Intro and corneal abrasion question
Well, my eyes are bugging me enough, I have come here to find some relief! I'm 57, have RA, and mild diabetes. Have been diagnosed with dry eye, I'd say in the moderate to severe range. I've been using various preservative free products over the past 2 years. Most notably , my biggest problem lies with eyelids sticking together in the morning and a feeling of wet sticky tears upon opening eyes (I usually have to physically open them with my fingertips). When they first open, they feel like major rocks are in them. That eventually clears up within a few minutes, but is quite painful originally. I'm going to a Duke dry eye center and they've put me on a 1 month regimen of Lotemax and Restasis with a followup to come in a few months. I can't say I can tell any diff yet and from what I read it might take a few more months before I notice a change. I might also mention that I have blepharatis as well which I try to relieve by using Sterilids solution. I soak my eyes with hot rags twice a day and massage my eyelids. The doc said that my meibomian glands were not functioning very well and that was the purpose of my massaging them and using the hot rags. He did a Schirmer test to check my dry eye problem.
One thing I've noticed that is interesting - you would think that a thicker eyedrop would be helpful, but not in my case. When I put in a thick tear like Theratears "night" drops, it murders my eyes , immediately like I've tossed rocks in there. I tried some preservative free Systane drops today as well, which I noticed had the same effects (and rubbing them between my fingers, I could tell that the viscosity was higher than normal Theratears or the Equate preservative free tears or Bion, all of which I seem to rotate amongst.). Why would this be?
I've read the "Dry Eye Remedy" book, but can't find much that would describe this feeling of "rocks" in my eyes upon awakening. I did find this article at Wikipedia which made me wonder if this was my issue - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurrent_corneal_erosion
Do you think that the goggles with pads would be a good idea for me during nighttime sleep? I'm thinking about ordering a pair today to try. I had a pretty bad episode upon awakening this morning and it has left me with a permanent ache above my eyebrows.
Thanks for any thoughts you might have on what I've talked about above! And I look forward to participating in the discussion.
It sounds like you share symptoms with a lot of us here. Sorry to hear that, but on the bright side, there is a lot of good advice that you will find.
There are lots of posts on blepharitis, and if you "search" for rce's (recurrent corneal erosions), you will find lots of information about that pesky sticking problem. To solve that, Cindy who posts here, recommended keeping some basic, bland eye drops (or even a glass of water) by the bedside and putting just a drop or two in the inner corner of the eye near the nose. Let the drops seep in, and the eye will open smoothly and avoid both the pain upon opening and the foreign object ("rocks") feeling later on in the day. This is something that might fit in with your program at Duke with no problems.
Also, I use Genteal Gel at night, and I re-apply it if I awaken through the night. It helps me a lot. I would not be surprised if it would fit in with your program at Duke.
See how things go with your program. If they work, great. If not, you may want to order Dwelle eye drops from this site (The Dry Eye Shop). I use Dwelle about five times a day and sometimes at night, too. It has helped my rce's. It is not a prescription eye drop, but because it is used through the day (in my case), I would check with my doctor before using it. I know that it can sound like I push these eye drops sometimes, but I have no vested interest in this company. I am a dry-eye patient who averted surgery because Dwelle was so effective. People with my problems often get PTK, PRK, or even corneal transplants. However, with moisture-retaining TranquilEyes goggles, Dwelle eye drops, and Genteal Gel, I have been able to heal after months of recurrent corneal erosions that would be so bad that they would not wait until morning. The awakened me in the middle of the night. They also compromised my vision. I am happy to report that things are improving. I must remain vigilant, but my pain is reduced, and the erosions are largely under control. I credit the people here for that improvement. Their advice, support, and recommendations of products has really made a huge difference for the better in my life.
Anyone here want to contribute to information on bleph?
That's a start, anyway. I hope that you find relief!
Last edited by liz56; 27-Apr-2008 at 17:36.
Reason: Glaring error!
