I have been reading this website for about a week and think it is terrific. I appreciate all the comments that have been posted. Thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences.
I am a 51 year old male, physician (child psychiatrist) and medical researcher (causes and brain mechanisms in autism). I had mild dry eye symptoms in my 30’s (problems wearing contacts). I developed very severe dry eye symptoms almost overnight at 42 (at the same time I had a severe viral syndrome, pleural effusion). I have always wondered if they were related.
About 4 years ago I tried cyclosporine (pre-restasis availability) with mild improvement. Three years ago, after following the literature (mainly from David Sullivan’s work at Harvard) on the role of androgens in dry eye, I started treatment with DHEA (dihydroepiandrosterone) eye drops. I have been very surprised to see that there has been no mention of this treatment on this website. I had a fairly dramatic improvement in my symptoms (going from being substantially impaired in my function – marked difficulty reading, traveling, working etc. to having my symptoms be generally very manageable, although I do use tears VERY regularly). I wanted to share this experience and encourage others to consider it.
I obtained DHEA eye drops from Leiter Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy specializing in eye medications in San Jose California. You need a doctor’s prescription (and should be followed by an opthalmologist if you do this). I started 1 drop per eye four times per day for a few days, then titrated down over a few weeks to 2 times daily (this was basically my own regimen). I began to show improvement after the first week and continued with improved symptoms thru the first 2 years. I have been doing this for about 3 years. I am followed by a general ophthalmologist and have had no discernible adverse effects. DHEA drops in the eyes have no systemic effects (i.e., just local eye effects).
Again, I highly recommend trying this treatment. Leiter Pharmacy is easy to find on the internet. Chuck Leiter is well versed in this approach to dry eye treatment. I have sent a number of people to them. Some have not had any benefit. Others have had substantial benefit like I have. I would be happy to discuss this further if anyone is interested.
Again, thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. I am sure many of us could relate to todays post by Jessica about having one of those desperate days and finding nothing else to do but search the internet for solutions. Here is one that I hope may help some of you.
Chapel Hill, N.C.