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Hi Elyse,

At the moment I am only managing to get onto this board once a week due to being flat out with work, kids and the regular appointments with doctors of course.

What is up with your eye drops? have you done something different with them lately to cause them to separate? Maybe the chemist has been making up them differently, or there has been a change in the ingredients??? I hope that you have worked out what is wrong wit them. Maybe your eye doctor may have an answer??

Very interesting that you suffer from acid reflux as well. In your case, has it damaged any of the tissue in your throat? I never really feel like I have heartburn or anything but obviously I do! I am taking acimax tablets for it.

I went to see the naturopath who is also knowledgeable about chinese medicine. I told him all my symptoms with my eye problems topping the list of my problems. I told him about my hair loss, low estrogen, low iron, problems with acid reflux and my throat lump etc etc. he made me stick out my tongue and said "yes, very interesting. The side of your tongue are redder than the middle and the tip of your tongue is very red, indicating a blockage of enerfy in your liver which is causing all your problems". He said that the four main emotions that cause liver energy blockages are frustration, stress, anger and anxiety all of which I have had in HUGE doses over the last 5 years since my daughter was born. He said that the liver problems are linked to eye problems (I am sure you once told me that) and that he is confident that he will be able to help me. He put me onto some chinese herbs and told me that the herbs have a cumulative effect on the liver over time and that they will work faster if I keep the above emotions under control. I am hopeful that it will make a difference but do not want to pin my hopes on it. I have been taking them for 3 days now and feel nothing different with my eyes or throat yet. It was very interesting that he used the word blockage when referring to the energy as that is the problem we have...blocked oil glands. I suppose I will just have to wait and see. The real test will be when I see the eye doctor on 7th October two weeks before I see the naturopath again on 21st October. The eye doctor will assess my tear film and then I can tell the naturopath whether my tear film has improved in scientific terms rather than on gut feel.

I am coming up to my period again inthe next two weeks and I am dreading it as last month my eyelids were unbearable. This time I will be taking the pill for the first time to combat the low estrogen and the chinese herbs so I am hoping for an improvement. I hope your eyes are feeling better.

Thinking of you
Christine
Hi Elyse,

Well I am glad thatthings have finally settled down for you with the infections. Keep up the good work with the hot compresses. It must be making a difference by cleaning out some of the gunk that loves to accumulate on our eye area!!

I spoke too soon about my eyes. Ever since I saw my eye doctor three weeks ago, I have gone back to having the same problems with my left eye that I had before I started using Restasis. My left eye has been very dry, irritated and feels like there is something constantly in it, so it is always on my mind. I examined my left eye and saw that the oil gland on the top lid, which has always been a problem for me, was blocked up again, and also, in the pink part of my eye in the lower lid area, I also have a small limp which resembles a blocked oil gland. It constantly rubs against my eye and is really annoying. It has been this way for about 3 weeks and the restasis does not seem to be making any impact. I am feeling a little depressed about this as I thought that I was one of the lucky ones that was able to tolerate restasis etc, however my eye is as bad as it was before. Does anyone know whether there are oil glands in the pink part of the eye in the lower lid? I am about to start doing the warm compresses again...hope it works.

I cannot wait for the new drops to come out as well. Fingers crossed that it helps all of us.
Christine
Hi Amy,

Welcome to the board. I am glad that you replied as our circumstances seem to be very similar. I am also 35 years old and my children and 3 and 1/2 and 6 and 1/2. I have had dry eyes since April 2002 and as in your case, my dry eye problem seemed to appear overnight and blew me away when it happened I had no idea what was going on at first).

Well, you asked what I have tried, so here it goes. First I was on minomycin oral antibiotics which did very little to help. Then, I was on a tetracycline antibiotic also which helped very little. When I saw my current eye specialist, he put me on doxycycline 100mg which actually resulted in some improvement in the dryness, however some days it would be ok and other days it would still be awful and I could never understand why it differred from day to day. Anyway, my doctor eventually got government approval to import Restasis to Australia from the US and I have been using it since November 2003. It has helped me more than anything else, although lately my left eye has been playing up again, for some unknown reason. I do get burning sensations with the restasis but it seems to come and go throughout the day, so while iut is painful and annoying, I just manage to cope with that. My eye doctor did give me some FML drops to use when the burning gets too bad, but so far, I have not tried it. I understand that this can cause an increase in eye pressureand I figure I have enough problems already.

I stopped using the doxy once I started using Restasis as I had been on antibiotics for 15 months and I figured that it was not doing my body any favours.

I have also tried a large number of antibiotic drops like Bleph 10, to control the blepharitis, which in my casue caused an allergic reaction.

I have not tried plugs, as my doctor told me that in my case, they would probably make matters worse as the bacteria which normally gets washed away by the tears produced by someone with normal eyes, would "hang around" in my case, as I do not have enough tears to wash them away. Hence the bacteria would multiply on my eyelids and make the blepharitis even worse...!

