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Need advice, i'm at an impasse (College, career, etc)

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  • Need advice, i'm at an impasse (College, career, etc)

    BACKGROUND
    I'm 22, I have dry eye the kind that's always dry with vascularization all around the whites of both eyes. I used to be on the computer all day long and had absolutely no problem I loved it. At around 21 years of age I went on a 5 month accutane cycle of a relativly high dose 80 mg per day. When I got off my like long severe acne was gone but I had dry eyes. At first I didn't understand it but after an entire year of suffering, 2 ophthalmologist doctors , various endocrine and other doctors+my own research I found the problem.

    I used to care about my eye veins, now I couldn't care less. The point is not understanding what I had (chemical induced permenant dry eye) when I re-enrolled back to college for computer science...

    PROBLEM
    I now can't stand to look at the computer without my eyes burning... i'm about 2 semesters into the degree...

    I wasted my time before sitting still with acne and depression after high school but now that I finally am moving forward I can not continue with this path due to dry eye, a new obstacle.

    I NEED SOLID advice i'm at a deadlock. Having wasted $$$ on semester tutitions, do I continue with computer science? basically my job prospects after graduation will involve staring at a computer, or do I switch immediately, and to what? what are some good majors that do not require a computer once in the job field?? Please help me... I am very determined to keep moving forward..

    I am willing to accept/tolerate low levels of comfort, but dry eye and the computer screen especially on dry days is below that comfort level.

    MISC
    My dry eye has been around for about a year and a half now, I've been on restasis for about 8 months straight now dilligently, it offers maybe 0.01% relief, my dry eye is permenant, not only did the tear layer get disrupted, but I have systemic dryness of the body, on dry days i will be mildly dehydrated, all mucus membranes fully dried up. I don't care about these other symptoms I just went to move forward.

    Thank you for reading
    Last edited by Kataklysmkx; 15-Jun-2013, 23:44.

  • #2
    Have you tried scleral lenses? There is a programer that got them and can work on the comp again.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Katewest View Post
      Have you tried scleral lenses? There is a programer that got them and can work on the comp again.
      I'm not about to go pay thousands of dollars and go through fittings and refitting, its out of the question I'm fed up with doctors at this point. I don't need a bandage on the problem I need a course that will remove the problem long term. Careers and college majors that do not require heavy computer use that's what I need to know. I'm sorry if my answer to that was hard but I just got irritated when I read that for some reason sorry.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Katewest's idea was perfectly reasonable to consider. But anyway, I googled "careers that don't require computers" (of course, I need to use a computer to google that). Here's info from one page:

        1. Musicians
        2. Music teachers
        3. Musical conductors
        4. Dancers
        5. Dancing instructors
        6. Janitors
        7. House-Keepers / Servants
        8. Masons
        9. Welders
        10. Parking attendants
        11. Electricians
        12. Vehicle mechanics
        13. Chauffeurs / drivers
        14. Day care teachers / babysitters
        15. Machine operators / machinists
        16. Physical education teachers
        17. Martial arts instructors
        18. Massage therapists
        19. Nutritionists / Dieticians
        20. Sex workers
        21. Clergymen / Preachers
        22. Air-con technicians
        23. TV repairmen
        24. General practitioners
        25. Filing clerks
        26. Security officers
        27. QC inspectors
        28. Bartenders
        29. Rangers
        30. Waiter / Waitress
        31. Chef
        32. Air-hostesses / stewards
        33. Dishwashers
        34. Infantrymen
        35. Artillerymen
        36. Beauty therapists
        37. Store assistants
        38. Oil-painting artists

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the toughest part of getting through college will be the studying - lots of reading, lots of heavy concentration, which are both going to lower your blink rate and make things tricky. However, if you think your eyes can handle the studying part, then maybe some of these might work:

          Go for a masters or PhD in psychology - you could be a therapist for a living - could be interesting, and shouldn't involve too much computer use once you're done school - nice thing about this is it's a job where you could work full or part-time depending on your personal needs, and even the situation with your eyes if it comes down to that.

          Become a pharmacist - the studying part will suck the life out of your eyes since there is a lot of it and it's pretty intense, but once you get through that, you can do quite decently by wearing moisture chamber glasses at work (all of the walking back and forth to the counter to speak with patients in a retail pharmacy creates a lot of "wind" that is hard on dry eyes.. hence you may need moisture chambers to block that), and using a counting machine to count the tabs (you'd be surprised by how badly the staring you do counting tablets can dry out your eyes, and yes, counting machines really do exist) - I hear the job market in the U.S. for pharmacists is tough in many places right now though, so research this before starting on the degree - again, nice job in that you can work full or part-time and still make a good hourly wage

          Go into something business-related - preferably something where your primary job would be dealing with people, rather than spending hours on the computer composing e-mails and/or reports

          Become a lawyer - that could be interesting, and maybe not toooo much computer work? Any lawyers on here that would care to comment?

