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Despair to life once more

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  • Despair to life once more

    I have had extremely dry eyes for over 15 years for no apparent cause. When I was tested at that time for the amount of tears produced, virtually none could be measured. On a slightly warm English summer day I couldn't go out or travel in the car and had to spend much of the day indoors with cold compresses over my eyes. My eyes were inflamed and I was in a considerable amount of pain. It helped to have the 2 lower puncta cauterised, to have wrap-round glasses and to use Cellluvisc during the day and Celluvisc plus Lacrilube (no preservative ) at night, applying it both last thing and again during the night. But I was never comfortable and was in fact deteriorating because there were more dry patches on my corneas causing the tear film to be very unstable. The miracle solution was a pair of 7Eye Churada glasses imported from the Dry Eye shop (I had to pay impoert tax on these!). These transformed my life, enabled me to live reasonably normally again and almost certainly saved my corneas from permananent damage. They do have disadvantages, especially reducing the field of vision, which can lead to tripping over things.

    The next big breakthrough came last year when I was fitted with half-scleral lenses at the Oxford Eye Hospital. The optometrist is taking great care to provide the best fit and I am still not quite at the perfect-fit stage. The lenses tend to press too hard in places and produce red crescents around the lower margins, but I'm confident that this will be overcome. At first it proved very difficult to insert them without major bubble problems, but with practice and now using only sterile saline I am usually getting it right first time. I still use the Churadas when I get up in the morning and for an hour or two before bedtime. When wearing the lenses I use 0.5% Celluvisc or HYLO-FORTE (absolutely brilliant applicator!) and when wearing the Churadas I use 1% Celluvisc (all preservative-free). I still have to use quite a lot of drops, especially in the evening. The rate of use increases greatly in air-conditioned or overheated rooms and in the car. I find our underfloor heating a great benefit with its gentle non-draughty heat. In bad circumstances I wear the Churadas over my lenses, especially helpful in theatres and cinemas. (They have prescription varifocal lenses so distance vision is fine). If for some reason I don't wear my lenses during the day my eyes really suffer by the evening. On one occasion when I went to the Eye Hospital wearing my Churadas the optometrist noted some dryness on my cornea, not seen when I wear the lenses, so they are definitely protecting my eyes.

    I was very surprised to find that, after 9 years of wearing Churadas, when I first wore the scleral lenses while walking I was confused by seeing the ground moving along so close to me! It took some time to get used to having the wider field of vision again. Having the wider field of vision is a huge benefit as I have osteoporosis, so the reduction in the likelihood of tripping is very important. The lenses also help with my piano playing as a consequence of the wider field of vision. I thoroughly recommend them if you can wear them.

    I will finish now with a big THANK YOU to Rebecca, who saved my sanity and sight: and good luck to you all.

  • #2
    Hi Jenny. Thanks for sharing all you've been through, and how well you are doing now with scleral lenses. There are several people in this forum who have a lot of discomfort functioning daily and are considering sclerals, and it's always encouraging to hear these success stories. These lenses are a key part of my daily regimen too, and I could not do all that I do daily without them.

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    • #3
      Thank you for sharing, it's great to hear good news like this. Also thank you for sharing where in the UK you were able to get scleral lenses.

      Here's a page about the lenses for others in the UK:
      http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/eye-hospital/d...ct-lenses.aspx

      It mentions "Referrals made from outside Oxfordshire may require funding agreements from your referring trust or CCG, which may delay appointments." Were you in the Oxford area and if not were there many hoops to jump through to get them?

      I hope you find even further improvement and relief, thanks again for sharing your success.
      Sufferer due to Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis.
      Avatar art by corsariomarcio

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      • #4
        You never mentioned serum drops Jenny, are you using those. The reason I ask is that I have done about all that you have done and more but since I started using the serum drops 5 years ago I have not had a dry spot on my corneas and before that I always had dry spots. The other thing that I have done which has probably made one of the most significant changes for me was to get quadra plugged. Actually my uppers are cauterized and the lowers plugged. I am curious to know if you have tried that as well....F/G

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