dry again :(

Post your questions and start your research in this forum if more than three months ago you had any type of surgery to reduce the need for glasses and contacts.

dry again :(

Postby Betty39 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:30 pm

Well...I hate to report this, but I'm feeling dry again. I thought it was the Restasis that had helped with the plugs but now I'm feeling it was really the Lotemax which I'm off? I now have only my bottoms plugged with silicone plugs but I don't feel as good as I did those 3 weeks that I had all 4 holes plugged with the collegen plugs plus the Restasis and the Lotemax. I asked my corneal surgeon to plug the upper holes with the silicone and he said no because it will cause excessive tearing. I don't think it will, i am very dry. I am scared because I start a new job on Monday and I know feeling like this again I won't be able to concentrate. So he said I could come in and he'd put in the temporary plugs again. Why won't he put in the permanent ones? There is no way I will tear too much and I don't care, I would rather wipe my eyes than have them so dry. I don't understand, maybe excessive tearing isn't the only reason. What do you think Glenn? Also, do you think it was probably really the Lotemax helping me since I am feeling so dry again?
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Postby LasikExpert » Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:11 am

There may be a difference between feeling dry and being dry. If the surgeon's measurement of tear quantity is within the norm, the plugging all punctum would not be wise. These are objective measurements.

The subjective feeling of discomfort may be from actual dry eyes, but may also be from inaccurate nerve signals. You feel dry but are not. If you have other symptoms, such as vision loss, then a lack of tears may be the problem. If you only feel dry, it may be a disconnect between the perception and the reality. Your doctor can only respond to the objective measurements.

You do not want a buildup of tears. This can cause infection and other problems because infiltrates are not able to be washed away.
Glenn Hagele
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USAEyes

Lasik Info &
Lasik Doctor Certification

I am not a doctor.
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Postby etess » Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:48 am

Betty! I'm so sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I have the 4 plugs...but to be honest, I don't know if they are temporary or silicone. I go to the doctor in a week. I'll have to ask.

I had the plugs put in a week before surgery and was tearing like crazy. I only dealt with that b/c I knew it would be good to have them in after surgery. The excessive tearing really made my vision blurry...it was like looking through water.

Now...still with all 4 ducts plugged....5 weeks on restasis...I am still feeling dry. Having a hard time. I know you are as well.

I know what you mean about not being able to concentrate at work. I definately struggle at work when my eyes are hurting. I teach...and I feel so badly for my students. I try to hide the pain the best I can...I just don't have the same personality I had before surgery.

Take care...I was wondering how you were doing...

Oh...what is lotamax?

etess
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Postby Betty39 » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:31 am

Glenn,
My Schimers test came back 2 in my left eye and 3 in my right. That was before he put in the temporary plugs in all 4 holes. Then I had 3 great weeks where my eyes were almost normal. The plugs desolved and he didn't check my numbers again, he just put in the 2 bottom ones. Since then my eyes have been drier again, but not as bad as before I started seeing the corneal specialist. My vision from day one, even with those low numbers above, has been perfect. That is what has been so puzzling for me. But I have no dry spots on my eyes so my quality is good even though I don't have enough tears.
I am now at 6 months post op and wondering what the future will hold. I am better for sure but I still have mild stinging/burning most of the time. This site has been a God send for me. Another great one is the Dryeye Zone. It talks about not expecting a cure but living to manage and live with dry eye. This is kind of where my mind set is going. I know there can be improvement beyond 6 months and I am praying that will be my case. But at the same time I am trying to quit obsessing about my eyes burning and try my best to deal with it and realize that if it never goes away I will have to find a way to deal with it, like someone who has lost use of their legs and no longer have mobility (just an example). Coping is now my priority.
Etess: I get scared when I write my posts because I really feel for you and I don't want to upset or scare you further. Everyone is different. My healing will be different from yours. I am DETERMINED to not let this surgery, this decision I made ruin my otherwise happy life. I have a wonderful, supportive husband and 3 terrific kids I adore. I am focusing on coping with this and not letting it change the happy person I was before this surgery. A very close friend of mine was considering lasik the same time as I was. He told me he would let me do it first and see what happened to me. I now tell him that he has a 97 percent chance that he will have no side effects at 6 months. But I also tell him that if he is in that 3 percent he will have made his life so much more difficult. Needless to say, his wife won't let him get the surgery now. He is over 50 so he might have some issues I don't have to deal with. He might be just fine. But because of me, seeing what I'm going through, he doesn't want to take the risk. I can at least be happy maybe I saved my friend from suffering. He is happily wearing his glasses and no longer resents them. Hang in there etess, if things don't improve for you go see a corneal specialist for help. Mine really has helped me. Most of all, try to learn to cope, I know it's hard but don't let it change who you really are.
Take Care,
Betty
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Postby etess » Mon Apr 09, 2007 3:47 am