          Become a doctor - I imagine getting through school with all the studying would be tough, but once that's over with, depending on what you specialize in, your job could be mostly just dealing with patients, and not involve much computer use - also, you work full or part-time which is a nice option to have when you don't know for certain what you'll be dealing with eye-wise in the future

          Become a teacher - you could wear moisture chambers in the classroom if you need to - again, same as the others, the question is can your eyes handle the studying in college/university to get there? - also the potential for full or part-time work depending on what you're teaching (I suppose you could also be a substitute teacher and just pick up shifts as you need them)

          If the school/studying part seems too tough on your eyes right now, then maybe going into the trades could be good - yes, you'd have some bookwork at first which would be tricky on your eyes, but my impression is that much of their training is on-the-job, and they definitely don't spend most of their time on the computer - there is good money to be made in much of the trades too, and it would be really handy to know such useful skills for yourself - I've always though being an electrician would be nice

          Hopefully that helps - there's hope for you yet (And keep in mind, that if your eyes are too bad NOW to do something, that doesn't mean they will stay that way - although I agree with you that computer science is probably a risky career choice with your eye situation, so if you can come up with a plan B that sounds like a good plan to me!)

          I'm sure once you start brainstorming, you'll come up with more and more ideas - no doubt better ones than I have here since the ones you come up with will take into account what you are actually interested in doing, right?
          Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
          Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

          Comment


          • #6
            If it's just computer use and not all reading that is the problem, then SAAG's ideas are great.

            I don't really recommend #20 on the list I posted.

            Comment


            • #7
              Could u contact some vision agency to discuss ideas with them possible supportive study options. eg audio books etc.
              Here in Australia we have vision Australia and they i believe help with accessing work etc for people with vision impairments or print disability .
              is there something similar where u live?
              They may assist with study and then u could focus on environment of work place.
              i know its only dry eyes but its a disability so don't b afraid to ask and seek support. Then make an informed decision.
              In terms of work think of somewhere u can stop and take a break to put drops etc. Also is aircon an issue ?
              http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/a/l/l/t/allthings.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Kataklysmkx,

                This is a nuisance if you love computers and you're doing well. I think it's an Educational Counsellor job and you need to access whatever College or University support is available a.s.a.p. and treat this as a health problem, as someone partially sighted would. Basically we are talking about having use of eyes and learning at this stage while you are still on a course. It is even possible to study Computer Science and programming and be blind although those guys are tough. Whether accessing aides and limiting computer time is right for you is the question you're at (moisture chamber goggles, access software, scleral lenses).

                Do you want to adjust the modules to suit, eg choose business components rather than hours of programming? Does that appeal to you, or is it a fresh start you're looking for?

                I'm wondering whether your screen hours are increased by recreation or dry eye research and whether reducing that is an option.

                What would a complete change of career be for you, eg the ideas above? I would think carefully about how people-orientated I want my job to be, maybe take an aptitude assessment.

                This Accutane business is a misery and our many dermatologists are still pushing it on my teenager with acne rosacea and bad eyes. We haven't used oral or topical retinoids and stick to antibiotics but she does still have obstructed mgd 5y.

                Are you keeping up with blepharitis treatments? Have any docs suggested Muro, since you've got this systemic dryness now?

                Your eyes need very careful doc monitoring and advice on maintenance to prevent worsening. The eye surface needs protecting one way or another, tear film maintaining, plus keeping the MGs going. Then you will spiral to healing rather than spiral to worse changes. We are disillusioned too but after all the various advice, progress comes from the individual, with support. I was blown away that our uber-intelligent, young, healthy optometrist is managing dry eye himself, and there's a few more young people like that working in the hospital eye clinics we've been to. It has to be that desiccating a/c, no daylight, no fresh air, environment. Computer lab has to be the worst unless you've got a humidifier, open window and eye protection. As far as I've seen, the eye surface changes and worsens as it dries out, then we lose sensitivity and prompts for tearing generally, plus the tear film problems from mgd.

                What a massive relief it is for most people to employ someone in any capacity who understands and likes computers and programming. Also there will be a huge industry in data soon. Does this appeal to you? Can you see yourself adjusting the course to reduce screen time but increase other skills, maybe into the field you might have chosen to use computer science skills in afterwards anyway eg business, industry, government, training, public sector, IT services? It may turn out to be a fast-track. My friend's son just started medical technology as an alternative to continuing computer science, it's less computer and has good industry placements. My partner employs computer science graduates in a research company at various levels and it's been more about ability, experience and flexibility than qualifications, although it helps at interview, because what's needed changes so fast.