Before I started using restasis, I was also thinking about my eyes every minute of every day. I felt like tugging off my eyelids at times and I was just so miserable. Now, I do get some relief at times, when my eyes are not burning and when my oil glands are not too blocked.

Have your doctors worked out why your eyes are dry? I have meibomian oil gland dysfunction. If this is the cause of your dryness, putting warm compresses on your eyes several times a day can help unblock the oil glands. I also clean my eyelids with diluted baby shampoo to keep the blepharitis at bay.

I can truely understand how you feel, as I have been going through this for over two years now, and at times it can be really hard to stay positive. But you have to hang in there, use lots of artificial tears and try the warm compresses. My doctor tells me that new drops are in the process of being developed and tested and should be available in the US by 2006 ( I wish I lived there!), so all we can really do is hope that it will be the answer for all of us.

Did your doctor suggest discontinuing the restasis? I am just curious, because my doctor told me that I would not realise the full benefit of the restasis until I used it for 3 months as it has a cumulative effect over time. In my case, it did help, as my schirmer tests have improved (previous I scored ZERO tears after 5 minutes and now I am up to 4mm) and he also said that the level of abnormality on the eye surface had decreased. I can really vouch for 3 months as being the turning point for me. After 6 montsh however, the effect has reached a plateau and I am not sure what further benefits I may get form this point on. Was the burning sensation in your eyes constant, or did it come and go throughout the day? If it did come and go, perhaps it is worth perservering with the restasis until the 3 month mark to see whether you do see an improvement...only a suggestion????

hang in there!
Christine
Thanks Christine! I am hanging in here, but it's tough. I just want to be normal again. My family is getting ready for a camp trip this Thurs and this will be the first time I've gone in the midst of dealing with all this dry eye crap. I have to make sure to bring my little tears vials and ointment. I don't want to find my eye stuck to my lid in an unfamiliar tent. :rolleyes:

I was awestruck to hear that you are my same age and have two little ones. I have a girl and a boy. They have been pretty oblivious to all of my discomfort, but they do notice that Mom cries a lot more and feels blue. That in itself makes me sad. We take our eyes for granted.

You said your symptoms came on overnight. Was there a particular thing that coincided.........an infection, or new contacts, allergy, anything?....etc)
The first opth I saw said that I might possibly have bleph, but it seems strange that it would be so sudden. He said I probably always had it, but that it only just started to become symptomatic. I'm not sure I buy it. (in my case, that is) Nobody has really been able to pinpoint where my problem lies. Is it Meiobian (MDG) or lacrimal? My Schrimer's was pretty low. Something like 4mm and 5mm. Not sure what it was before I actually began Restasis. I have mixed feelings about having stopped it. I was having an exceptionally bad day when I threw in the towel. I am seeing a new opth Thurs and will get his opinion. Have you heard of a tear test which is actually a tear analysis that tells you what your tears are composed of? I forget what it is called. Micro assay tear testing or something>?? I think that would be helpful. Not sure if my Dr's office has it. I cancelled an appt for tomorrow for plugs with the same Dr. I wanted to get a "3rd opinion." One thing about me, I am sort of neurotic when it comes to my health. I want to make sure I'm doing the very best that I can for myself and not do anything too drastic. I don't like to take drugs/meds as a rule either. The constant Doxy and Restasis made me uncomfortable with the amounts of drugs I was instilling every day. By the way, how long did it take for you to find some relief with the Doxy?? Was it months as they say?? It seemed to irritate my stomach at night and is it possible to make your mouth dry too?? I thought that was a side effect that I was having. Then I get concerned that maybe I have Sjrogens and I get anxiety about that too. A rheumatologist thinks he ruled that out, but in the back of my head, I'm still wondering.... Gosh, I wish there were some others nicer, fun things to fill my head with in the wee hours of the night. ;)

My husband and me (along with our son and daughter) have always been active, enjoy the outdoors etc, and dealing with this has been almost crippling. Do you use an ointment during the night? Any advice for a good one? Also, since you have such poor Schrimer's wetting, obviously you have lacrimal deficiency as well......am I correct? Can you cry okay?? My tears feel good, but they dry so fast. Sometimes I cry just for the sake of tears. And, I'm always self inducing yawning, because the slightest wettness feels good. If you have MGD caused by bleph, do you have visible particles in your lash line? How does one know that their meiobian glands are blocked? I see nothing visible. When I pull down my lower lid, I can see some slight liquid that looks oily that pools in the bottom. How would I know if I had a blockage? It is so confusing. For me, the nighttime is the worst. I dry out exceptionally bad and my eyes are often crusty in the AM. Much better after a shower. Most days I just deal with a moderately dry feeling and some burning. I dread night though. What artificial tears do you use/recommend?

Well, I know that I've asked you a lot of questions. I'm lucky if you can respond to any of them. Truely appreciated.

Amy





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