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Success story for dry eye sufferers in their 20s.

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  • Success story for dry eye sufferers in their 20s.

    About 13 years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I started suffering severe dry eye, seemingly for no reason. (I did have a severe allergic reaction to aspirin that made my face and eyes swell a lot a little before my dry eye started, and that is the only thing I could think that maybe contributed to my dry eyes). I couldn't walk across the room without closing one or both eyes, any draft of wind killed me...was wearing goggles all the all know what I mean. When it was really bad- which was almost every day- the pain would radiate to my eye and jaw and chin.

    I was young...I was a teacher, and I had to take some time off of work to go to many doctors to figure this out. I wasn't functioning. But every opthalmologist just gave me more and more drops and gels. Nothing was working. I had no one to turn to (I searched the net for a support group like this one, I just wanted to find one person in the world who felt like I did- not that I would wish this on my worst enemy, but you find out you aren't alone and to get advice. I guess this site hadn't been started yet or I didn't find it then.)
    All the doctors just kept telling me I was too young to have such bad dry eye..."80 year olds get this...blah can't feel that bad." Finally I found a doctor near my home at George Washington University hospital in D.C. and he put punctal plugs in- permanent ones. (I had to go to him a few times before he did this though). Wow! Those were a miracle for me...I was soooo much better. (With one caveat, I had to get a lot of sleep- a good 9 or 9.5 hours- in order to not have one eye that was really dry and burning the next day...but I could do this...if it meant having a "normal day," I would get my sleep and not stay out late partying like my other young friends . I am still really jealous of those people who don't need much sleep and feel just great the next day!)
    So, the punctal plugs were just what I needed to feel "normal." However, they kept popping out. As soon as one popped out, I would feel the burning pain in that eye immediately. Needed to keep that eye closed...couldn't handle any air...put on the goggles etc. As soon as the doc would put it back in I would be good again. After a few years of this he finally cauterized my top punctum and there you go...I've been good (except I still have to get a lot of sleep each and every night...but I guess other people do too).

    So, I am so glad that this site is here for 20 year olds and 80 year olds alike. I wish I found it when I was really bad off in my 20s. It was really depressing to feel like nobody understood...I was the only 20 year old in the world that couldn't function because of dry eyes.

    If any of you out there go to church, there is a part of the Bible that says something about heaven being a place of "no more tears, no more sadness." Whenever I hear this I'm all like: NOOOOOO don't take away the tears! Never! If there is a Heaven, there MUST be tears. GOOD, HIGH QUAILITY TEARS...with a perfectly balanced water, lipid, and mucus layers! Don't take away the tears!

    So this is supposed to be a success story. So why am I new to this site now if I was "fixed"? Well, a few months ago I got conjunctivitis and my eyes have been all messed up since. It has been a hard 3 months with all those old painful feelings again. I'm living overseas in the Netherlands now, my tops are still cauterized, a doctor here put plugs in my bottoms (that keep popping out) but even when the plugs are in my eyes are still burning- sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. Just found a great doctor here who knows so much more than any other doctor I ever saw in the States or here in the Netherlands. She (and this forum) have introduced me to knew concepts that I hadn't heard of before: warm compresses, massaging, probing, natural remedies and much more.
    So I will get fixed again, right? Some days I'm positive, some really hard days I don't think I'll ever be normal again. Right at this moment I'm positive. Not sure how I will feel tomorrow!

  • #2
    Hi i am a 22 year old that has dealt with this problem for 6 years. My main problem is light sensitivity from computers, phones, tvs considering this it was very hard to do research or connect with people online regarding this problem. Only through improvements due to xiidra and plugs am i able to be here now. I am glad to hear you found relief for some time and hope you can find it again. I can also relate to your attitude of the ups and downs with this disease. i would encourage you to keep fighting because it is worth it to live a happy and healthy life. Giving that advice more to remind myself more then anything haha. I have found improvement through Xiidra and am encouraged by the research being done regarding this disease everyday.


    • #3
      Hi HSK
      Light sensitivity from computer
      I wear a clip-on to filter blue-light. Eyes feel much comfortable.