                Job 1 is to access the College advisers on careers. You're pursuing solutions, making what you've got work for you, and you're doing a good job sorting this out. What are your other aptitudes?
                I need a course that will remove the problem long term. Careers and college majors that do not require heavy computer use that's what I need to know.
                Last edited by littlemermaid; 17-Jun-2013, 04:24.
                Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

                Comment


                • #9
                  Katak- sorry if my suggestion offened you. When you ask for help on this forum and people offer it you sometimes get ideas that don't work for you. I won't make any more suggestions for you

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    katewest i'm sorry but that whole lense business just thinking about it is wrong, How would I being 22 an undergrad struggling to go through college, i'm broke, how would I possibly afford any of their thousands of costs?I dont want to put anything mechanical in my eyes ( punctual plugs scratched both my scleras once, took them out after a day. Never again) I dont even want to spend another dime on this besides restasis.

                    Guys I read your posts thank you for actually reading my story.. my dry eye is messing with my head. Its dry to a certain degree always but now that it is summer the days are humid and I seem to get away with continuing my studies like that on the computer, however I know that on a dry day or when winter comes there will be hell to pay. My brain is tricking me on one side telling me I can just push through and that all days will be humid with the least symptoms, but another side is telling me the brutal truth, that I won't make it like this and I'm just wasting my time and it's time to switch majors ASAP.

                    I know my eyes won't get better anytime soon, do you guys agree I'm holding on to false hopes? i'm pretty much sure if I continue along the computer path it'll be the worst long term mistake I will make with constant suffering on dry days and eventually even humid days like I'm starting to get now... keep in mind the accutane was systemic hence on dry days I'm dehydrated everywhere(Internally, all mucus membranes, skin oil etc)

                    I've read many stories on these forums, I'm pretty sure no gadget or gizmo really stops this condition we share, and to be on a computer at work focusing I can't imagine it will turn out well in the future, as I get older the condition probably will worsen.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When I was in Boston getting fitted for the lenses (didnt work for me) a women there was getting the entire cost paid for by BFS because she was low income. I know I would try anything (within reason) to feel better. So automatically discarding a legitimate (Harvard trained Dr. Jacob runs BFS) suggestion is not going to get you very far.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kataklysmkx View Post
                        katewest i'm sorry but that whole lense business just thinking about it is wrong, How would I being 22 an undergrad struggling to go through college, i'm broke, how would I possibly afford any of their thousands of costs?
                        Kate is correct, there is an option of getting them paid for by BFS, so that could solve the money problem. But of course, there's still the issue of your not wanting to put something in your eye, and that's fair - it's not for everyone, right?


                        Originally posted by Kataklysmkx View Post
                        My brain is tricking me on one side telling me I can just push through and that all days will be humid with the least symptoms, but another side is telling me the brutal truth, that I won't make it like this and I'm just wasting my time and it's time to switch majors ASAP.

                        I know my eyes won't get better anytime soon, do you guys agree I'm holding on to false hopes? i'm pretty much sure if I continue along the computer path it'll be the worst long term mistake I will make with constant suffering on dry days and eventually even humid days like I'm starting to get now...
                        I think if your eyes are very bad, then it's perfectly reasonable (smart even!) to look into an alternate career - it's easier to switch paths now, at 22, when you don't have a house, mortgage, kids etc., then it would be later in life. It's smart planning to stack the odds in your favour as much as possible - choosing a dry-eye friendly career just in case your eyes stay bad is wise if you ask me. And then, if your eyes improve, it's a bonus.

                        Originally posted by Kataklysmkx View Post
                        I've read many stories on these forums, I'm pretty sure no gadget or gizmo really stops this condition we share, and to be on a computer at work focusing I can't imagine it will turn out well in the future, as I get older the condition probably will worsen.
                        Plan for the worst (as you're doing with looking into changing majors), and hope for the best. And don't forget to take the time to remember what is still going RIGHT in your life - you don't want to get so caught up in feeling down/frustrated/angry about your eyes that you don't enjoy life anymore - for most of us, there are tons of things that would be so much worse than this, you might find comfort in that (I honestly don't mean to sound preachy - but for me, it helps me a ton to imagine all kinds of horrors that would be so much worse - makes my current situation seem great in comparison. On the other hand, make a point of never, ever, comparing yourself to "normal" people since no good can come of that hehe )
                        Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
                        Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Absolutely. We booked support counsellors but none of them would talk about medical issues, particularly the one who worked in the hospital with young people bizzarely, because she said she was not allowed to talk about docs and treatments (there's a job right there for you, Katewest)

                          Best help has been to treat this as a hand of cards to be played in life and opportunities open right up, and it helps consider and value positives and strengths. Sometimes even the bad card can be made useful eg my d. can leave class anytime without question just by holding up a coloured card, and during an exam she can leave the room for an invigilated break to treat her eyes, as long as needed, and return to the exam fresh. As SAAG says, there's very much worse out there. Definitely keep your eyes as well as possible so they last a lifetime.