Thanks Liz for all the info. I'm curious what you thought about the fact that "thicker" products made my eyes feel like they had been injected with rocks. Also, I'm curious about the drops on this site which have preservatives in them. Of course all the eye docs tell you to use non-preservative ones. Obviously enough people here use the ones listed here and I'm sure tell their eye docs about them. I'm curious what the reaction of the eye docs has been?
I'm so sorry that I messed up your name!
I know or think I know about a "heavy" feeling that I get with certain thick drops, like the Genteal line liquid gel. That does not do much for me. It has a preservative that dissipates in the eye upon application, so the preservative is not much of an issue there. I have no idea what causes that feeling for me. I do know that drops that follow Dr. Holly's principles (high oncotic pressure rather than concern with hyper-, iso-, or hypertonicity) do not make my eyes feel heavy. They make them feel normal.
Dwelle has preservatives, and I wish that it did not. I'd love to try it without it. However, the drop helps me so much that the occasional stinging and itching it caused (especially in the first few months) was not as bad as the erosions I suffered. So, I just stuck with them. They do sting sometimes now, but it is when my eyes are in horrible shape. It *is* a little thicker than other drops but does not make my eyes feel like they have rocks in them.
My eye doctor loves Dwelle and was happy for me to use it, along with Restasis and other drops that I was on. I also told my family doctor about it, and he is usually in a huge hurry, but he was interested in what these drops did for me. He saw my eyes when they were at their absolute worst ever, and he was pleased that these drops helped me so much.
When you mention drops that are thicker, you are not talking about petroleum-based products, right? I'm just making sure. They often make my eyes feel "grainy."
Have you ever been put on Muro 128 5%? It is often used for corneal edema, the condition that causes rce's.
No sweat about the name - Ric sounds pretty good actually. No, not talking about petroleum based products - mostly about thicker tears such as the nighttime TheraTears in particular, but the Systane individual preservative free vials did the same thing to me. I did try Genteal gel for a bit (geez, could they put a smaller amount in that little tube?) - it seemed to be ok - may try it again tonite. I'm surprised any eye doc would go along with something that had preservatives - each that I have seen told me to use the preservative free kind. Had you used Theratears and Bion and Refresh and Soothe and all the others? I'm curious if people here found them all lacking and thus turned to Dr Holly's or did they just start using hers from the get-go?
I am a bit concerned about my eye doc despite him being the head of this so-called dry eye center - I had mentioned the problem of having to unstick my eyes in the morning and this "rocks" feeling - and the feeling when I used the thicker tears - he just sort of went hmmmm.... and said something about my cornea might be roughed up , but then went right on with his dispensing of restasis,etc. He didn't suggest goggles at night or panoptyx glasses or anything like that - mostly just talking about blepharitis and the need for me to soak my eyes and massage them. Can't say I see much in the way of results in terms of anything coming out of those glands - sometimes I wonder if the massaging part of them and all the attention paid to my eyes might even be making them worse!
I do think the idea of goggles makes sense, so I'm leaning towards springing for those - and think I'll try to ease some eyedrops into the corners of my eyes before trying to open them by prying them open.
I appreciate your feedback on all of this! This eye sticking shut thing is a recent phenomenon for me as has been the floaters and flashers I've endured over the past year (fortunately the flashers went away, but some of the floaters still hang around), so hopefully, I'll find some relief by following the suggestions here.
I think that my cornea specialist is okay with the preservatives in Dr. Holly's eye drops, because of my specific problem. I have what is called "epithelial basement membrane dystrophy." Dr. Holly explains how it causes rce's in his discussion area on this board. It really is the only thing that has helped me.
It is best to go with PF, but in this case, where there is no other drop that can 1) draw the moisture out from between the epithelium and basement membrane and 2) keep the outermost part of the epithelium moist, it is necessary.
If your doctor says it is okay, and you are able to give it a try, it may be worth it.
Yes, the TranquilEyes have helped me a ton. I must not be able to shut my left eye the whole way. An added benefit is that I have been sleeping more deeply with them.
Let us know how things go for you.