a few times. Take a clean cup and fill it with really warm water (but not too hot). Take some papertowels, or a washcloth if you prefer, and dip them in the water every few minutes and hold them to your eyes.

    Anyway, those are just a few ideas. There are a ton out there. It's just a matter of what works best for you.

    Chris

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 10:05 AM   #3
    Jen2003
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    Re: doxycycline

    Sounds like you have posterior blepharitis (meibomitis). I have this, too. It came on suddenly last April and I had the dry eyes, lid inflammation, burning/stinging sensation and red eyes. I was prescribed several different kinds of prescription eye drops, but none of them worked. Just made my condition worse, in fact, so I decided to stop taking all drugs in June. At this point I was doing ONLY the warm compresses and lid massages and using a preservative-free artificial tear called GenTeal Gel. I got ALL of the symptoms of this disease under control by mid August (dry eyes, burning/stinging, etc.), but my eyes were still red. This is when I sought the advice of a new ophthalmologist and agreed to start taking doxycycline - 100mg/day (I only agreed to try it because it was something I could take orally and not have to put in my eyes). I really started to notice the effects of this antibiotic around 2 months after I had been on it. The redness began to clear up and my eyes were feeling normal again. I'm on this antibiotic until the end of December and I still do the warm compresses/lid massages at least once a day. My doctor says my glands are starting to function properly again and there isn't any permanent damage, so I have no need for artificial tears anymore. I hope you start to experience some improvement soon. Good luck!

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 11:35 AM   #4
    iChrisi
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    Re: doxycycline

    Jen- I was hoping you'd reply I have some new questions for you.

    How long did it take for the burning/dryness to stop from the time you started the warm compresses, after stopping the prescriptions? I know your condition came on in April and by mid-August, the burning was much better...but for the first part you were on prescriptions and everything.

    Unforunately, I've been on the doxy now for three weeks and have noticed no improvement yet. I expected it to be longer anyway, but I was hoping for the best. I've also started to do the warm compresses between 4-6x/day finally. I've been doing that for two weeks now. Unfortunately, once again...still no improvement.

    I'm really sick of dealing with this.

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 01:15 PM   #5
    xandrr
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    Re: doxycycline

    I'm on 100 mg doxycycline twice a day for one week, then once a day after that. I've had this condition since last august, and it's been a nightmare. I agree also that none of the perscription drops seem to help at all. I'm trying to do warm compresses more often, my doc said twice or more a day. I'm also on restasis. It doesn't seem to be hurting or helping really, would you suggest i keep taking it? My doc said it's fine that i'm on it, but i have doubts to if it's helping. Most of my discomfort seems to come from dryness/pain in my eye lids.

    I also had punctal plugs in and those seemed to make things worse, so i had them removed.

    But i guess in general, could there possibly be a day where my eyes feel normal again? It's been four months now with little or no improvement and it feels like i've been on a roller coaster ride with my eyes. i'm ready to commit to the compresses and doxycycline (and also an eye antibiotic called tobramax), but i'm skeptical about everything.

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 01:17 PM   #6
    xandrr
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    Re: doxycycline

    Also, thank for your suggestions Ichrisi. I'm hoping we can beat this thing. I can really use the advice about the compress at work. I'm a computer programmer which i'm sure isnt helping the situation...

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 02:18 PM   #7
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    Re: doxycycline

    I don't know if your eyes will ever feel normal again. I don't know if mine will either. I've been dealing with this since January and I've experienced no improvement.

    I'm starting to think that warm compresses 2x/day is not enough. I think 4-6x/day is what should be done. I had been doing them 2x/day from March through October and nothing happened. It's too soon to tell since I've increased it.

    I'm hoping that we all feel normal again someday soon. If this increase in the frequency of warm compresses combined with the doxycycline doesn't help me soon...I'll need a good psychologist next.

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 03:51 PM   #8
    xandrr
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    Re: doxycycline

    Also, my doctor never said to me "you have meibomitis" but the treatment plan he gave me seems to be identical to that. And if you're deep into meibomitis, i think you need doxycycline to get any improvement, at least that's the case from what i've read. It also seems like it does take a few months for improvement.

