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    Old 12-26-2002, 08:04 PM   #1
    KayKay
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    Post dry eyes or allergies

    One eye doctor says I have dry eyes another says my problem is allergies. Not sure which one to believe.
    Years ago I had problems with pimple looking bumps on my eye lids. Medical doctor told me it was styes. Said to use warm compresses and stop eye makeup. problem seemed to clear up.
    Untill 5 years ago. My eye started getting this mucus like stuff in them which made my vision blurry. Went to the eye doctor since it was time to have my vision checked anyway. Says my vision is not bad. BUT the blurry problem was dry eyes.. tried a number of eye drops for dry eyes which never helped.
    Now my vision is really blurry. Have bumps that look like pimples that come and go all the time. even under the upper eye lid. Went to the eye doctor and was told this time it was allergies. Allergy eye drops not helping either.
    So this is my question. Does anyone have the bumps on their eye lids and what feels like mucus in the eyes which makes your vision blurry. Does this sound like allergies or Dry eyes? Or maybe something else.
    I am really worried being they have tried 2 times to make me new glasses but they can not seem to get me back to 20/20 and can not see out of the new glasses they have made. This has never happened.

    Any advise is welcome . Really worried that I am loosing my vision.

    Thanks for you time

     
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    Old 12-30-2002, 12:46 PM   #2
    purple2067
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    Boy, I really sympathize with you. I have the same exact problem. My vision is OK, but it fluctuates because of my severe dry eyes. You probably have both, allergies AND dry eyes. One of the major causes of dry eyes is Allergies! Did any of your doctors ever tell you that? Is the eye dr that you are seeing an optometrist or an ophthalmologist? It is very important that you see an ophthalmologist. Also, it might be a good idea to go to one who specializes in Cornea/External diseases, because they are the ones who have the most experience with dry eyes and allergies.

    What allergy drops have you tried? What tear drops have you tried? Have you tried any tears ointments, such as Tears Naturale Free PM Lubricant Eye Ointment? Or GenTeal Gel? I prefer Bion Tears, because they are preservative free and very soothing to the eyes. When you use them as often as I do, preservative free is very important. As for the bumps on your eyelids, are they painful? I have had a stye, and it felt like somebody punched me in the eye. I also have tiny little bumps on both eyes, on the upper and lower lids, that are called clogged Meibomian (sp?) glands. They are oil glands, and can result from dryness and allergies. Since oil is an essential part of your tears, if you have too many clogged meibomian glands, they can actually be one of the causes of the dryness. I too, have extremely severe allergy eyes. They don't stop itching and burning and hurting for a second.

    Using hot compresses is a good idea because they melt the oil and can sometimes un-clog the glands. However, if you have been doing that and it doesn't work, then you might need to try something else. My doctor prescribed an oral anti-biotic for me. There is only one out there that can help with oil gland dysfunction. This is not due to an infection, but one of the side effects (for lack of a better term) of this anti-biotic, is that it will help un-clog the glands in your eyelids. It is called Doxycycline. It is in the Tetracycline family.

    Also, have you tried something called Punctal Occlusion? (closing of the tear ducts). If you close the tear drainage ducts, the tears will stay in your eyes longer. This can be done in a few different ways. The simplest thing to do is to plug the tear ducts with a punctal plug. It is a teeny, tiny piece of silicone that the dr inserts into your tear drainage duct using what I think is a very fine, thin, tweezer. The doc will just numb your eye with some anesthetic drops, and the whole thing will be over in about 30 seconds. If you want to try out the plugs short term, you can get collagen ones that dissolve in about 10 days. The silicone plugs are more permanent, but they are very very very easy to remove. The only downside is that after the plugs are in for a while, the tear duct stretches around them and becomes larger, and the plug falls out. That happened to me more times than I care to remember. I would recommend getting the plugs first and trying them for a while, and then if you like it, you can do something more permanent like cuaterization. That is what I did, and it is the best thing that I have ever done for myself. My eyes are still severely dry, but they are much better than before.

    Once the clogged glands clear up, you may want to try some cold compresses for relief. Don't do it unless your dr says its ok, because sometimes cold compresses can actually make clogged glands and styes worse, by congealing the oil.

    If you have any more questions or would like to know more about the cuaterization or anything else that I have mentioned, feel free to ask. I am a wealth of knowledge when it comes to dry, allergy eyes. (unfortunately I have gained this knowledge through experience.)

    Take care and have a happy new year,
    Elyse
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    P.S. You may also want to check out [url="http://www.oculartimes.com"]http://www.oculartimes.com[/url]

    [This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 12-30-2002).]

