HealthBoards (
-   Eye & Vision (
-   -   Corneal erosion/blepharitis/dry eye or all of the above (

RBolander 09-17-2003 05:24 PM

Now I'm getting discouraged. Toward the end of August I was having more "good" days than "bad" days. However, now it seems as though the scale has tipped the other way, and my eye is slightly irritated every day. It's never as sore as it was three to five months ago, which is a relief, but I thought it was healing. Now I don't know what's going on. I'm still doing the hot compresses, eyelid washings, liquid tears, and Restasis. It's very frustrating.

By the way, if you read this Jen, let us know how you did on your backpacking trip.

Jen2003 09-22-2003 09:48 AM

Hi RB - sorry to hear you're still having problems with your eye. What a drag! Does your doctor know what's going on? I hope it gets better soon. Maybe you're over-doing it with the drops, eye scrubs, compresses, etc.? I have found that the more I leave my eyes alone these days, the better they feel. I just do a warm compress in the morning and at night, and I use that GenTeal Gel right before I go to bed. I'm also taking 100mg of doxycycline a day. I think this medication has made a BIG difference. I like it because it's something I can take orally and not have to put in my eyes. I found out about this drug by reading other posts and doing research via the internet. I actually had to call my old ophthalmologist and ask him to write me a prescription for it! I still can't understand why he didn't prescribe it for me to begin with.?????? Now I am seeing a new doctor and he finally figured out what's causing all my eye problems (I had been to other doctor 10 times and he never figured it out!). He diagnosed me with ocular rosacea and said I should have been on the doxycycline all along! As you can imagine, I was a little upset by this. But now at least I have some understanding of what's happening to me and I know how to deal with it better. Anyways, my backpacking trip went well and I really didn't have any problems with my eyes after all. I was so surprised! I was expecting the worst, but everything turned out great. And to think I almost didn't go. But my family has been making this trip every summer over the last 30 years, so I just had to be there! Glad I took the chance and went. Okay, let me know how you're doing when you get a chance. Bye!

iChrisi 09-22-2003 08:35 PM

I've kinda ignored this thread for awhile, but I was just catching up, and I'm curious about some things.

Jen, I'm not sure if we've shared stories on here before, but I also have meibomitis. I at least finally found an ophthalmolgost I think I'll like. (Ophthalmologist #6 for those keeping track) How long were you on doxycycline before you noticed improvement?

My new ophthalmologist wanted to give my doxycycline on Saturday; unfortunately I'm currently on Accutane as well, and I can't take those two together (something about pressure in the brain...nothing I'd want to experience.) Had I been diagnosed correctly back in February with doctor #1, I probably would've had this under control a long time ago before I started the Accutane.

I'm on Restasis until I'm off the Accutane, because my ophthalmolgost has heard from other doctors that Restasis has helped in some cases of meibomitis, even though that's not its intended use. She's not sure it'll help, but we figured it was worth a shot since I can't take doxycycline yet.

Now my second question is that awhile back, you mentioned that the Merck manual says it can take years to get under control? I guess I don't really have a question, but I've only heard months before. I don't think I can make it years at this point without losing my mind. It's already been over 7 months with no improvement at all.

Jen2003 09-23-2003 05:08 PM

Hi Chris - I remember you from a while back. I'm glad you've found an ophthalmologist you like. Hopefully she'll help you get back on track. Meibomitis is really tough to get under control, as you well know. I think I mentioned to you before that my meibomitis was the result of a reaction to an allergy drop my first ophthalmologist told me to take (Naphcon A). I wish I had never used those drops. :( I was really diligent about doing the eyelid scrubs, compresses, massages, etc. and got the burninng, stinging, lid edema, and dry eye symptoms to disappear. I just knew there was something else going on with my eyes, though, and I was trying to convey this to my doctor, but he never took me very seriously. My conjunctivae were always red and I could never seem to get this to go away, even though I had gotten the meibomitis under control. And my eyes would still get a little dry when I would try to sleep, but NOTHING like when I first got meibomitis. My doctor had me try all kinds of eyedrops (Patanol, Blephamide, Ciloxan, erythromycin) with no results (they actually made my condition worse). Then he wanted to insert punctal plugs and start me on Restasis. I told him I didn't want to do that. I wanted some sort of drug that I could take orally and not have to put in my eyes, but he said that wasn't available. Hmmmmm.... At this point I didn't know that I had meibomitis specifically, only blepharitis. As I did more research about this disease, I began to suspect that I had the meibomitis form. I asked the doctor about this at my next visit and he confirmed that it was in fact meibomitis. I tried to learn more about meibomitis and found out that it could be treated with doxycycline. I called my doctor and asked if he could write me a prescription, and he agreed to do so. At this point I decided it was time for a new doctor. This new doctor was excellent and spent a good deal of time examining my eyes. He again confirmed the meibomitis daignosis, but said it is only PART of a larger disease complex I have. The meibomitis I was experiencing was due to ocular rosacea, and he said I should have been on doxycyline all along. Those drugs the other doctor had prescribed had only made my condition worse! The doxycyline took about three weeks to start working for me. I haven't experienced any side effects so far and it has the added benefit of making my skin look great. I've been on it for six weeks now and am not sure how much longer my doctor will have me take it. I hope you will be able to start it soon. It's great not having to put anything in your eyes. I just hated all those drops! Let me know when you start it. I'd love to hear if it helps your condition in any way. Good luck!

