Bloggerel: random thoughts on a dry eye journey
One year later
by, 27-Dec-2008 at 21:54 (1297 Views)
It's been just over a year since I read Dr. Latkany's book and discovered the DEZ. A lot has happened in that year, and I've documented what I did to recover in other posts. I thought I'd take a few minutes to summarize the maintenance routine I follow, which may be useful, particularly if your DES is caused by lagophthalmos or eye closure/blinking issues:
1. Nighttime eye protection is paramount. I've discovered that, if I don't get complete protection at night, the next day is difficult, no matter what other steps I take. My favorite method is to tape my dry eye shut with 3M Nexcare Gentle Paper Tape (paper is my favorite, but plastic works great also). I tried another paper tape by Johnson & Johnson, and it didn't stick well enough, so now I only trust 3M tape. I still wear my Tranquileyes when I need additional darkness but, by themselves, they don't keep my eye closed as well as 3M tape does.
2. If I get a good night's sleep with solid eye protection, I generally don't need anything else during the day. However, I do wear my PanOptx goggles when I'm outside in the wind, and I keep a pair of onion goggles for use inside the house when needed (like when sitting in front of the fireplace). I carry a bottle of Nutra Tear in my purse, and Dwelle is still my favorite drop if my eye is dry at bedtime.
3. When I wash my face and, especially after removing eye makeup at night, I rinse my dry eye with Unisol unpreserved saline solution. I'm careful to use facial cleansers that don't burn when they get in my eyes, which happens sometimes when I rinse my face because I can't close my right eye tightly. My favorite cleanser and eye makeup remover are from Paula's Choice.
That's pretty much it. As long as I follow this routine, my eyes are white (not red), healthy and pain free. I am grateful to everyone here at the DEZ who helped me figure out what works (and doesn't). I'm particularly grateful to Dr. Latkany for his book, Dr. Holly for inventing eye drops that actually work, and to Rebecca for putting this great place together. Here's to all of you for giving me the ability to look at the world each day again without constantly struggling with dry eye pain.