Betty! I can totally understand and relate to what you are saying about focusing on learning to cope with it. There are so many people in this world that have horrible physical problems...they must learn to "deal" with it. Although you are 6 months post op and I am 6 weeks post op...I am to that point as well. Sure...there is still time for me to improve. However...there are no guarantees. I don't want to let this discomfort ruin my otherwise great life. I, too, have a wonderful husband, great daughter, supportive friends/family, my dream job, a comfortbable home...I really do have a lot to be grateful for. I am trying to focus on the what I am grateful for. I am trying to not dwell on my discomfort.

I don't want to offend any readers...but I am also very interested in learning to apply the Law of Attraction. I'm not sure if you have heard of or seen the "The Secret"...but it's interesting! I won't say much more b/c this may not be the best place to talk about this...but my point is that I am going to try to focus on what I am grateful for...and I will visualize me with healthy eyes.

I wonder if my doctor can do a schimmer or zone quick test next week? He may prefer to wait a little longer...but I am curious. I wonder how much of this is in my head...maybe my readings are not that much worse than they were before surgery?

Oh...and you mentionned that you went off Lotomax. What is that...and if that helped before...can you go back on it? Or is it not to be used indefinatley?

Take care...don't worry about posting your thoughts!!! We are all helping eachother! Feel free to express how you are feeling!

Etess
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Postby Betty39 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:56 am

I haven't heard of that, I will google it. Lotemax is a mild steroid but I think it's just for temporary use.
Hang in there,
Betty
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Postby peakaboo » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:11 am

I've searched google for lasik induced dry eye stories and have found quite a few people who said it took 12 to 18 months before the dry eye got better. I'm still a bit dry after 8 months but it's slowly getting better. Hard to notice a difference over short periods, but I remember how bad it used to be. Guess we just have to wait it out and see what another 6 months brings...
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Postby etess » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:18 am

Doing some looking on line...has anyone tried Bio Tears Capsules? I am currently using the Thera Tears Nutrition...but the Bio Tears Capsules claimes to be better?
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Postby Betty39 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:12 am

Thanks for your input peekaboo. It is hard to notice improvement when it comes so slowly. I can't say if I'm better than a month ago, but I can say I am way better than 4 months ago. It's very hard to be patient when you want to be all better NOW.
Etess: My corneal specialist recommended Biotears and I have been on them about a month. I can't really tell if they are working cause like with so many dry eye patients, I can't tell if it's the supplements, restasis, or whatever that is actually helping me. I just do it all and hope for the best. But it's 35 bucks for a months supply, not cheap. On an interesting note, I started my new job Monday. It's funny, I am so into the learning process that I hardly notice my eyes. I have been still using my lubricating drops about 2-3 times a day, and my Restasis 2X a day, but in between I am not obsessing about my eyes as much so I'm not noticing the dryness as much. I think my new attitude about the whole thing is probably helping me cope. I hope you're feeling better as well :)
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Postby texaseyes » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:23 pm