RBolander 09-29-2003 05:02 PM

I hadn't checked the postings for a while and just noticed yours.
My eye doctor has never actually told me any specifics about my condition other than saying that I have (had) blepharitis. I saw him last week and told him that I continue to do everything that I am supposed to do in order to get it under control. Since there has been improvement, he is optimistic. I'm not satisfied with mere "improvement," however. He told me to keep doing the compresses and eyelid cleaning and to use the drops. I was using the Gen Teal Gel at night, but I think it was causing more irritation in the morning. I tried using an ointment, but it seemed to exacerbate the situation, too. Lately, I have stopped using anything at night.
I'm still concerned about the slight sensation under my right eyelid at night, though. The doctor can't explain it, but it definitely wakes me up, and to me it's the most annoying part of this whole situation. When your eyes were acting up, did they bother you at night much?
Oh, I'm still using the Restasis, too. I don't know if it's helping, but I plan to keep trying it until my eye shows major improvement.
The continuing saga.....

KayKay 09-29-2003 05:45 PM


Tell me more about the ocular rosasea. I am a little upset with my current eye doctor. Seen him twice now and was told I have Blepharitis, but the only thing he told me to do was eye scrubs. The last time he said oh your lids look better but the next day they got real bad again. Little bumps along the eye lids and red a burning all day.

My skin is very bad also. Red on the tip of my nose. Looks like I am sun burnt at times. Sometimes my check are very red a sore feeling. Dermo told me years ago I had mild rosasea to us dove soap to keep it under control. My eyes also get worse during my period and ovalation. I blame this on the oily skin.

So fell me in on the ocular rosasea. What was your problems? I still think this is part of my problem

Thanks Kay

Jen2003 09-30-2003 09:52 AM

Hi KayKay - my eye problems began last April when I used an over-the-counter allergy eye drop called Naphcon A. I used this drop only a few times and immediately developed a sensitivity to it. This is when I first began to experience the symptoms of blepharitis - swollen eyelids, red eyes, a burning, stinging sensation, severe dry eyes, and a gritty, sandy feeling (I didnít know I had ocular rosacea at this point). For the first month and a half it was absolutely unbearable. My eyes were so dry that I could hardly keep them open. And trying to get a good night's sleep was just out of the question - my eyes would be on fire every time I'd close them! Extremely painful.

At this point, it didn't seem like the lid scrubs, compresses, massages, etc. were helping my situation. And all the drugs the doctor was throwing at me (Ciloxan, Blephamide, erythromycin, etc.) were making my condition worse. Then he wanted to put plugs in my tear ducts to permanently block them up! I thought this was going a little too far, so I didn't let him do that. I just wanted my eyes to heal on their own, so I told him I wasnít going to take any more drugs. I did, however, continue with the warm compresses, lid massages and scrubs. And I used a preservative-free moisturizing eye drop to help relieve the symptoms of dry eye (GenTeal Gel).

My condition started to SLOWLY improve. I effectively got the dry eye, burning, stinging, and gritty sensation to go away, but my conjunctivae were still pretty red when Iíd wake up in the morning. I knew there had to be something else going on. In the meantime, I learned that I in fact had the posterior form of blepharitis (meibomitis). I did more research on this and discovered it could be treated with an ORAL antibiotic called doxycycline (yea Ė something I didnít have to put IN my eyes!). I asked my doctor to give me a prescription for this, and he agreed to do so. Iím STILL wondering why to this day he didnít just give me this drug in the first place!

