I think I've blogged before about my eye troubles. Maybe? If not, its pretty simple: I've always had dry eyes. It goes with the rest of my body. My skin from head to toe is extremely dry. I've always struggled to find lotions that actually last more than a few hours on my skin. I get dry patches, flakes, you name it. (But not dandruff for some reason.) My hair is so dry I only wash it twice a week on average; anything more and it turns into sandpaper. (Though I have recently discovered a shampoo and conditioner that I absolutely love! It makes my hair super soft.) Bottom line: I'm a very dry person. I don't think I produce any natural oils at all. If you have super oily skin, you might think this is a blessing, but I assure you, its not!
Several years ago, my eyes got really bad and I had to quit wearing my contacts for several months. I got plugs put into my tear ducts in an attempt to keep tears in my eyes longer. It made a big difference, but eventually the plugs disintegrated. For a few years, I was okay. But lately, the extreme dryness has come back with a vengeance. I thought I had some weird eye disease at first. My eyes hurt, would get very red and irritated, and my vision was blurry all the time.
I go to the eye doctor every year without fail. I don't play around with my eyes! I have slightly increased ocular pressure, so I'm at risk for glaucoma. Plus, eye issues run in my mama's family, so I'm always concerned something will happen to mine. At my yearly appointment a few months ago, my dr told me all my symptoms were due to extreme dry eye. Yay. At least I wasn't going blind from some disease.
Of course, when he heard about a few of my other symptoms, he mentioned the word "autoimmune." I hear that all the dang time from doctors, but no one can pinpoint anything. I'm to the point I'm sick of that word!! Though he also threw out another word: Sjogren's. Years ago, when I was seeing a rheumatologist, that disease was mentioned, but 15 years ago there weren't ways to test for all these things like there are now. I actually have a lot of the classic symptoms of Sjogren's, but that doesn't meant I have the disease. After the fiasco of appointments last year about my stomach/intestinal issues, I decided no more doctors for a while (except for regular checkups). No one can figure out what's wrong with me and its frustrating. So until something goes wrong enough that I'm in danger, I won't be pursuing this. Mama wants me to have some more tests ran, but I'm just tired of it all right now. And even if they do settle on a diagnosis, none of these autoimmune diseases have cures. You just treat the symptoms. Which is basically what I already do.
Back to my eyes. The first thing my eye dr did was recommend eye drops multiple times a day. Like every hour. I did that for a while, but my eyes weren't any better. Drops last just a few minutes in my eyes, then they're dry again. So frustrating. I've tried several different ones. Though I think next I'm gonna try a gel or ointment to use at night. Next, my dr put the plugs in again. I've had them in for over a month now, and haven't noticed a difference at all. I think I just don't produce enough tears, end of story. He also prescribed Restasis a few months ago. Thanks to insurance and pharmacy issues, it took me 6 weeks to get the prescription filled! Which is why I'm just now starting the drug.
I haven't been able to wear my contacts since I started Restasis. I feel like there's constantly something stuck in my eye, and right after I put the drops in my eyes burn/hurt. I used the drops at 7:30am today and it is now after 11am and my eyes still feel like there's somethin in there. I'm not sure if this is normal or not. Its a side effect listed on the package, but does that mean I just can't tolerate Restasis?? I'm gonna call my dr and find out today.
When I was a newborn, my tear ducts weren't right and I had surgery when I was 7 months old or so. I don't know any details, but I wonder if I was just born with insufficient tears and ducts, or if the surgery messed somethin up?? Who knows. I'm such a medical mystery!
Anyone else try Restasis??