    Do you have any physical signs of meibomitis? Like a lot of pictures i see show mucus on top of the gland openings or something. My eyes themselves are pretty healthy looking but I have inflamed red lines between each gland indicating they are blocked. Is that normal for meibomitis? Also, i'm just curios..what is your age and do you have any other ailments/conditions? Like with me the first doctors i went to (if you can call them that) felt my condition was allergy related, and i just started shots for that... I'm also a 25 year old male with NO other health problems aside from this eye garbage. Also, i tested positive for allergies to a lot of stuff, but i never really had full blown allergy symptoms ever in my life except for a little post nasal drip.

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 03:54 PM   #9
    xandrr
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    Re: doxycycline

    Also, could someone describe how to do "lid massages" to me? I've read here and there about them, but never found a site that tells exactly how to do them. Anyone want to help out?

    Thanks.

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 05:12 PM   #10
    iChrisi
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    Re: doxycycline

    Well, being a computer programmer doesn't help. I'm a quality assurance analyst and I have to test software all day...and staring at a computer all day just seems to make my eyes feel worse by the end of the day.


    As for me, I'm a 22 year old male (considering the possibility of a lifetime of this isn't very appealing, is it?). I'm otherwise healthy. I don't really have any of the physical symptoms of this either. I do have red eyes though.

    As for the lid massages...those are really hard to explain right. You may want to ask your doctor to show you how to do them. Basically, all you do is take your index finger and massage the eyelash line. Just make sure you get the whole area, and both upper and lower lids. I still wonder if I'm doing it exactly right though, so...I'd ask your doctor to show you next time.

     
    Old 11-30-2003, 08:43 PM   #11
    Jen2003
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    Re: doxycycline

    Hi Chris and xandrr -

    I'm a 36-year old female and have never had any health issues my entire life until this eye problem started last April. I'm a molecular/cell biologist and work with small things, but it's not like I'm looking through a microscope all day nor am I staring at a computer screen, so I don't think my line of work is the cause of my eye problems. I do a lot of outdoor activities, though, so I'm wondering if this is what triggered everything. I've also been under a lot of stress this year and some people have told me that this can cause an inflammatory response in the eyes. But I really don't know what happened to me, to be honest with you.

    Chris - I completely understand your frustration. Just be patient and keep doing what you're doing. My progress was excruciatingly slow and I would notice only slight improvement on a weekly basis. Definitely not on a daily basis. Once I stopped using all the prescription eye drops, my condition improved very gradually over time. One of the improvements I noticed first was that I was able to sleep for longer periods of time without that burning sensation waking me up every hour. I was having to get up less and less to put in artificial tears. Finally, after about two months, I was able to sleep through the whole night without having to do a compress or put in tears (when I first got this back in April, my eyes burned so badly that I was having to sleep with an ice pack on my eyes!). I got the burning sensation and dry eye symptoms to go away simply by doing the warm compresses, lid massages, drinking tons of water, and taking eye supplements. I wasn't even on doxycycline at this point. Once I started to take the doxycycline, the redness of the conjunctivae started to clear up. I hope this answers your question.

    xandrr - what you're describing is definitely meibomitis. Those glands that line the inner rims of your eyelids are called meibomian glands and when they get clogged up/inflamed they get those little red lines in between them. Like you, I don't have those mucous plugs on top of the gland opening either, but when I pull my eyelid down I can see a lot of red and white lines. Here's my advice on the lid massages (my doctor taught me how to do this) - put a warm compress on your eyes for about 5 minutes (I use those small, round pieces of cotton that are usually used for removing makeup). GENTLY rub your eyes, especially at the edge of each eyelid. Remove the pieces of cotton and GENTLY push the edge of your eyelid up against your eyeball so you squeeze the oil out of the meibomian glands. Then you can follow up with a lid scrub to wash away the oil and debris (I don't do lid scrubs anymore because they irritate my eyes). Does this make any sense? Let me know if you have any questions. As for my advice on the Restasis, I wouldn't take it anymore. Try to give your eyes a break. In my opinion, the less stuff you put in your eyes the better. And, as I'm sure you already know, it has been determined that other medications (such as certain allergy or acne medications) can have serious ocular side effects, including meibomitis.

    Try not to get discouraged - you will beat this and get it under control. It's a very slow and painful process. I know how hard it is. My life came to a complete stop when this all began and I didn't think I was ever going to get better. Now I'm finally able to look at things from the other side and I can't believe what I have been through. It's hard to describe. It just rules your whole life. Okay, hang in there!