     
    Old 12-30-2002, 02:19 PM   #3
    KayKay
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    Elyse,

    Thank you very much for the post. Was starting to think no one could help me. I hate you have learned from all the problem you have, but nice to know that I am not alone.

    I have seen the regular eye doctor 2 times over the past month. Like I said before because of all the mucus in my eyes. They could not make new glasses for me. So still working on getting them cleared up.
    She told me to use Bausch and Lomb Opcon-A allergy drops 4 times a day. In the past the eye doctor I used to go to told me to use natural tears. But been a while and not sure which ones I tried. I do remember one of them was very thick and made my eyes feel worse.

    Right now I am washing my face and hair before bed. and using the allergy drops. Some days are better than others. Today is one of the bad days. My eyes are very red. bumps on the eye lids. Plus feels like they have mucus in them. The regular eye doc. says I have those bumps all under my upper lids also. She did check my cornea very well and said she did not see any scars on them. So guess that was good news. I have very bad skin. My face is oily, but also dry and scaly looking. I figure that is playing a factor in the problems with my eyes.

    I am planning a trip to a professinal. Already talked to them, but not able to get in until after the first of the year.

    Thank you very much for the info and the web site you posted. Have looked over it some have to read more later.

    Kay

     
    Old 12-30-2002, 07:32 PM   #4
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    Hi KayKay!

    You mentioned that you have bad skin. Is it possible that you have something called Blepharitis Rosacea? I do not have that (knock wood) but a friend of mine does. Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids and glands. Rosacea is characterized by red cheeks (and possibly dry facial skin, I am not sure.) It's just a thought. It might be worth looking into.

    Or you could just have allergic or bacterial blepharitis. That could cause the bumps on your eyelids and/or flaking of the skin around the eyelids.

    I have tried all of the over the counter allergy drops. None of them have helped me. Nobody knows what is wrong with me. All they know is that I have the worst case of dry/allergy eyes that anybody has ever seen. Nobody knows what drops to prescribe for me, because everything that my dr gives me either does not work, or causes an allergic reaction. The only thing that helps me with the terrible allergies and dryness is FML. It is a steroid drop. But that is not good, because the use of steroids can raise the pressure in your eyes and make you go blind. I had to stop using it because the pressure went up too high.

    Why hasn't anybody prescribed an allergy drop for you other than over the counter ones? I understand why you might feel hopeless, because dry eyes are a terrible thing to deal with. But you have got so many options still available to you (allergy drops, different tear drops, doxycycline, steroid drops, punctal occlusion, etc...). I have tried everything and still not found very much relief. If you want the names of some of the better allergy drops, I can tell you. I won't list them all now because I can't remember all of them off the top of my head.

    I am confused... Have you seen an ophthalmologist or an optometrist? It is very important to see an ophthalmologist. Do not go to an optometrist.

    I totally understand about the mucus impairing your vision. It does the same thing to me. Plus, I get a ton of discharge from my eyes during the day It splatters all over my glasses. It's hard to see when there is a string of mucus laying on top of your eyeball. Plus, the tears are what reflects light off of the cornea, so when your eyes are dry, the light is not reflected properly and that causes a vision problem. Find a way to make the dryness better, and I bet you that will correct your vision.
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    You really need to find a good dr who knows what he is doing and who will listen to you.
    I have been very lucky...my ophthalmologist is more wonderful than I could ever have imagined. He has become more of a friend than a dr. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to his office totally distraught over my eye problems, and he has sat and talked to me. He cares so much about his patients. He has gone so far as to call colleagues from all over the country about me. He has even arranged an appointment for me with the top corneal and dry eye specialist in the country. (I'll be seeing him on January 2). If I need to get in touch with him after hours, I don't bother calling the office, I call him on his cell phone or email him. I have had so many eye emergencies over the past year, that he says he wants me to call him whenever I need him. That really put all of my fears to rest, because now I know that even if I have a problem in the middle of the night, I can get in touch with him. (But I don't abuse the privelege). He opened up his office last year at 11pm on new years day to look at my eye, because I called him crying in pain. I have had so many eye problems that he is on my speed dial. All I can say is that I don't wish a corneal U-L-C-E-R on my worst enemy. I had one last year (new years) and it was the most painful experience of my life. It was so painful that I have become superstitious about even typing the word! (hence, the hyphens!)My right eye was swollen shut for weeks, and I had to use very painful anti-biotic drops around the clock, every half hour. It took almost 2 months of being on the most powerful anti-biotic drops available (obtained from NY Eye & Ear Infirmary) to heal. Be very very careful not to rub your eyes the wrong way, and make sure you keep them nice and lubricated. If you have dry eyes, you are at risk for corneal abbrasions, etc... Do not rub them, and always make sure you keep them lubricated.

