What is dry eye like?
I recently invited members of our Facebook DryEyeTalk group to respond to the following: "Describe (a) how your eyes feel, and (b) how that impacts your quality of life." The following is a collection of the responses:
They are irritated, hurt and feel dry almost all the time. This lessens the quality of my life because wind, sun and everything else make them feel worse. The dramatic redness these problems cause makes me self-conscious and depressed.
My eyes feel like rocks- dry, gritty, and hard. They burn and make my head ache. I am a prisoner inside my house wishing I could enjoy the sunshine and cool breeze.
I am blessed to not have daily pain, as many describe.... My life has changed. Clear vision and vigilance on sclorel lenses/fluids dictate everything I do. Safety glasses outdoors in slightest breeze, monitoring humidity indoors, how long I'm in a store atmosphere.... too many things to list.
Eyes are sore and ache all the time. Also so dry I can no longer enjoy simple pleasures such as going out on a windy day, a cup of coffee, a glass of wine. Can no longer read. Quality of life has drastically decreased. Also suffer from headaches now due to dry eye.
My dry eyes began 12 years ago & have worsened since then. My left eye, the far more miserable one, burns & feels parched, more so as the day goes on. I find I am avoiding evening plans since my eyes fatigue me so much & increase my chronic headaches. I wish I could cry but no tears come.
My dry eye has resulted in an ulcer on my cornea.My vision is gone in that eye and there is only 1 Dr. In U.S. that could possibly help. He happens to be over 1000 miles away and does not accept insurance. I really can't afford to go.Ive turned into a semi recluse because of my eyes.
My dry eyes began at age 20 and for the last 32 years have become worse and worse. I feel my eyeballs all the time, gritty, sticky, bad vision, and now the pain has become central, meaning it's triggered the trigeminal nerve to produce pain in my face and ear and eye (the latter feeling like pins sticking in there). I'm on 3 different medications to calm the eye/face pain down.
My eyes burn almost constantly. My vision is blurred from lack of tears. Bright lights actually hurt my eyes and trigger very bad headaches. I am seeing a specialist who is making me somewhat more comfortable but will not cure me with the technologies we have at this time. This is a very time consuming and expensive condition. We are ripped off by insurance co's not covering our expenses.
My eyes burn and feel gritty, and when they get bad my life becomes "smaller." I stop enjoying time with friends and family, and I don't try new activities, because my confidence level drops. I become a hermit. BUT, I am fortunate that attentive people have stepped up to show me how to navigate many of these problems.
Burn burn lots of days Sensitive to light. Can't read or do phone when they r that way. Eyes aren't clear. Glassy looking. Red too. Sunglasses evening too DED has destroyed my career ambitions and hopes for having children, interfered with relationships, and robbed me of the ability to enjoy even small things in life. It is hell on earth.
My eyes get so dry when I'm sleeping (even with ointment and drops) that my eye lids stick to my eyes. I wake up numerous times per night and need to carefully add drops to free my eye lids. If I happen to quickly open my eyes or if the sticking is really bad, I will get nasty abrasions on my eyes that cause severe pain, eye lid swelling (I look like I've been punched), watering, light sensitivity, etc. The abrasions, when they happen, will hamper my activities that day and I am not able to have optimal rest each night.
On my worse days it feels like I have glass in my eye or someone scratched my eye, on my best days I have only slight pain. They have affected my life by turning me into a homebody that stays in a dark room without heat on because that is most comfortable. I no longer do activities I used to do because the movement of my body creates air that dries my eyes out. I drive only short distances and travel is out of the question due to the fear of a pain flare up.
Feels like I have dried out contacts in my eyes, blurry like I don't have my glasses on and dull pressure. It's made worse by computers and other cellular devices. Affects driving any time of day and working in the afternoon. Night driving is very painful- even if I could drive at night.
My eyes feel like foreign objects in my head. They burn, sting, ache, scratch, itch, and cause crushing headaches, earaches, and sinus pain.
My eyes are dry due to a lack of tears, which causes blurry vision that oftentimes is near debilitating. Its hard to do anything when you can't see and it is depressing as glasses can't fix it.
Dry eye has caused me to withdraw from life. It has affected my relationships with friends and family. I dread waking up in the morning and start watching the clock at 9PM looking forward to closing my eyes. My quality of life has been compromised and I dwell in a state of depression.
My eyes used to be my best feature. Now they look diminished and vacant. I can't wear any eye makeup so I just keep the sunglasses on. It just looks better.
Sore, dry, gritty, extreme discomfort with even the slightest breeze. Sometimes I just have to keep my eyes closed because it hurts too much to keep them open. Many activities are off limits. Forget doing anything outside unless I can wear goggles. I don’t go anywhere in the evening. I stay home much more than I would like.