Hope is a wonderful thing

But sometimes it doesn’t deliver.

I have a bad case of dry eye. It’s the result of eye surgeries and a bad gene from the gene pool. (BTW I’m the only one in the family with bad eyes. No one else wore glasses until they hit 40.) The standard hot compresses and lid washes don’t do much for me. Nor does the really expensive prescription drops.

I have a delightful eye doctor who is young and eager. He’s full of options. Some of the options are a little short of a track record so we don’t know how well they would work in my particular case.

During my exam a few weeks back, he suggested two options – scleral contact lens which contain a reservoir of solution to keep the eye wet and a procedure to “milk” the Meibomian glands which is where the ocular fluid comes from. They are located along the eyelash perimeter of the eye and as you get older, they tend to block. You could say I have constipated Meibomian glands. Until recently there was no ex-lax for it but now they have methods to heat and express the glands. (That sounds a lot grosser than it is. It doesn’t look at all like a cow milking machine.)

There is nothing about me that is truly normal. At least not my eyes. They assured me that after one treatment I’d feel immediate relief. Nope. Didn’t happen. Better maybe but not full relief. As a caveat, I am in the middle of a particularly tenacious round of dry eye. It doesn’t always bother me and I went the whole summer without incidents. Weather changes, seasonal transitions, indoor heating, lousy politics, anything can trigger it. (I often attribute it to my cat Hazel’s particularly stinky poops that make my eyes water!)

I have two more treatments to do and hopefully my fluids will be flowing. If not there are several more options to try. Or I can move somewhere with humid winters. Maybe that’s cheaper. I can always hope.

Author’s note: The lubricating fluids on your eye are not the same as the tears you shed when your team loses. Totally different. I can be profusely tearing and still have dry eye.

62 thoughts on “Hope is a wonderful thing

  1. This was a new one for me. I too didn’t know there was a lubrication other than tears.
    Unfortunately I’m much too familiar with dry eye but after reading this post I’m grateful that simple eye drops work for me. Your version sounds like a serious case!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, I feel your pain. I started getting dry eye about four years ago. Wake up in the middle the night barely able tonopen my eyes. But I haven’t heard about the milking solution. It could be in my future too! Hope your eyes feel better soon 👁.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll probably post again after I’ve had the treatments completed. I’m hopeful but haven’t noticed a huge difference yet. Yep, I know the wake up and can’t get eyes open. I have refresh drops available always.

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  3. I didn’t know that the lubrication in our eyes was different than the tears. TIL
    I’m sorry you are struggling with this. It’s terrible to have something so intrinsic to your existence be a constant tenacious discomfort. People underestimate that exhausting buildup of constant discomfort. It’s like Chinese water torture. I hope they figure out a solution that works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, i have intense eye problems as well but i have never heard about this one, you surely learn something everyday. I ended up getting corneal transplants for the condition i have .. it can be very difficult going through procedures all the time but at least they are some solutions available. Wish you all the best in everything, you’ll be fine.❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I miss my contacts but my eyes were so dry after a day of wearing them and then it was just four hours after wearing them and then went to glasses. I know my dry eyes are from the computer. I hardly ever watch TV and don’t read books at all anymore. Nothing what you are experiencing. I do hope you find some relief. It must be really annoying and uncomfortable. We have plenty of humidity here but we gave some bright sunlight that is there almost every day.

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    • Reading or any other close vision use for long periods of times are stressful. When I wore contacts, I was having dry eye issues too that made them uncomfortable. I want young eyes! No one told me my eyes would get old and tired.

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    • Humid winters! Woohoo! We have very humid summers here. I try not to complain about them too much (unless it goes up to 90% then all bets are off) because they are so good for my eyes. Not so much for my hair! 🙂

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  6. My “cat friend” Carol, whom I have often mentioned to you many times, also has dry eyes syndrome and she has Sjogren’s syndrome which causes her to have severe dry mouth as well. She must have a glass of water with any food she eats, otherwise she must worry about choking. She is on the Restasis drops for her eyes, but she says it really does not help. I have had dry eye issues since working on a computer because I don’t blink that much. Even when I had the gas permeable lenses, my contact lens practitioner said “blink – you don’t blink enough” – staring at the screen all day, I have to remember to look away every so often and blink. It is hard to keep my eyes open by the end of the day, but nothing like what you and Carol have. I find by the end of the day being on a computer since 11:00 a.m. that the small font in the comment boxes here in Reader are a killer. It is hard to read sometimes. Carol’s opthalmologist, not her eye specialist she sees now, suggested a few years ago, that she take Krill Oil tablets to improve the problem – she told me to try it too – neither of us saw an improvement. My eye doctor suggested the warm washcloths too and massage your eyes after the warm compresses to encourage tears ducts to open/flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry you have so much trouble with your eyes and hope some of the doc’s options will make them much better. Please interpret this paragraph as real sympathy.

    I hesitate to mention this, but could your eye problem possibly have anything to do with the company you keep??? I often read of gatherings where there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good luck! I loved it when I could put contacts in first thing and take them out right before bed without even noticing them the rest of the time.

    Oh, yeah . . . and I could see better.
    And drive at night without feeling blinded by the light.
    And no floaters.

    I’ll say it again ~> Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Contact lens with water pockets? Just when you think things can’t get any more complicated or odd. (Sounds ouchie and the experience enough would “teach ” those darn eye ducts to cooperate – or else!)
    Hope the treatment works -( and young docs are something of a wonder)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The contacts are supposed to be extremely comfortable as your eyes don’t get scratchy. Just not sure I want to go back to contact lenses. I wore them for 35 years but had to stop because of the discomfort. All that fussing. Got spoiled with glasses although I hate them too. I want regular good vision like I had when I was 6! I have had this young doc for about 3 years now and I’m watching him mature. He is so excited about his work (hope that lasts for his lifetime) and is bringing new life to an old practice. Because of my icky eyes, I always want to fully understand what’s going on and he is more than willing to do that along with the latest things he learns at his conferences. He is also very kind to the older folks that don’t want to know much, just want new prescriptions.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, had all that too. Do you need cataract surgery? I found that my night vision improved immensely after my cataract was removed. Unfortunately I had the surgery right when the multi-focal lens inserts were coming out and my surgeon didn’t have enough experience to guarantee them. Oh yeah, they were also incredibly more expensive than they are now. They also have night vision glasses (yellow tint). I don’t have them but some friends swear by them. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gosh, I would hope I don’t need cataract surgery, yet. My eye doctor has never said anything. I might look into the night vision glasses. This morning, while commuting into the office, I slunk down in my seat so I could get the blinding lights from the HUGE pickup truck behind me out of my mirrors. I think headlights on some cars are brighter these days, too. At times, I also have really dry eyelids. Sorry to complain so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Well you know I’m going to be VERY INTERESTED in what happens with this series of procedures. Dry eyes? Got it. My eyelash glands get blocked, too. And my vision suffers. I wish you well, of course. Fingers crossed. Prayer said. Good thoughts sent your way. 👀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I, too, have dry eye disease, probably as a result of IOL replacement, as a result of chemo. I use Xiidra, but it’s expensive. I’ve found that preservative-free TheraTears is just as effective.

    Keep me posted on your progress. I’m eager to see what works for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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