    Anyway, my dr says he has never seen a case like mine. I have gotten him totally puzzled and perplexed. I've has several second opinions, and they don't know what to do with me either. My dr has even gone so far as to call colleagues around the country about me, and he has also arranged an appointment for me with the world's top corneal specialist. (I'll be seeing him on January 2).

    You know, it is so hard when you know that there is something wrong with you, but nobody knows how to treat it. I have tried every eye drop known to man, and NOTHING works for me. I am at the end of my rope when it comes to treatments to try. Sometimes I feel alone too. But you know, I feel better when my doctor says to me "WE are going through a tough time", isntead of just "YOU are going through a tough time". Remember, you are NOT alone! There are lots of us out there with the same problems! I think this message board is the greatest thing in the world, because it has really saved me. I used to get very upset over this, but now I have someplace to come and vent and ask for advice. And I love being able to offer my own advice when possible.

    I have to ask, have you been tested for something called Sjogren's Syndrome? One of the main symptoms of it is dry eyes.

    So anyway, don't despair. Somewhere out there is a cure for both of us. I'll be seeing the top corneal specialist in the world this coming thursday (WOOO HOOOO!!!!!) I will let you know if he comes up with a treatment for me.

    Until then, good luck and have a happy, HEALTHY new year!

    Elyse
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    P.S. The one thing that has helped me tremendously is sleeping with a warm mist humidifier in my bedroom. This keeps the room air nice and moist during the night. It must be a germ-free warm mist humidifier, such as the ones made by "Slant/Fin". The ones that they make have ultra-violet lights that prevent mold and dust from being released into the air. Cold mist humidifiers can cause mold, which can cause allergies and illness. I strongly recommend that you get a humidifier. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with eye pain from dryness, but no more since I have started using the humidifier. I have tried other brands, but Slant/Fin is the top of the line.

    [This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 12-30-2002).]

    [This message has been edited by purple2067 (edited 12-30-2002).]

     
    Old 01-02-2003, 06:12 PM   #5
    KayKay
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    Thank you so very much for your info. I am planning a trip to a ophthalmologist. Regular eye doctor used to work for what is called the best one in my area. I know some people who go to him and they talk very highly of him.

    Will keep you updated on what I find out. Not sure how long it will take for me to get an appointment

    Kay

     
    Old 01-03-2003, 04:46 PM   #6
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    Well, I just saw the world renowned eye specialist in Maryland. According to him, I have meibomian glad dysfunction. I am not producing enough of the oily layer of tears. He described it as "acid tears". There is not enough oil in my eyes to keep the watery layer in there, so my tears have a high acidity level. He also said that it is not a good idea to over-use the tear drops, because by doing that I am washing out my own natural tears from my eyes. So he has told me to use Bion tears 4-6 times a day, Refresh Endura twice a day, and I am supposed to take a supplement called TheraTears Nutrition, or one called Hydro-Eyes. He also told me that I could try a drop called Refesh Celluvisc, for people with severe dry eyes. And in a few weeks there is a new eyedop coming out called Restasis, which is supposed to help people with the severe dry eyes such as myself. It is a form of Cyclosporine. He said I can use my allergy drops as needed, and I am supposed to use a hot compress once a day to help clear up the meibomian glands. And I am supposed to keep using the steroid ointment at night. He says that this problem is not as uncommon as one might think. He said that he sees a lot of people with this. Drug companies also supposedly know about the problem and are trying to come up with new medicines for this. He says that I am definitely not alone. He told me that he doesn't think he can cure my problem, but he thinks that he can get it under control and maintain it. That's all I am asking for. He is going to work closely with my own ophthalmologist and together the two of them will come up with a plan. I'll keep seeing my own eye dr here in NY, and we'll keep in touch with the dr in Maryland. He said if I need to see him again he would be more than happy to do that.

    I hope that you get an appointment with an ophthalmologist soon! You really can't afford to wait. Why is it so difficult for you to get to see an ophthalmologist? I didn't think that it would be such a problem. Where I live, there are so many of them! There are 5 in my drs office alone! (but I only see my own dr.)

    Anyway, please keep me updated. Have a happy and HEALTHY new year,

    Elyse

     
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