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Thread: Dry eyes from contact lenses

  1. #1
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    Dry eyes from contact lenses

    Hi, I've been reading over this forum, the forum that no one really wants to be a member of, and thought it's about time I registered. Here's some background. I'm 19 and have been wearing contact lenses everytime I left the house since I was 15. When I was 15, I went through a year of severe depression because of my glasses, mainly down to my own low self esteem. When the opticians finally offered me contact lenses they were like a miracle cure and all my worries and depression vanished instantly. Unfortunately I've now been hit by dry eyes everytime I wear them. After 2-3 hours my eyes get red and I find myself blinking a lot to compensate for the dryness. No itching, blurred vision or any other symptoms though, only redness and occasionally a slight burning sensation when walking, as though someone is blowing into my eyes. I have a few questions if anyone would be so kind to answer. I'm looking for hope as much as anything else. The last place I want to be is in a deep hole where I was 4 years ago and any kind of hope will stop me from slipping back into it. To this day I've still not worn my glasses outside of the house. It's almost like a phobia, imagine being scared of heights and you're stood on top of a bridge with a bungee attached. You would never in a million years jump, right? That's how I'm feeling. So I'm looking for options;

    # Monthly contact lenses? - My opticians said if dailys still make my eyes red (I've tried so many different types including those specifically for dry eyes i.e. 1 day Acuvue Moist), monthlys will make them red too. Even if there's a 1% chance of monthlys not making my eyes red, I would still give them a try.

    # Laser eye treatment? - I've read a lot of stories of people getting dry eyes AFTER laser eye treatment, so having it beforehand makes me question it. Laser eye treatment if all went well would be my DREAM cure, but obviously it doesn't work for everyone.

    # Plugs? - I don't know much about these. I've done a bit of research but it seems to me as though it isn't a popular treatment (at least here in the UK). Are they expensive to have done? Also from what I can gather they don't always work.

    # Eye drops? - I am using eye drops now. The 'artificial tear' type. I've read up on them and a few people have said they're only a temporary measure and in the long run they can make your eyes worse. I asked my opticians about this and he said it's fine because it just acts as an articifial tear so doesn't interfere with any functions of the eye. I'm not sure who to believe. Anyway, these make my eyes feel a bit better, but don't get rid of the redness.

    What other treatments are there? It seems crazy that so many people suffer from dry eyes yet there is no 100% cure for it in this day and age. I'm desperate for more options for treatment. Options = hope = hopefully depression free.

    Thank you for anyone who actually reads this, it was longer than I anticipated, and a massive thank you to anyone who replies.

  2. #2
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    Hi there, I would just like to give some advice on eye drops based on my experience. After trying many brands and reading a lot of information about different types I can confidently advise to only use preservative free eyedrops. Even stuff sold in a lot of pharmacies still have preservative. For non dry eye sufferers who use these temporarily I am sure it's ok, but for us, we have to stick to the best out there. I used to live in the UK and there, I had an eye drop called Hylo-Tear here is a link http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/hylo-tear_1_158102.html. You might not always be able to find that particular brand but the important ingredient is sodium hyaluronate so make sure you ask for eyedrops containing it if the pharmacy/drugstore doesn't have hylotear.

  3. #3
    I agree so, so much with your thoughts of in 2012 there is no cure for dry eyes. It almost seems like a joke that they can send a man to the moon, but cannot get your eyes to tear more. Hang on RedEyeGuy. There are options for you, and every year new things are going on for the quest to cure DRY EYES.

  4. #4
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    Redeyeguy,
    Hi and welcome. I wish I could help you on the glasses-wearing thing but I've always found guys in glasses incredibly attractive, esp when we were all in 6th form and college. It's the whole ruffled hair, slightly vulnerable, charming, serious, cut above the rest, intelligent-looking thing. And now there are too many sexy styles to choose from, esp designer prescription sunglasses. Everyone is wearing them to get taken seriously at work and look successful and fab, particularly gorgeous with a suit, tie, or even better, no tie... Maybe someone else can do this...

