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    Old 10-20-2006, 02:54 PM   #1
    Evie4
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    Question Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Hi everybody! New here and thanks for all the posts! I found the RCE thread and couldnít stop reading until I got to the end! There is a BCL poster that I hope will see this. Here is my storyÖ.

    I suffered a corneal abrasion (finger to the eye) mid July and though all looks/looked well at the ophthalmologist/optometrist I am unquestionably experiencing RCE. My injury was considered of good size (1mm x 2mm) and I can still see the roughness of the cornea in a magnifying mirror. My last appointment was about 5 weeks ago (2 months after the incident) and I continue to wear an extended wear contact to bed each night as a couple days after my last appointment I experienced the epithelial ďripĒ upon opening my eyes one morning. A couple more morning abrasions and I am afraid to go bed/sleep without the contact.

    My observation in my situation is that the lens makes my eye more comfortable but if I wear it for days and nights without a couple days break, my cornea seems to be (more) sensitive. It seems the day/night contact is only good for 3 weeks before it starts to get dry (though they are approved for 30 days.) I use Refresh drops every morning. My lid doesnít stick to the lens so I have no problem opening it BUTóone time I think the lens was dry and didnít move freely and pulled and so another abrasion and so Iím religiously using drops when I wake.

    Having worn contacts for years, Iím comfortable with using the day/night for nights since I can take them out and put them in without any hassle. I am concerned however, of over wearing and donít want to exacerbate my problem by over wear or improper hygiene. I should say that the optometrist isnít for extended wearing of weeks but a some many day on and off type schedule. So it has been tricky meeting all this care criteria.

    At the last appointment, the optometrist was surprised that I was still experiencing blurry vision and I had to convince him it wasnít my glasses and he agreed to do a corneal scan where he found some abnormality. He recommends I wait and give it some time (I have to go out of country for a month) and mid December he will have it scanned again. If things havenít improved, he will have me talk to the ophthalmologist that initially fitted me with a BCL. My 20/30 is now (I think) about 20/40. Much better than the 20/80 I had after a week of the BCL but still a challenge since it is under/uncorrectedóunlessóI wear one contact and my glasses.

    Iím wondering how likely it will be that Iíll regain my vision(?) Is six months long enough to know that it wonít change? Anyone using contacts at night for a year or two? Welcome any comments!

     
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    Old 10-23-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
    moshpit
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Its funny how different optomtrists view BCLs in different ways. I wear a BCL in my right eye for RCE and it is only changed once every two weeks. opthomoligist wasnted it changed ONCE A MONTH...freak. Optometrist that put it in decided on every two weeks. And every time he has changed it its been clean and not gunky so must be good. I find that my cornea is sensitive when the contact comes out and I have had concerns about this but optos assure me sensativity is just from cornea trying to adjust to feeling my eyelid again. Its only ever bare for half an hour max while contact is getting changed so no big deal. They believe once ive finished with BCL treatment it should come right fairly quickly (the sensitivity). Tommmorow Im going to optom to get contact removed then straight to corneal dude for 3 monthly check up then back to optom for new BCL (if things look good). Funny huh? but I dont like touching the contact myself. Its nice to see somebody else with BCL on the board. Lets see who else is out there with a BCL in and we can compare success stories (fingers crossed).

    My corneal abrasion happened last December and i didnt get BCL till July so Im impressed youve had this treatment option so quick.

     
    Old 10-23-2006, 08:00 PM   #3
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    Talking Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    I must say that I feel so lucky to not only have had care I received, but also that I managed to figure out (from pure necessity) how to care for these RCE episodes. Finding this board has given me the support that will help me through this recovery. Iím apprehensive at this point, I want to be realistic about my expectations and thoroughly informed about my options. This really is a ďseeĒ as you go (excuse the pun) experience.

    I have always had challenges where my eyes and contacts are concerned. I live in one of the worst environments for allergy sufferers, dryness is a problem and so Iím in tune to how they feel. I think the life of the night/day contact is a comfortable 2 weeks for me. After that it feels like my regular 30 day daily wear feels when it get close to 30 days. If my contact starts to feel ďoldĒ I believe it begins to irritate my cornea. So Iím going to do 2 weeks and toss it from this point forward. It is a bit spendy, but well worth it!

    My vision has been consistently blurry. Iím not surprised, I can see itís not smooth. I donít know how likely it is that it will correct itself. I wish I had some idea. That part is hard to be patient about. The ophthalmologist told me at the first visit about the possibilities of RCE and the use of a laser to smooth the surface. Iím not opposed to correcting the vision with an adjusted prescription if that is the wiser thing to do. Iím also not opposed to treatment especially if it will improve the RCE and the vision. I look forward to hearing how things go at your appointment with the specialist!