     
    Old 12-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #12
    xandrr
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    Re: doxycycline

    Thanks so much for all your advice and vote of confidence. I've found some info on the massages and i've been trying to do what you have said in the last message. I don't actually see anything coming out of anywhere though. Like should I make it a point to actually see something coming out of my glands? Will that happen everytime? Or should I just do the massages and hope for the best?

    Also, to do the bottom lids (which are definitely where the most 'veining' and pain is, what is the best way? I've read that you pinch it to massage it. Is that what you do? Or do you do you push it against your eye gently like the top lids?

    Also, especailly when you began the compresses and treatment, did you notice days where it would still get worse? Like i just started the warm compresses about a week ago with the doxycycline, but yesterday and today there is worse pain then when i started! Is this normal?

    Thanks for any help.

     
    Old 12-07-2003, 11:10 PM   #13
    Jen2003
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    Re: doxycycline

    Hi xandrr - sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your last post. How are things going? Have you experienced any improvement yet?

    When you're doing the lid massages, you might not see anything coming out of your glands. I guess it may depend on how clogged up your glands are(?). But when I first started doing the massages, I could actually see oil being squeezed out. And I could feel the oil moving over my eyeball. As my eyes got better, though, I couldn't really see the oil anymore. I wish I could refer you to a website that gives really good info on compresses/massages, but we're not supposed to post web addresses here. Do you think you could ask your doctor if you're doing the compresses correctly? My doctor didn't mention pinching the eyelids to me. For the lower lids, he told me to just push them up against my eyeball, and to do it very gently.

    As for your question about good days/bad days - I think the fluctuation in improvement you're experiencing is normal. This happened to me as well. Don't let it stress you out too much. Just accept for right now that it's going to take a long time for your eyes to feel normal again. I wish the first doctor I had gone to see would have explained this better to me. He was kind of a jerk and left me feeling utterly hopeless. I was miserable. I thought I was going to have to live like this for the rest of my life. But the new doctor I went to see was very encouraging, kind, and caring. He basically told me that I had to relax and be patient. He gave me the hope I needed to overcome this. It's amazing what a little encouragement can do. Now, just this past week, I've actually stopped doing the compresses/massages to see how my eyes would respond. I was somewhat nervous about doing this. It had become such an important part of my daily routine. And I was so afraid my eyes would get really dry and start hurting again, but they've been doing great! I just can't believe it. I guess the real test, though, will be when the doctor takes me off the doxycycline in two weeks. We'll have to see what happens then. Okay, wish me luck!

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 05:56 AM   #14
    xandrr
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    Re: doxycycline

    Good Luck! It's awesome that you had the ability to beat something so tough. It's all been a shock cause i'm (i'm sure you were too) used to going to the doctor and getting a take this and call me in the morning response that actually worked. The thought of being sick for months didn't make sense to me, of course until now. I've been on my full treatment routine for two weeks now, and I'll be sure to ask my doctor about lid massages next time i go in. Not very much improvement though

    I noticed you said you used Genteal Gel...did you use that during the day to help you through the early parts of the problem? I just bought some but I've only used it at night so far (seems to work better then my other stuff), and i'm considering using it during the day. Was that the only dry eye related product you used?

    Thanks again for all your help. Your advice has been very helpful.

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 05:12 PM   #15
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    Re: doxycycline

    Ever since starting the doxy along with increasing the warm compresses to 4-6x/day, I think I may have noticed some improvement. Work isn't nearly as painful as it was. My eyes still bother me later on in the day and at certian points during the day, but pretty consistently (except last Wednesday), work really hasn't been much of a problem.

    I'm hoping this is a trend and not just a good period for it. The redness is still a problem, but Jen, I know that you said you didn't really notice a difference until after about two months on the doxycycline.

    It's been a full year now since my problems began. That's a year too long.

    Oh, and I agree with Jen about the lid massages. I think you tend to see the oil more when you first begin the lid massages. I don't see it much at all now, usually not at all. When I first start the treatment however, the oil looked really thick and there was quite a bit of it. Anyway, just do as you were going to and ask your doctor.

    Chris

     
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