    When LM chooses fashionable frames she checks out the shop assistant to see what they look like in theirs so we get good advice on eg face shape. We travel a few miles to our favourite optician because that's the one we feel comfortable with and we know is on our side style-wise, not just flogging the old stock. Obviously the best are not the most expensive. It is seriously possible to get an image upgrade with good glasses out and about, I promise you. I wonder if this is the key for you, a good professional kind optometrist assistant. The nice ones would love helping you with this and if you say you feel a bit vulnerable about the whole thing, they'll be falling over themselves to help you find happy. You need someone genuinely on your side since it's a bit of a re-style, whether you take a friend or go alone. It's good to study people in the street, mags, tv etc who have a personal style you like and recognise so you can develop your own look.

    Believe me, you have lots of options. Plugs are normal in the UK BTW, you just need a good ophth or sensible dry eye optometrist for some advice on what would help. We use drops when we need them, otherwise not (they're chemicals not tears, of course they affect the eye, but make sure they're preservative free, Mari's Hycosan range has been good for us, also various PF vials).

    I assume laser surgery would be a disaster with dry eye and, currently (until the medico-legal boys catch up with them), they wouldn't have the incentive to tell you this or maybe even the skill to know (I've never understood what happens as you age, surely the vision changes again). The top US eye microsurgeons are all wearing glasses, they trust no one, and cannot accept the risk.

    If you still have dry eye when you're not wearing lenses, it's worth a private dry eye ophthalmologist consultation (130ish), better than money on contacts that are giving you dry red eyes. Even if the opticians were up to speed on the latest hydrogel lenses for increased comfort, as they call them, you can't wear them all the time. It's so important to look after your eyes. It'd be good to hear that you've maybe got some gorgeous prescription sunglasses to wear out and about as a start now we've got snow.

    We know about depression here so keep posting and do not hesitate to see the GP when needed. If you've got access to school/college counselling, use it now. How's work and study and trying new good things and having fun going? Love, LM's mum
    Last edited by littlemermaid; 07-Feb-2012 at 13:28.
    Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

  5. #5
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    I think plugs are a great way to go. They were the first step among many that helped me get my dry eye under better control. However, I am aqueous deficient which is a good fit for it -- I don't know think it's a good choice for all types of dry eye.

    I think the best thing to do is find an experienced dry eye doctor near you and go in with a list of questions about treatments. Go in and show you are knowledgeable about dry eye and you want to work together to find a treatment that works. That might be a new type of contact or it might mean taking a break from contacts while you get your dry eye under control.

    In the meantime, I think you might consider a break from wearing contacts if they hurt after 2-3 hours. You may be doing your eyes more harm in the long run. Get your dry eye under control before you wear contacts. I took a break from contacts for a year and used plugs, meds, oasis drops and wiley-x sunglasses to help get my eye better. Now I wear contacts frequently, but I still mix it up by sometimes wearing glasses and sometime wearing contacts.

    Little Mermaid is right - find some cute glasses you feel comfortable with and try wearing them out one or two days at first and then more regularly. My husband wears glasses and he looks adorable in them.

    Please don't do consider laser surgery - with preexisting dry eye you are not a good candidate.

    You mentioned red eyes, do you think you might have allergies?

    Keep us posted on what you decide!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlemermaid View Post
    Believe me, you have lots of options. Plugs are normal in the UK BTW, you just need a good ophth or sensible dry eye optometrist for some advice on what would help. We use drops when we need them, otherwise not (they're chemicals not tears, of course they affect the eye, but make sure they're preservative free, Mari's Hycosan range has been good for us, also various PF vials).

    We know about depression here so keep posting and do not hesitate to see the GP when needed. If you've got access to school/college counselling, use it now. How's work and study and trying new good things and having fun going? Love, LM's mum
    Thank you very much for your reply. Right now I am using Blink eye drops for contact lense wearers. They help a little with the burning sensation that I get every now and then, but my eyes are still very red. They have preservatives in them even though funnily enough they were recommended by my optician, but I will certainly take on board what you and others have said about buying preservative free eye drops and my next buy will be exactly that.