     
    Old 10-25-2006, 06:35 PM   #4
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Well...Good news bad news...soso news. Its all in there for me today.

    Good News?

    Yesterday I saw the Corneal Dude as I call him. He had a quick look at my eye. he reckons that its 50% less than it was (size wise). he thinks I should continue with the BCL for another 4 months and he will see me then. he believes if its still shrinking then I will need to stick with it for at least 1 year in total.

    Bad News?

    Contact was out for a total of only 2.5 hours yesterday yet last night around 2am I had one of my worst "mild" erosions with the BCL in. probably only a 4/10 but Ive only been having 2/10s since BCL was put in. Corneal dude said that going a couple of hours without contact may aggravate it. I hope it wasnt a huge set back.

    soso news?

    My eye is not swollen today so maybe it was just mild.

    So thats my BCL update.

     
    Old 12-01-2006, 08:39 AM   #5
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Moshpit,

    Thanks for the update. Sorry to hear about your RCE, ouch!

    I had a good month until I slept on the plane and had an erosion--a really good one (with my contact in). Fortunately I had 3 hours before we landed, so I had time to get myself together to continue to my connection. Frustrating! My vision isn't any better. My next appointment is on Dec. 12th, I'll likely get another corneal scan and see the ophthalmologist on a subsequent visit. I have been going without the lens at night this past week and all has gone well. I do have irritation without the contact in and increased fuzziness by evening (after a 2-3 hours with it out).

     
    Old 12-03-2006, 05:37 PM   #6
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    It sux that you had an erosion on the plane. I hate that i cant just "have a nap" whenever I want these days. Its like a huge thing to have a sleep in the middle of the day these days. Its risking an erosion everytime i close my eyes for more than a minute or two. I got worse after I posted that last note on the message board above. I spent a week having the worst erosions (day time ones) Ive had in months. I can only presume my eye didnt like being out of the contact at all. (which is kindve scary). It cam right with some antibiotic drops and a few weeks of careful attention. Just mild erosions once a fortnight at the moment. Acc (NZ Health Insurerer) is sick of paying for my treatment so they have decided to let me see yet another corneal specialist(Yay!), I guess they hope he is going to say something different than the last 2 corneal specialists and previous 3 opthos. I picked him he's got some history with PTK and dealing with RCE. So a week before xmas Im booked in with him on Aucklands North Shore. Ive got my fingers crossed that It doesnt ruin xmas with a weeks worth of erosions like the last time I had the contact out for a specialist visit. Im living my life normally at the moment (other than working 6 hrs a day nstead of 8) and I dont think about it all the time any more but Id love to get an actual fix. Im coming up on my year anniversary of my intial injury which caused the RCE and its a bit disheartning to think of it like that.

    Good luck with the corneal scan

     
    Old 12-13-2006, 12:03 PM   #7
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Well, sorry to hear you had such a heck of a time but glad things started looking up.

    I went to my appointment. Bottom line, the topography scan and eye exam indicated improvement. So I guess, evidently I can see better though itís fuzzy. Apparently my correction in my glasses has changed since August, but he thought it might be good to give it some more time and not go to a new prescription though he said he would write one. Iíll wait. After much discussion, it seems if Iím going to get a change in prescription in contacts I have to go to my regular optometristóIím not sure he would want to do that either (and my next visit isnít until August). He did mention a lower power in the other eye might help and it so happens I have three boxes of an old prescription just at that power. So Iím giving it a try.

    I was encouraged to only wear the contact at night if I feel I may have an imminent erosion and to come in if I have a subsequent one. I had one today, felt like debris in my eye (fresh contacts)óI donít know, but I canít see the sense in running back just to have it confirmed. It costs me every time I walk through the door and they donít do anything. Now is just a bad time with dry heat and allergens. He says he canít tell Iíve had an abrasion but there is no question the eye is sensitive and I have to be really careful.

     
    Old 01-17-2007, 09:12 AM   #8
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    [B]This board is great! Nice to know that others have experienced the same problems. Anyhow on to my story. Last winter had inflammed eyelids and redness in left eye. Eye doctor said it was likely an alergy prescribed Alerex drops which worked. Was told to lay off the contacts as much as possible.

    Prior to this I wore contacts 1x per week and used the rub free solutions. Not the recalled stuff. I believe the rub free cleaners are the cause of the stye problems. last year 2005 I had an internal syte drained from the upper lid of the left eye. The common in the stye problems was the "rub free", the doc claims it was dirty lids, but I think otherwise...Then 2006 the right eye was the problem area.


    About mid spring developed a right eyelid stye infection, was prescribed Tobradex drops. stye was external on lid.

    Stye problems got worse from spring all through summer-doc said to continue with Tobradex drops. I must have seen the doctor about 4 times over the summer and late fall.

