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Thread: Cure Blepharitis! No, I am not kidding.

  1. #1
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    Cure Blepharitis! No, I am not kidding.

    I am a long-time lurker on the boards. I feel compelled to write how I got control of my dry eye/blepharitis. After years of struggling withe eye washing, infections, miserable symptoms I finally found a dr. who tested me for hormone imbalance. Not estrogen but progesterone and testosterone. I am a 37 year old female who typically drs woudl look at and say you are fine. I looked long and hard to find a dr who woudl listen to me. Personally I think I have some low level auto-immune problem (many times blepharitis is not an infection per se, but your body over reacting via your eyes) brought on by a hormone imbalance. This is why most dry eye sufferers are women. I can not speak for dry eye sufferers who have eye trauma like Lasik or other disease/injury.

    I can say that after spending thousands of dollars on tests, specialists, etc. Ophthalmologists are USELESS. They mean well but they really are not looking for a systemic process. This is why we dry eye sufferers are typically unhappy with our Ophthalmologists. You need to find a "integrative" doctor who will look at your hormone levels. I live in the SF/Bay Area ans found one after much trial and error. I had very little progesterone and almost no testosterone. Yes, women need some testosterone. Once I started using a physician prescribed cream that included these two in precise measurements I feel 100% better. It is amazing and I am sure no one will believe me. The testosterone has made my skin more oily but I am sure it is doing the same to my eyes. I will take a few zits to be rid of the ever present eye discomfort/dryness.

    Do NOT take over the counter hormone creams without a physicians care. These are powerful drugs and should be monitored closely. I go in to check levels every 4 months. I remain convinced that hormone imbalances are the culprit behind much of the blepharitis and dry eye. Run, do not walk to your closest dr. who gets this stuff! Rant off.

  2. #2
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    This is very interesting! I recently got hormone testing done. My testosterone was in the normal range (testosterone free 3.1 and total 29). However, my DHEA was high, 216 (normal range 15-170). I was assuming that was gonna be low. Doc says if I'm having troubles with hair growth they can treat it. I don't think I have any worse problem with hair growth than any other post menopausal 53 yr old. I'm wondering though how it would be treated and if by some dumb luck it could help my eyes or possibly make them worse?!

  3. #3
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    I forgot to mention I am on progesterone cream (initially prescribed for hot flashes, but doc says it can help dry eyes too) and have recently tried increasing the dose to see if that helps my eyes at all. She said that wouldn't show up in testing? Guess I'll have to ask about that.

  4. #4
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    Are your eyes still dry, or did the treatment help immensely? Just wanted to hear the results of these meds! It sounds like something women especially need to take a closer look at.

  5. #5
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    Low estrogen high DHEA?

    I'm very interested in this, I had a complete hyst. Several years ago, and suffer from alopecia areata and now severe dry eyes, Anymore info would be great, I do think that it is very interesting that extremely more women (post menopausal) have DES not related to LASIK we may be one to something here, why aren't the Drs. Jumping on this more?

  6. #6
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    there is so much literature out there about the link between hormones and eyes. and even on this forum. the eyes and the mei glands have hormone receptors. that's why some menopausal women get dry eye as eyes need estrogen. same goes for testost i guess. i know for a fact that going off birth control (after a number of years) triggered my dry eye. going back on it after 6 months or so definately increased my tears but didn't reverse the problem completely. i've also read that changes in hormone levels also impact the mei glands. I now have MGD. I think opthalmologists don't want to cross into the endocrinology world. but for sure, you need to get yourself to a opthal that takes a holistic view and doesn't just treat the symptoms but rather gets to the underlying prob. if you have a good gyno that is willing work with your opthal then that is also helpful

  7. #7
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    SeriousLady, How and where do you apply the hormone cream? The ones I've heard of are usually prescribed to menopausal women (for vaginal dryness,etc.) and are specifically to be applied to the genital skin. Is that how you use it, as well?
    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by smthcorona View Post
    I forgot to mention I am on progesterone cream (initially prescribed for hot flashes, but doc says it can help dry eyes too) and have recently tried increasing the dose to see if that helps my eyes at all. She said that wouldn't show up in testing? Guess I'll have to ask about that.
    I've seen this cream at the health food store, so I see you don't need a Rx for it, I've asked my dr. About it and she felt at the time all I needed was the estadiol I've been taking, do you apply it once or twice a day?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mawsky View Post
    I've seen this cream at the health food store, so I see you don't need a Rx for it, I've asked my dr. About it and she felt at the time all I needed was the estadiol I've been taking, do you apply it once or twice a day?
    I get my progesterone cream from a local compounding pharmacy. Don't think I would trust something you can buy from a health food store, might not be the right strength or type. Guess I trust my doctor (general practitioner not opthamologist!) more in this case. I put it on in the morning on the inside of my wrists. It definitely helps with hot flashes. She said it could help with dry eyes, depression too, but can't say I think it's doing anything for my eyes. What's helping my eyes right now is that I've started using Fresh Kote. I've made amazing progress in only 10 days! That's been the best help for my depression!!