    I'm currently working 7 hours a day after finishing Sixth Form. My social life has taken quite a hit as I'm working 5 days a week, and because my eyes are red after I have finished work, I won't want to go out after work because I need to give my eyes a rest. On the weekend I also want to give my eyes a rest so if I do go out with my friends on the weekend, it would only be for a few hours. Believe it or not, I've not even told my friends I wear contacts/glasses after 4/5 years!

    Thanks for your post LM's mum

    Quote Originally Posted by MariEyes View Post
    I used to live in the UK and there, I had an eye drop called Hylo-Tear here is a link http://www.chemistdirect.co.uk/hylo-tear_1_158102.html. You might not always be able to find that particular brand but the important ingredient is sodium hyaluronate so make sure you ask for eyedrops containing it if the pharmacy/drugstore doesn't have hylotear.
    Thank you MariEyes, I've taken what you've said onboard. What is it about sodium hyaluronate that is particularly effective? I use these Blink eye drops right now which apparantly contain sodium hyaluronate but they don't seem to make THAT much of a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by tearless2 View Post
    I think plugs are a great way to go. They were the first step among many that helped me get my dry eye under better control.

    I think the best thing to do is find an experienced dry eye doctor near you and go in with a list of questions about treatments.

    You mentioned red eyes, do you think you might have allergies?

    Keep us posted on what you decide!
    I didn't even think about seeing a specialised dry eye doctor. But tbh (I'm young and naive!) I don't know where to start. Do I look on the internet? Do I see my GP and get referred? Also how much would it cost? I'm guessing it would be costly as it's more of a cosmetic thing.

    I have red eyes but I don't think they are allergies. I've tried loads of daily contacts but they all give me red eyes.

    I was actually dreading coming back to this thread in fear of people replying "Nope, nothing you can do". So thank you very much for each of your replies, I really, REALLY appreciate it!
    Last edited by RedEyeGuy; 09-Feb-2012 at 05:19.

  7. #7
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    Believe it or not, I've not even told my friends I wear contacts/glasses after 4/5 years
    We would love to hear about your coming-out evening in the pub. Have you considered a new haircut for the re-style? It would be cool if someone else would wear their glasses too that day as I can't believe noone else does. I think glasses look good with an overcoat and scarf but we can't tell what your personal style is Glasses always look good at work or studying, I think it's expected, so maybe you could start wearing them at work.

    Tearless2's reply was very interesting. That it is possible to get the eyes to a healthy state for occasional contact lens wear. But if you carry on like this it sounds like you will damage your eyes and regret it long term.

    I'm thinking you wouldn't get an NHS ophthalmogy referral for this easily without chronic red eye. So it's finding a good dry eye specialist optometrist (another word for qualified optician) from the internet, of which there are more these days. We're not as good as the US for this, who have qualified prescribing optometrist docs. Or for a private ophthalmology check up to see why your eyes are so dry, search Dr Foster http://www.drfosterhealth.co.uk/
    Last edited by littlemermaid; 09-Feb-2012 at 15:43.
    Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlemermaid View Post
    We would love to hear about your coming-out evening in the pub. Have you considered a new haircut for the re-style? It would be cool if someone else would wear their glasses too that day as I can't believe noone else does. I think glasses look good with an overcoat and scarf but we can't tell what your personal style is Glasses always look good at work or studying, I think it's expected, so maybe you could start wearing them at work.
    In the next few months I'll be going to get some new glasses. Baby steps, but it's progress. I will be starting a new job later in the year so I will "come out" with the glasses then. The problem I would have if I wore them to work is that I would know they were judging me. I know they'll be thinking along the lines of, "Those glasses suit him", "They make his eyes look big", "He looked better before", and I HATE it when I know someone is judging me like that. It's only in the glasses context though. Maybe it stems from the problems I had a few years ago, who knows! The good thing about my new job will be that no one will know me, so they will take me for who I am, not for who I was (before glasses) and am (with glasses), and I wont have to go through the "Do they think I look better with or without my glasses" stage, because that's all they will know. Sounds weird I know! And I have MASSIVE confidence issues, I know that too! On the other hand though I still want to be able to wear my contacts, even if it's just every other day, I would like to have the option.