I decided to see a new ophthalmologist, one recommended to me by my dentist. This new doctor spent a lot of time examining my eyes and doing various tests. I was VERY surprised when he diagnosed me with ocular rosacea because I donít seem to have any of the facial symptoms of this disease. But he told me (and Iíve read elsewhere) that there are cases of rosacea where only the eyes are affected. He also told me that the posterior blepharitis (meibomitis) I was experiencing was just one of the symptoms of this disease. He told me to continue taking the doxycycline and doing the warm compresses/lid massages every day to keep my meibomian glands functioning properly. He also started me on something called MetroCream (0.75% metranidozole). I put a little of this cream on my nose, cheeks, forehead and eyelids once a day. It is supposed to be helpful for the ocular symptoms of this disease, but Iím not exactly sure why. Since Iíve been taking the doxycycline (6 weeks) and using the MetroCream (1 month), my eyes have cleared up a whole lot. The conjunctivae are not red like they used to be, and I can sleep peacefully thorugh the whole night. Iím so glad I went to see this new doctor. He has helped me so much.

When do you go to see your doctor again? Maybe you could bring up the subject of ocular rosacea and have him examine you for this. If you DO in fact have this disease, here is my advice (what has worked for me): try the doxycycline and MetroCream, do the warm compresses and lid massages for about 5 minutes 3x/day (until you get the symptoms under control), donít do the lid scrubs (this seemed to only irritate my eyes more), use only preservative-free moisturizing eye drops (donít EVER use any thing with vasoconstrictors i.e. drops that ďget the red outĒ), drink lots of water throughout the day and try to exercise regularly. Oh, and I take a couple of those TheraTears Nutrition pills every morning.

I hope you figure out whatís going on with your eyes and that you find some relief soon. I know exactly how frustrating it is! Please feel free to ask me more questions and let me know if I can help in some way.

P.S. By the way, I thought I should mention to you that I havenít noticed any correlation of symptoms with my menstrual cycle.

KayKay 09-30-2003 05:28 PM


I do not see the eye doctor again for 6 weeks. I just started a new job a few weeks ago and waiting for the insurance to go into affect. Then I am going to a dermotoligist. Seems like my eye problems started before the skin problems. My face is very oily and I also have some mild adult acne.

One more question for you. Did you get bumps on your eye lids?

Thanks for answering my post.


Jen2003 09-30-2003 08:13 PM

Hi RB. Just noticed your latest post. Yes - my eyes REALLY bothered me at night when I would try to sleep. They would be ON FIRE!!!! Drove me absolutely crazy. It took me a couple months to get the burning sensation under control. I just stuck with the warm compresses and lid massages, and my eyes slowly got better. Now I can sleep through the night no problem. I wonder what's up with your eye. It just has to get better soon. How long have you been on the Restasis now? I hope it starts working for you. Yes, the continuing eye saga....

Jen2003 09-30-2003 08:25 PM

Hi Kay - I had a few super tiny white bumps on the rim of my lower eyelid (along the inside). My doctor said they were just little blobs of oil produced by my meibomian glands. They could barely be seen - you had to look really close. They wouldn't last there for very long. I've never had any styes or chalzia, though. Is this what you're referring to? What are the bumps like on your eyelids, and where exactly are they?

I think that's a good idea to go see a dermatologist. I'm going to see if my doctor will give me a referral to see one now, too. Although, I don't really have any facial symptoms of rosacea (?). Hmmmm..... I'm just curious to see what the dermatologist would have to say.

RBolander 10-01-2003 04:04 PM

In reference to your 9-30-03 posting, I've been on Restasis since mid August. It doesn't feel soothing or comfortable when I apply it and for about 15 minutes afterwards. I don't know if the drop is causing any more tears. The irritation is not as intense as it was five, four, or even three months ago; but as I said before, I still have the irritation.
That "tender" spot under my lid bothers me the most when I try to take a short nap during the day. I don't know why that is. When my eye is irritated during the day, I guess it's only natural that I will notice it when my eyelid is closed.
I hope I get this under control soon....

KayKay 10-01-2003 06:12 PM


Yes little tiny bumps along the inside rim of my eye lid. When I blink my eye I can feel them. You would think they where very large. When I try to look at them I have to raise up my eye lid and shine a flashlight to see them. They are small and white looking, makes my eye lids burn and itch.

Well good news I got the paper work for my new insurance today. So now I am just counting the days.