    Around August 2006 starting getting massive eye pain in the middle of the night, it would come and go. Back in December I had a bad painfull RCE and had the doctor check my eye the next day. Said it was corea tear likely in the same location of a scratch from 12 years ago. They patched it and gave me antibotic drops. Worked for about a week or so then back to minor wakeups. To this point I thought the problem was an eyelid spasam or something? I could actually feel the pain coming on to the point to where the eye felt like it was squeezing tight. Just terrible!!!


    Recently, I found this site on the web, I bascially diagnosed myself. At least I wasn't crazy... This great discovery lead me to call my eye doc again. Set an appointment he confirmed it was RCE, said 93% of all eye damage normally heals fine, but 7% have problems of which 90% of those can be treated with good eye lubrication. He recommended to lubricate the eyes several times a day with over the counter (refresh tears) with refresh PM ointment at night before bed.

    Its been not even a week already, and I had minor RCE everynight and with a major RCE 2 nights ago. Called the doc back, he instructed me to use a contacts as BCL. They gave me a set on the visit. Last night was the first time, and I got to sleep with no RCE. Woke up this morning and my eye was really sensitive to light for about 40 minutes. I am using the normal rewetting drops and the refresh tears. I called a specialist but they are booked until Feb 26th. I am hoping for the best.
    This healthboard is great an will keep you updated.

    Last edited by chuckcap; 01-17-2007 at 09:33 AM.

     
    Old 01-17-2007, 11:31 AM   #9
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Hi Chuckcap,

    Sorry to see you on the board (since it means you're amongest the sufferers) but IT IS great being able to chat about these things and not feel alone. My husband is very sympathetic, but until you experience it and have to live with it I don't think it's something you can imagine very well.

    Right now I'm at the point where I still have blurry vision and I'm trying to wait to see if it's going to get better before I change my prescription. I haven't been wearing my contacts or a BCL because the weather and dry heat have caused irritation. Nights have been working out okay, but I literally wake up 2 to 3 times a night and put Refresh Tears on my closed eyes and then gently pulling the lower lid down to allow the tears to get into my eye and lubricate the top. They feel like they are suctioned shut. I have to be careful not to move my eyes under the lids when I turn to reach the eye drops. By morning I can open my eyes without additional tears. I had a dream about a week ago that I was in a class, looking for a seat and my eye felt dry and irritated and I thought "I should put drops in it" and right then I woke up and could feel that distinct feeling of an erosion just waiting to happen. I feel lucky I can wake without opening my eyes first.

    Days are good, I can't complain. I did try to wear contacts a few weeks ago and after placing my contact in I felt sharp debris. Luckily I had an anesthetic (for absolute emergency!) so I could get the contact out. I was paralyzed in pain it was so bad. The cornea is so sensitive now. I had great luck with the day/night contacts. Maybe when I feel like things are better I'll try them again, they seemed to fit better and were more comfortable overall. We'll see.

    Oh, another thing. I accidently bought and opended the refresh LIQUID GEL. I tried to use it at night but I found that it creates crusty bits when it dries around the eyes. Not the kind of thing you want to get in your eye!!!Fortunately the store let me exchange it.

     
    Old 01-17-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    I hope you feel better, my first day at work with contacts and its very dry out. Funny because the problem eye feels good and my good eye feels very dry and have some redness on the inner part of the eye. Keeping the rewetting drops going. You mentioned a day and night contact? If so do you apply it at night and remove it during the day? My doctor said to keep the contact in for at least 2 weeks straight. I have no idea how my eyes will hold up since I use to wear daily disposables. Will keep in touch via this board on how things progress. I am seeing the specialist end of Feb, hopefully it gets better by that time.

     
    Old 01-17-2007, 04:44 PM   #11
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    I know exactly what you mean about the "other" eye feeling more uncomfortable than the "bad" eye. My "other" eye is dry anyway, so yes it felt like my "bad" was more comfortable and I had to baby my good eye because it felt dry and irritated. The contact does wonders.

    The contacts I use as a BCL are Focus Night & Day and wore it pretty much mid July-December (changing into fresh ones naturally). The doctor doesn't want me to wear them at night unless I feel an imminent erosion coming on (that is hard to predict). I hadn't thought about it, but it did take months until my eye felt comfortable without the contact--so that's gotta be a good sign.

    I did great in the continous wear contact. It relieved a lot of the anxiety about having erosions. I could open my eye without it scraping. My good eye screamed for drops--I now realize that I had some very minor erosion going on in the good for the past couple years. I did still have a couple erosions while in the BCL, but things would have been a lot worse without it. I know if I open my eyes (these days) in the middle of the night (without the BCL) I would be having RCEs, no doubt!!! I have to work the Refresh in or else I'll pay dearly! I do hope this improves but I understand this will probably be a lifelong issue.