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemermaid View Post
    So it's finding a good dry eye specialist optometrist (another word for qualified optician) from the internet, of which there are more these days. We're not as good as the US for this, who have qualified prescribing optometrist docs. Or for a private ophthalmology check up to see why your eyes are so dry, search Dr Foster http://www.drfosterhealth.co.uk/
    It's harder than I thought finding an eye specialist. A google search in my area came up with normal opticians which I'm guessing is not what I'm after. There's a DrFosterHealth hospital near me which is promising. I'll look into it further after I've had some sleep (Just came home from a night shift).

    Thanks again for your help LM's mum!

  9. #9
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    Coolglassesguy,
    Hi! Progress. I am taking this very seriously. I've got 2 teenage girls, we know about body con. Also trashed my own eyes with contact overwear (mgd on the uppers, corneal opacification on the limbus, neovascularisation, some inflammation at the time). What I should've done is wear glasses for work like everybody else, didn't realise how bad the eye surface damage actually was. Sounds like if you get damage and wear-time under control now you may still have the option occasionally.

    These thoughts must mostly be why people take the risk of laser surgery. Personally I love choosing different glasses and changing the look. My girls say to you, 'go round the opticians this weekend and try on different styles', let's get it over with, you might even prefer the ones you've got. You can't walk around any longer till you get the new job 'later in the year' with red eye from contacts. You will trash your eyes. Do it now. You are bothering to wear contacts for a night shift?

    One route to confidence and losing the 'caring what people think' thing we have discovered is to do something completely different to the friends, just for you, that you really enjoy as a separate interest, like a trip somewhere. You could wear the glasses on the adventure. Then come back and get the 'wows'. At this point, you would be still wearing them

    Dude, you're fine. There's a hormonal prompt in adolescence to be super-aware of the pack, as it were, which I've been reading about and it might help you to realise, so that 15yo stuff is well over and gone. At your age now, you are ready to move on from this puberty state into 'this is my life and I'll live it my way' territory of the early 20s. Sorry to tell you I think you might find no one else is really bothered about your glasses and after the initial 'oh you've got glasses' will totally accept them and be indifferent. How would you feel if someone else turned up in glasses or new haircut? Exactly. (I should take you to the children's eye hospital with me to put this in perspective...) Psychology lecture over.

    Re finding dry eye opticians. We know. The UK's not quite there yet but lots of optometrists are interested in training http://www.spectrum-thea.co.uk/apps/...ts/DryEye.aspx If you post up a county you might get a recommendation.

    We need you to post up this weekend that you've been to work/shop/snowballing in your glasses. Tell 'em you've got conjunctivitis and can't wear your lenses for a bit. Everyone can see contacts on the eye anyway.
    Last edited by littlemermaid; 10-Feb-2012 at 07:16.
    Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlemermaid View Post
    Re finding dry eye opticians. We know. The UK's not quite there yet but lots of optometrists are interested in training http://www.spectrum-thea.co.uk/apps/...ts/DryEye.aspx If you post up a county you might get a recommendation.
    Hi LM's mum, thanks again for the reply and sorry for the late one back! I looked on that site and the nearest clinic is 30 miles away. I've just sent them an e-mail to try and get a little bit more information on what they are and what they do. Thanks for the link. There doesn't seem to be many places that offer punctal plugs, at least around my area. Is this not a common procedure?

    Quote Originally Posted by littlemermaid View Post
    We need you to post up this weekend that you've been to work/shop/snowballing in your glasses. Tell 'em you've got conjunctivitis and can't wear your lenses for a bit. Everyone can see contacts on the eye anyway.
    I really wish I could LM's mum, and I will soon, but first I'll have a look at alternatives. I mean if something did work for me i.e. punctal plugs or any particular eye drops, and THEN after a few months I buy/wear some new glasses, that's the idea. But yeah I understand wear you're coming from.

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