  10. #10
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    Beware of hormone pellets

    I too am quite low in testosterone and decided I already take enough supplements ect.. so decided to try hormone pellets which go under the skin for 6 months. Yes, I got pimples and oily skin but also an extreme amount of oil on my eyelids... it would just pool there causing about 4 straight months of blepharitis. It was awful. The only suggestion was a dieuretic which of course would have probably made the dry eye worse so I was unwilling. The Doc. said we could go with a much lower dosage next time but now I'm afraid. The testosterone pills can cause liver issues I was told... Not sure about a compounding cream. My gyn. has never mentioned this. Maybe something to look at. Of course I grew a boatload of facial hair too but I'd rather shave my face and not have dry eyes!!

  11. #11
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    Are you all taking Bio-Identical Hormone Cream?

    I'm awaiting my hormone testing from my Naturopath...

  12. #12
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    seriouslady

    I am so glad I read your post. You are so correct on the 2 harmones in women. I was diagnosed hypothyroid a year ago (a harmone dysfunction, as I'm sure you know) and then with blepharitis several months later. Since dry skin is one of hypothyrodism major outcomes, I'm sure it's the reason for my eyelid oil gland problem. How do I locate such a doctor?

  13. #13
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    Hormone controversy

    I'm older and had a hysterectomy but ovaries left. Still this winter I got severe anterior and posterior blepharitis and MGD and well as hot flashes at night again. One older friend with severe dry eye said estradiol pills has been THE help for her dry eye. A cousin wrote me today, "Under no circumstances take estradiol in pill or patch form." The doctors told her that was the reason she got breast cancer. When just 40 I took Premarin for awhile, and at 50 when menopause symptoms hit me hard, I took Prempro. Estradiol is the Rx bio-identical hormone so the "good" stuff, but there are still some pros and cons. Have to weigh how bad your symptoms are. Also, stay on the shortest amount of time possible, lowest dose possible. ONE THING I DON'T UNDERSTAND: My OB-GYN and everybody else has told ME that there is no way to measure hormones because they fluctuate daily so I haven't been able to get a test for hormone levels anywhere, ever. Need to lie down and close my eyes awhile . . .

    I should add that I didn't get dry eye just from getting old--not that you can't. I got seborrhea (scalp infection out of the blue Jan. 6 yrs ago) and it was the ANTIBIOTIC that gave me seborrhea which is what has caused my blepharitis and MGD (and thus dry eye). So in my case it was antiobiotic causing chronic yeast which led to all the eye problems!
    Last edited by Becky1; 30-Mar-2011 at 15:25.

  14. #14
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    Seriouslady

    Seriouslady, Thanks you for your infomation about blepharitis. I have seen a few doctors regarding my dry, inflammed eye lids for at least 5 years. Besides giving me steriod eye ointment, which costs me $100, the only anwser i get from them is no cure. One doctor told my it is because my old age, the funny part is I am only 46 years old. The other doctor charged me over $140 on top of insurance payment, and after all check up he said I can not do anything about it. Use ointment for 5 days, and no more after that forever. I am pretty disappointed. My eye condition got worse in last 2 years, that my eyes are painful and can not open after sleep. I did see a few natural doctor, and used hormone creams last year (after hormone test shows all of them are low) for 3 month, no improvement noticed.

    Will you tell me which doctor do you have, what kind of test did you do? I have been suspect all my condition are caused by low hormones in my body, however to find a good doctor who knows how to treat is the key.

    I appreciate your information, it makes me see the hope. Sue

  15. #15
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    I'm a 50 year guy with one bliferitus eye. Any comments?

  16. #16
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    I'm a 21 year old female with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (causes a lot of hormone problems), a family history of thyroid problems and possible thyroid problems myself. I just saw a specialist two days ago and had so many questions to ask him I forgot to mention these things! I want to see someone about any possible links with dry eye but I don't want to pay another $200 for a consultation, sigh .

    Although, PCOS causes too much testosterone rather than too little...

  17. #17
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    avalee, see this blogpost by our admin Rebecca regarding a found connection between PCOS and dry eye: http://dryeyedigest.blogspot.com/201...d-dry-eye.html

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyes kaput View Post
    avalee, see this blogpost by our admin Rebecca regarding a found connection between PCOS and dry eye: http://dryeyedigest.blogspot.com/201...d-dry-eye.html
    Interesting, thanks for that.

    I guess the best thing to do at this point in regard to the PCOS aspect of dry eye is just try to manage the PCOS better with diet, exercise etc... hopefully this might have a positive impact on my eye health!