     
    Old 01-17-2007, 09:25 PM   #12
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Evie4, your recent posts exactly describe my nighttime routine, reaching for drops without moving eyes, knocking them off the nightstand, etc. I am currently using a bandage contact lens for RCE resulting from a fingernail scratch injury. It is a silicon hydrogel soft contact, which my ophthalmologist explains is more oxygen permeable than traditional soft contacts, and therefore healthier for extended wear overnight. I don't otherwise know much about contacts, maybe all are made this way now. Also it is not corrective (i.e. no power), so it is very thin. I wear my glasses as usual with it.

    I was very interested to see the comments about how long to wear a BCL. Starting Dec 15, I was on a schedule of 1 week wear, then out one night using Muro drops and ointment, then back in for a 1 week, for 1 month. After three weeks I started to have discomfort, dryness, minor erosions during sleep, then a major erosion. I just had to take the lens out right then, which was not easy. My doc now has me on a similar schedule, but instead of using same lens for a month I will replace with a new lens every two weeks.

    Overall the BCL experience has been good; the lens seems to take the edge off the pain of the erosions when they do happen, and I was erosion free for a couple weeks. The dryness is really a battle this time of year, it seems. I appreciate the suggestion from chuckcap on the other current HealthBoard RCE thread, to drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine. I will definitely try.

    Also, I am eagerly waiting for a review of the medical literature to be published by the Cochrane Library. Right now it is only a protocol, a review in progress, no conclusions yet:
    "Interventions for Recurrent Corneal Erosions"
    [url]http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD001861/frame.html[/url]
    "The aim of this review is to assess the effects and safety of treatments for recurrent corneal erosions and to assess whether any treatment is superior to the others."

    Thank you so much Evie4 and chuckcap for taking time to share your concerns and experiences. It has helped me very much in a short time. If I learn anything that might be generally helpful I will be sure to share it.

     
    Old 01-18-2007, 01:20 PM   #13
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    I asked this on the other post, but could you use the contact just for sleeping rather than all day long? If you use the logic of the contact protecting the cornea at night from a RCE then why not remove it during the day? My guess is that the insertion and removal of the contacts could make things worse but how worse could it get compared to a RCE. Just wondering about the logic behind wearing the contact continuously. Also, how can get a RCE if your wearing contacts to bed? Does the dry eye cause this or is the cornea damage just severe? My doc said it could take up to 6months to heal the cornea properly.

    Last edited by chuckcap; 01-18-2007 at 01:22 PM.

     
    Old 01-18-2007, 02:12 PM   #14
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    In my case and from what my doctor said--the contact aided in smoothing the surface of the cornea and at the same time easied the pain and improved my vision (a little). Earlier on my eye was so uncomfortable during the day as well--I couldn't function without it.

    After about a month, and still having some erosion issues, the doctor specifically stated he wanted me not to take it out and reinsert for fear of exacerbating the problem. As far as the RCE with the BCL, I can only guess the one morning (as I opened my eye to put in a drop) the contact was dry enough to pull on the cornea. I remember feeling it as I rolled my eyes up right before inserting the drop. The next major one was after sleeping on the airplane (long long trip) and I believe I was laying on my eye--which is something I make sure not to do now. My personal observation is that the contact is gentler on the cornea than my eyelid. With an extended wear contact in (BCL) I can open my eyes freely in the morning, not so without.

    I find that the more I handle my contacts, especially during dry/allergy times, the more manipulating (re-rinsing and re-inserting) I do. I personally don't want to up my chances of inducing and erosion by taking out my contact everyday--this is why I'm not wearing them at all right now.

    On my last visit the doctor said he couldn't even tell I ever had an abrasion. Maybe it can't be seen, but I KNOW where the spot is. It's been a rare morning I feel like I'm not on the verge of an erosion. I can remember only one morning (in the about the last five weeks w/o a BCL) I was able to open my eyes without drops.

     
    Old 01-19-2007, 08:27 AM   #15
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    Re: Corneal Abrasion, BCL, RCE and Blurry Vision

    Hi Sleepless221,

    Wouldn't you know, last night when I put the drops on for some unknown reason I moved my eyes up and down twice (while closed) and induced an RCE. I'd say it was a "3" on a scale of "5". Then I slept for about another 5 hours (usually I wake up after a few) and had a "4". I just remember the pain waking me up. Took me about a half hour before my eye stopped running and I was able to keep it still. And I was doing so good!

    It is pretty sore this morning and burning a little. I'll keep putting in Refresh drops, maybe take a little Ibuprofen if it starts driving me crazy. I better go buy some extended wear contacts today just in case things get worse.

    Looking forward to any news from the medical community on (best ways in) treating this condition.

     
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