Hi, I had my LASIK on Jan. 25, so I'm about 10 weeks out now. My dry eye burning has been awful, and my vision only so so - almost 20/20 in one eye and about 20/30 in the other and not crisp at all - I was 20/15 with correction before the surgery. I'm so scared because my vision isn't correctable with refraction, but yet I measure "plano" according to my doctor. They say I'm still healing, and that dry eye can contribute, but it's not like I put in drops and my vision is fixed by that, and it's been nearly 3 months now. I had somewhat dry eyes going into LASIK but nothing that effected my lifestyle - I just used drops at bed time and in the a.m. when I woke up. Now I feel like such a fool for doing the LASIK knowing I already had dry eye issues. I had no idea how bad it could be or how long it could last, and my O.D. didn't discourage me. I know my eyes will always be dry, but surely they will be better than they are now! I pray that my vision improves too. I have gotten so depressed, and on these forums there is so many people with so many problems that it almost makes me feel worse. I really need to hear some positive progress from folks. Peakaboo, did your BCVA improve yet? Anyone else getting better? Please cheer me up.
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Postby etess » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:39 pm

texaseyes...!

I totally understand what you are saying. Reading your post is like reading my own! I was moderatetly dry before surgery as well...and was told that I was still a good candidate. I took 5 years to make my decision. I got over the fear and did it! I'm now 7 weeks post op. I have also gotten VERY depressed. Feeling like this everyday is wearing on my emotions, mind and soul.

I found this forum very helpful. But like Glenn says...most people to post are those that have issues. I agree though! It would be so helpful if those that had success or improvement stories would post.
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Postby peakaboo » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:35 am

texaseyes wrote:Peakaboo, did your BCVA improve yet? Anyone else getting better? Please cheer me up.


I'm hoping the BCVA issues were due to dry eye and flap healing. My next appointment is in about 4 weeks at which time I'll be about 9 months post op. I think my eyes have gotten slightly better, but I'm not sure. I may ask the doctor to check me on the orbscan to see how the machine reads my corrected topography. I haven't been having the best luck with the eye chart, but there may be something wrong with the room lighting or the setup...I'll have to ask to be checked on a different setup. I also need to ask again about the night vision issues. I'm not sure if glasses can help with the starbursts, but I'd like to be able to try something, especially for long night drives on unfamiliar roads. Maybe Alphagan will help.
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Postby Betty39 » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:35 am

I had NO clue I had dryeyes before surgery, if in fact I did. I guess I probably was just above the threshold where you start having symptoms and now the surgery pushed me below it and now I notice symptoms. So I can only imagine what others who knew they had dry eyes before they let somebody talk them into this surgery must be going through. My heart goes out to you both. But I will tell you this, I am WAY better than I was in the first few months. Sometimes I forget how bad I was and then my husband reminds me how I used to come home from work and lay on the couch with my eyes shut in pain. I have slight burning/stinging now but it is to a degree that if it never gets better I will learn to cope with it. And in fact that is all any of us can do: cope. Will our eyes ever feel "normal" again? Who knows? All we can do is move forward and learn to have happy lives again anyway like people who are suddenly disabled have to do. We have to learn to let go of the regret and move on. It has been hard for me as well. Just remember, it's all about coping.
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Postby lvziggy » Fri Apr 13, 2007 4:59 pm

Hi ladies. I'm very sorry to hear about your dry-eye problems. It was posts like yours that helped me decide to have the PRK rather than lasik. I don't know if this will help, but I have a friend who had lasik 3 years ago and has always raved about how glad she was that she had it done. But just last week she gave me a few more details of her experience and it turns out that she had severe dry-eye problems for the first year! They did finally resolve though and now she couldn't be happier.

So there is hope that things will eventually get better!

~Alison
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Postby etess » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:23 pm

Thanks so much for that info! There is hope!

Interesting side note...I took the day off today...and my eyes feel so much better. Just being in my own house where I can control the temperature helps! It's cold where I am today...I don't have the heat high. At work, it's high...and I'm sure that contributes to my dryness.

Also, I started to use Soothe eye drops last night. Not bad.....like them so far!

Maybe your friend could jump on this forum! It's so hard to find people to contribute success stories. Once they feel good...they move on with their lives...as they should! It would help us SO much to hear from people who feel better after going through discomfort. :-)

etess
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