Again thank you very much for answering my questions. I went to what is suppose to be one of the best eye doctors in my area. My opinion is he is a know it all or thinks he is. I still think he is wrong and I have more going on that needs treatment other than just eye lids scrubs. Plan on seeing another eye doctor for a second opinion when I get the insurance going.


MustLovePets 10-21-2003 03:37 PM


I have been following everyone's posts and wanted to share my experience with blepharitis or meibomitis (still not sure what I have!). Like Jen, I also had an allergic reaction 10 years ago to Naphcon-A eyedrops. (I just didn't "put two and two together" until I read Jen's post, because I remember that I started suffering from the swollen upper eyelids several days after I had been using Naphcon-A eyedrops for several weeks.) As a result, for 10 long years I have sought help from doctors. I tried the meds (Doxycycline, Tetracycline, etc.); and tried eye ointments or prescription eyedrops (steroid, anti-bacterial, etc.). NOTHING worked! I thought I was going crazy because all these years my eyelids have felt so heavy and droopy because the glands near the upper eyelid rim were evidently clogged. Several doctors said it was just "old age" and "get used to it." But I KNEW that was not the problem. To make a long story short, I started using REFRESH ENDURA eyedrops about 10 days ago. I use one plastic tube per day and store it in the refrigerator between use. I make sure I am putting the drops in my eyes at least four times a day and that uses up the tube. In conjunction with the Refresh Endura eyedrops, I started using THERATEARS NUTRITION softgels about two weeks ago. I take four softgels each morning after a good breakfast. (But I believe the normal intake is two softgels twice a day with meals.) Together, the Refresh Endura eye drops and TheraTears Nutritiion softgels ARE WORKING! I had to be patient because it took me about 10 days to notice a change, but these two products have CHANGED my life! Already my family says my eyes each day are improving and looking more healthy, plus my eyelids are tightening up and losing the puffy, saggy look.

I hope this information helps someone with the same problem I have had, so they won't have to suffer for 10 long years the way I did!

MustLovePets 10-21-2003 03:40 PM

I also would like to add to my earlier post that I do an eyelid compress and scrub my upper eyelid rims twice a day with just a drop of Johnson's Baby Shampoo on a warm washcloth.

crutches 10-22-2003 07:54 PM

Brynn, I read your post with interest. I have suffered with blephartis for over 2 years and can't get it under control. As soon as I stop the meds it's back within a day. I also use Zaditor for allergies and the doc told me to use that as much as I want for the Blepharitis too. I happened to read last week that Zaditor can cause red eyes. So I haven't used it for a week now and have stopped the meds and only use Refresh Endura. I think I'm noticing a change for the better after 4 days. I want to also try Theratears Nutrition capsules. Where can you buy them? A pharmacy or health store? Is it with the eye drop section? I'll try anything to get this under control. Now I'm wondering if my problem is a reaction to Zaditor and not just blepharitis.

MustLovePets 10-26-2003 04:17 PM

Hello Crutches,

I am not sure what stores in Canada carry TheraTears Nutrition softgels, but here in the US you can get them at WalMart in the eyedrops section -- same place where you will find the Refresh Endura eyedrops.

When you start this regimen, please be patient. I am continually experiencing better results each day. It is as if the buildup along my eyelids from my clogged glands is getting goopier, so to speak, and beginning to "melt down." I think it will probably take another month or two before my eyes get completely back to normal, but I know I am doing the right thing. I remember a nurse telling me years ago that I would first notice the "goopy" stuff and then it would slowly start to "melt down" before I would start to get better. All the other stuff I tried never got me this far in the healing process. I hope I am making sense on all this! I just want to stress that the combo of the geltabs and Refresh Endura may work slowly on the eyelids, but in my case, it IS WORKING!

RBolander 11-10-2003 05:17 PM

(I'm not certain if I'm doing this right. I haven't checked the board for a while, and I'm not used to this new format. Here goes....)

I've been reading current posts to this group of messages, and I want to add that I've been using Thera Tears Nutrition gel caps since July. I'm also using Restasis. I don't know if either is really helping my eye. Even though there has been improvement, my eye is not back to normal.
My questions now are the following: 1) Is it common for the irritation caused by blepharitis to affect only one eye? (In my case, only my right eye is irritated. My left eye never causes me any trouble.) 2) After experiencing 6 months of irritation (most likely caused by blepharitis), will the eye ever be "normal" again?

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:08 AM.