                          Difficult to look at this in a detached way. It helps to write the thoughts down, pros, cons. I do a one-sheet mindmap thing for big life decisions. OK, this is weird but to get as logical as possible, I think 'what would Mr Spock do?' and his 'advice' is really useful esp dealing with docs and money plans, no emotion involved. This is what a good counsellor would do.
                          Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OK Kataklysmkx – now, I don’t know about false hope because so little is known about dry eye. I think there is hope, but perhaps not immediate in the timeframe that is necessary for your computer science degree.

                            Sometimes these horrible things in life lead us down a surprisingly better path. I’m older now and think about these things in hindsight. "The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates

                            What I now know for CERTAIN in life, is to trust my instincts. Seek advice from others, research myself, but trust what my instincts are telling me to do. In order to do this, you need to slow down, calm yourself and listen to that inner voice. Don’t let fear take over.

                            Instead of thinking about what careers don’t require heavy computer use, think about your other interests. There are many ways to make a living in this world.

                            What exactly is it about computer science that interests you? Specifically? Is it creating something from coding? Is it math related stuff? How your brain is wired and what interests you and keeps you engaged is important to identify in order to forge a new career path. The way you wrote your first post shows a very organized thinker. Well that says something about you.

                            And what else in life interests you? Life is big and interesting so I’m sure there is a seed of something else in you besides your interest in computer science.

                            I’ve worked with many developers over the years who spend entire days writing code. Sometimes during a product release they are holed up overnight, sometimes many nights, pizza brought in. They never leave their desks, just write code all-day-long. But they’ve always had interesting outside hobbies like beer brewing, or film-making or mountain biking or succulent landscaping etc. Things that get them away from the computer on their time off.

                            There is always a way to make a living at these “hobbies.” And there is always a degree that will put you ahead of the pack to make a living at it, to find a way to be involved in that industry and make a good salary.

                            Try to just sit with yourself and think about yourself honestly. If you can’t “see” a career in computers, there is another major out there for you but it falls to you to identify it and then passionately pursue it. I don’t doubt at all your ability to move “forward.” Trust your instincts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey, I am a 22 year old with this same problem. I have been struggling with dry eye for six years. For long periods of time even the slight glimpse of a computer screen or phone screen would make my eyes hurt and disorient me. Using punctual plugs and Xiidra has seemed to help and has allowed me to use the computers with just slight irritation. I am in a similar situation in school where I
                              have completed 2 and a half years but have had to take going on a full year of school of due to this problem. I have also tried to find careers where computers are not a must and am currently bussing tables at a restaurant to pay rent. As a long term solution I have thought about a career around farming or landscaping. I understand thats probably not very encouraging if you are not interested in those things. With that being said I agree with you that we do not need something that masks the symptoms but solves the problem. I believe something that will do that will eventually be made but it is hard to wait for that and keep the hope. This condition has disconnected me from relationships not allowed me to do things i love and destroyed my quality of life but i do believe it is solvable and the solutions are out there. This forum has helped me see that i am not the only one going through this and people have similar experiences. Leaning on a strong support system and being open and honest about your condition is the best way to go. Continuing to search for a doctor that will listen to your concerns and help you is also important. I tried PROSE contacts and they were not comfortable and didnt solve the light sensitivity. I am currently trying Lacriserts but they dont seem to make much of a difference and make my eyes more sensitive to air conditioning and drafts. Next i will try oral medications that will increase tear production. At this point in my treatment some amount of the debilitation from this condition is definitely mental but it is hard to say how much. It has been awhile since I have felt very painful debilitating eye pain due to screens but I have also limited my screen time to almost none. I am slowly bring screens back in to my life to see how i will react i feel as if not enough has changed from when i couldnt view them at all. I am just very glad that i took off of school so i can take this time to figure this out and eventually live a life free of this. Even though not moving forward and life and watching others do so has been hard.

                              I didnt find restatsis to help at all.The punctal plugs i think have been the biggest help. One of them kept falling out so i had to have a surgery to get it closed. Xiidra has also seemed to help. Staying hydrated definitely helps and eating a healthy clean diet has helped me to some extent if not through tear production but feeling better physically day to day. My advice would be to take time and try to solve the problem so that you can make the decision that best suits you school will always be there later on.
                              While the PROSE contacts didnt work for me I spoke to people there with the same problem who it did work for.
                              Last edited by HSK2020; 26-Aug-2017, 15:26.

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