  19. #19
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    avalee, I have PCOS too. I've had a terrible time trying to correlate the way my eyes feel to any effort I'm making (or not making). I was on birth control pills for about ten years to mitigate (mask, really) the PCOS symptoms, and my dry eye went from mild to severe in the last couple of months I was on them. We know that the estrogen in birth control pills can contribute to dry eyes. Unfortunately going off of them did not help any. But I'm with you right now as far as diet and exercise, I'm trying hard to maintain a low-glycemic index diet and regular exercise. Frankly, the misery caused by dry eye makes it that much harder to not use my favorites: bread, pasta, sweets etc. to feel good. But, I'm hopeful if I stop engaging in backwards slides, that maybe things will it get a bit better.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyes kaput View Post
    avalee, I have PCOS too. I've had a terrible time trying to correlate the way my eyes feel to any effort I'm making (or not making). I was on birth control pills for about ten years to mitigate (mask, really) the PCOS symptoms, and my dry eye went from mild to severe in the last couple of months I was on them. We know that the estrogen in birth control pills can contribute to dry eyes. Unfortunately going off of them did not help any. But I'm with you right now as far as diet and exercise, I'm trying hard to maintain a low-glycemic index diet and regular exercise. Frankly, the misery caused by dry eye makes it that much harder to not use my favorites: bread, pasta, sweets etc. to feel good. But, I'm hopeful if I stop engaging in backwards slides, that maybe things will it get a bit better.
    I know how you feel, it's been really hard for me to make any correlations, especially with birth control pills. I think I was just coming off them when my dry eyes started. I went back on them to see if it would make a difference - did nothing. I've been off them completely for several months now and haven't noticed any difference. At this point I don't know whether to be on them or not! But after reading the outline of the article you posted I suspect my dry eye may not be entirely PCOS related as I have a very low Schirmer's test result (3mm) which didn't occur with the PCOS women in the sample.

    And yes it is hard not to eat all the good stuff when you feel down... I struggle with avoiding takeaways. To be honest I haven't really made much of an effort with the diet/exercise thing until recently. I know I should have been better with the PCOS already but the pain from dry eyes has made me a bit more motivated to sort it out. I also have a sister with PCOS, she started really managing hers a few years ago with really healthy eating and exercise, and also believes a chaste berry (vitex angus-castus) supplement helped to regulate her cycle. She didn't get dry eyes but heaps of her other symptoms improved and she just had her first baby without any hormone medication etc . Have you had any luck with doctors/specialists regarding the PCOS/dry eye thing? And good luck with your low GI/exercise plan, hopefully it improves things for you!

  21. #21
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    I've not successfully inspired any of the doctors I've seen yet to consider that my dry eyes are somehow potentially related to the mess that is my hormones. Nor for that matter, have any seemed particularly interested in all the hypo-thyroid symptoms I have because my thyroid test results are borderline at best. It's not that I'm convinced either is necessarily the culprit of dry eyes, I would just like to have those seriously considered so I can rule them out, and hey, perhaps get treatment for the other symptoms. I contacted Serious Lady the OP of this thread for her doc info, as I live in the same area, but she never responded unfortunately. Really frustrating.

    I'm unclear what my Schirmer's test results were, because my doctor seemed to only perform it as a formality and didn't consider the outcome particularly useful to any end, stating "If your eyes are dry, your eyes are dry." Also, he made the point (and one I *felt* for myself), that the strips seriously irritate some eyes, thus producing an inaccurate sample by triggering tear volume that wouldn't otherwise occur.

    I will never go back on birth control pills because of studies that have revealed that the residual hormones left behind can have long-term/permanent effects - and I know I'm experiencing some of those, but that's definitely veering off-topic here. I wish I had never gone on them. They don't fix PCOS, they just hide it and mess up more for later. I wish I had been advised to treat myself via diet.

    When I'm good about my diet, I'm less prone to get acne cysts and depression. My cycle though see-saws from one extreme to other so far though. Maybe it's worth being prescribed Metformin. My insulin resistance tests are always negative, even though I have been told several times I'm pre-diabetic - not sure how that works! And as I said, I do get some relief when I'm low-glycemic which would strongly point to insulin issues. I will look into the chaste berry. That is fantastic about your sister. And good luck to you, too

  22. #22
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    Reply

    Sorry for not getting back to folks. The cream is applied to any thin skinned area of your body (stomach, forearms, etc). It has helped a lot and has other benefits like I sleep better, etc. It has also helped to get my allergies under control. I noticed when my allergies acted up my eyes would feel worse. I am not saying I am 100% better but I am easily 90%. Look for a dotocr who prescribes bio-identical hormones. You have to do a lot of trial and error but it is worth it.

  23. #23
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    Seriouslady I sent you a private message asking you who your doctor was, which you may not have seen. I live in the Bay Area and would love any help you could give me with locating a doctor sensitive to hormonal issues and eyes.

  24. #24
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    Serious lady, glad to see you found the answer. Hormone balance was my cure also and now symptom free for 2 yrs or more. http://www.dryeyezone.com/talk/entry...out-of-balance

    I too have used progesterone creams and androgen (testosterone) boosters. This helped immensely. There have been many studies detailing the use of hormone balancing programs or supplements that clear issues with dry eyes, not to mention countless other insidious issues that plague us as we get older. The key, as you say, is finding the right doctor to help you. Some doctors simply no very little about hormones unfortunately.

    Note to Rebecca: I think it could be very helpful for members to start a list of Doctors who specialise in hormone problems.

    FYI Progesterone cream can be found here also. www.life-flo.com
    Jamie

  25. #25
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    I'm only 25, do you think this is only something for those approaching menopause or those at any stage in their life? What kind of doctor is best to see for hormone testing? I'm afraid to spend more money on another dead-end.

    Thanks so much for your information

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