young dry eye sufferer
first i want to thank everyone this thread for persuading me against doing lasik! im currently 18 years old and about to head off to uc berkeley for college next month. i really want some kind of relief during my next four years in college without having to worry about whether i can even go on the computer for more than 2 hours straight. my dry eyes started approximately a year ago but within the last 6 months, they've gotten progressively worse. the most distressing part was that i remember my optometrist telling me that i have very dry eyes but only suggested me to put in eyedrops every 4 hours. she didn't even warn me against wearing contacts for a while. many people on this forum seem to be at least in their 20's so i am worried about my condition. i want to be able to go out w/ friends and wear contacts again. this just seems like a dream now.
my eyelids stick to each other when i wake up sometimes. my eyes occasionally turn red and veiny but it's not every day. the most annoying part of DES is that it's affected my ability to drive. i always feel this "pressure", especially with my right eye so i blink like crazy but it doesn't seem to help. i currently do warm compresses even tho i haven't been diagnosed with MGD (yet). i also use systane high performance eyedrops but it doesn't help for more than 5 minutes. the outer white part of my eye also wrinkles when i look sideways. it's really disturbing. i'll be seeing my family doctor next week and i was just wondering how i should approach him with my condition, at least to guarantee that i can be referred to my optometrist.
sorry about the long post! i just hope i can find some relief from this discomfort.
When you put drops in, are you closing your eyes for a bit (recommended to me was 2 minutes)? It makes a huge difference in how my drops work.
The outer part of my eye frequently wrinkles when I look sideways too. Not that it's something to be excited about but know that you aren't alone and that it isn't something to fret about, in other words, it in itself is not something to worry about.
Have you tried other types of preservative-free drops? Not all brands work for everyone. Lately, I really like RefreshPlus but for a while I liked Systane and sometimes I now use Refresh Celluvisc. Sometimes I layer my drops using something a bit thicker followed by something like RefreshPlus. Don't feel you need to stick with one particular brand; experiment a bit to find what is most comfortable for you and know it may change periodically.
Rebecca has a great post for what do to prepare for a doctor's appointment but I'm not finding it right now. Can anyone post a link? If I can remember where to find it, I'll post one.
Just to let you know, you are not alone -- my daughter began having MGD at age 19, (she is now 22) it took several docs to figure out it was meibomian gland dysfunction. She misses her contacts so much, but wears them for special occasions. She, like you, feels the worst at night and when she wakes up. As of now, we haven't been able to figure out a routine that works well for her, but so far the best I think is warm shower, massage, and night ointment. Also, taking breaks from your computer would be a good idea, although I understand for school and social, you need to be on it a lot...so..take blink breaks. The last doc she saw said she needs to pay more attention to blinking and make sure the eyes are closed for each blink, and to get into that habit, so maybe it would be the same for you. Do you have daily contact lenses or weekly? Her rx doesn't come in daily, but if she wears the weekly ones occasionally for a day, she gets by. (maybe once a week)
We live just a few miles from San Francisco, so if you need any doc referrals etc., let me know.
Potatocakes, interesting how you mentioned to close eyes after the drops for a couple of minutes. She must try that! Thanks.
First of all, congratulations on going to berkley!! My cousin went there, and I hear its an amazing school.
I feel you're pain, I am in college myself right now. I have about a year and a half left.
I will tell you this, I haven't found any other relief with being in class/computer other than putting my eye drops in ( I do it at least every 15 mins, which is a hassle in itself) I also work at a lab where I work on a computer for about an hour or 2 straight once the main job is done. I just put in drops when they feel dry, (AC doesnt help!!)
I use preservative free "THERATEARS". I am also on Flarex 2x a day.
I also have a hard time driving and I do experience the "pressure" you speak of in my left eye as well.
I think i started getting dry eyes when I was 18, but avoided it by using "get the red eye out" drops till now (i'm not 22).
You CAN go out with friends and have fun! You just may need to carry around eye drops and put them in. My friends know I am having trouble with my eyes, so they don't look twice when they see me put in drops. and although I am also going through emotional issues with the appearaence of my eyes (they look veiny/red all the time), I will tell you what my friends tell me "they probably don't look as bad as you really think they are" or "most people are more concerned with how they themselves look like, they probably don't even notice if anything is wrong with your eyes." And since you are a college teen, most of the places you may goto will probably have very dim lighting, I found that helped me feel more comfortable.
If you want to talk more you are more than welcome to message me!