Don't Ignore Dry Eyes

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Mikie, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have an eye doc who is always on the cutting edge and he has the latest equipment. He just got a gadget which allows him to measure eye dryness. He also uses drops which show him what kind of dryness is taking place.

    My tear ducts are wide open but the oil glands in my eyelids are not secreeting the oil which prompts the eyes to make tears. This impairs feedback to the brain which would prompt it. If left untreated, it can eventually cause real problems. Mine is mild to moderate so I'm thankful it was found early on.

    Before we consider eyedrops, I am trying 2000 mgs. of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil pills. Twice a day, I have to put moist heat packs on my eyes and then, massage the eyelids. I moisten a wash cloth and heat it in the microwave. I have a sock filled with rice and I heat that too. I put the sock on top of the wash cloth for 3-5 mins. on my eyelids. It's very soothing. Then, I massage the lids and put the heat back on for just a bit. I'm noticing a difference in how moist my eyes feel.

    I feel truly blessed to have this doc who is so up to date and consciencious.

    Love, Mikie

  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm so sorry about the Sjogren's dx. Brain, on the other board mentioned to me about this condition often being an indicator of the condition. I did some online research and a lot of my more recent symptoms are also indicators. I have nonstop sinus infections and when the sinuses act up, I get acid indigestion. I've never had that before--always had a "cast-iron" stomach and could eat anything. Right now, I'm subsisting on very bland food. My lymph nodes are sore and swollen and my euschian tubes are painful. At night, I have pain in the area of my pancreas and liver. Oy!

    I left a message for my doc to ask her to add the sed rate and ANA, and any other tests she thought might help eliminate Sjogren's. I am getting my annual labwork done next month. Until then, I'll just manage the symptoms as there is no cure.

    My eye doc used something new. It's a hand-held gizmo and looks kinda like an in-the-ear thermometer. They put a tip on it, ask you to look to the side and touch the tip to the other side of the eye in the white area. There is no discomfort. He did the blue/green drops which uncover the bi-products of tear making. From these two tests, he determined that it was the oil glands. My tear ducts are open.

    Right now, the eyelids are swollen and inflammed and I don't think that's the result we want. It's supposedly inflammation which blocks the oil glands in the first place. Also, those "high-quality" fish oil pills are upsetting my stomach. They contain rosemary oil and lemon oil.

    I got some bland food for the time being. I'm going to go online to search out diets for Sjogren's. Funny thing--I haven't had a drink in ages. Alcohol is a turnoff for me. I used to have a "healthy" beer or red wine most days per my doc's instructions. I just got back from Target to pick up yet another ABX for the sinus infection and some Nasacort. I bought a humidifier and a netti pot. A lady I was talking to said she had nonstop sinus infections and she had a scan done. Turns out she had polyps in her sinuses. They did surgery and she is fine now.

    Thank you sooooo very much for sharing your knowledge. I'm just sorry that you are knowledgeable because of the Sjogren's. BTW, Sjogren's seems to be more prevalent in people with lupus and our illnesses.

    Love, Mikie
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I've printed out the list of tests for my doc. After doing research, I realize that most of the time, people do not get these illnesses definitively ruled in or out, unless all the tests point to a positive diagnosis. I think it's a lot like CFIDS. There is no definitive test for it. If you have enough symptoms, you just have to assume you have it. On average, it takes 6 1/2 years for a definitive positive dx for Sjogren's. That's like so many of the other immune and autoimmune conditions. It took years and years for my friend to get her lupus dx. Considering how many symptoms I have, and the type of dry eye and my swollen lymph nodes, I think that, regardless of the test results, we will have to assume I do have it and treat the symptoms accordingly. It is considered a progressive condition but sometimes, people do just get better. I'm glad you have improved.

    I am no longer eating bread but find I can tolerate whole grain Cheerios for breakfast. Then, I eat no other grains for the day. I also don't eat anything later than 4:00 p.m. I take Zantac but have to wait at least two hours after taking my ABX for the sinus infection. The problem with taking antacids is that they can prevent the body from absorbing nutrients from food. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't. That there appears to be pancreas involvement means that I'm probably not absorbing nutrients now. I have found that taking natural enzymes with my food helps digestion and reduces the acidity. I also load up on probiotics.

    I don't know how long ago you had your eyes tested but my doc told me that this test is new. I think the stain test has been around for a while. I may have to call him. My eyes are tearing which may or may not be a good sign. What I think isn't a good sign is that the eyelids are swollen and inflammed. It's inflammation which causes the oil glands to shut down in the first place so all this massaging may be hurting things. Also, it ain't pretty :) I am thankful that my new Adrienne Arpel vitamin C skin care I bought from HSN arrived yesterday. After the topical chemo I had for skin cancer on my face, the dermatologist said the best thing for my skin would be vitamin C products. They are normally only available through docs or spas affiliated with docs. The products I ordered are made for her by pharmaceutical companies and endorsed by docs. OMG! They feel like silk on the skin. I don't think I could buy one jar of cream at the doc's for what I paid for a whole kit of products. But, I digress...

    Thanks again for being so generous in helping me. I pray you continue to heal. Without your input, and Brain's on the other board, I might never had put the pieces of the puzzle together. My daughter is a nurse and will be helping me with this.

    Love, Mikie
  4. jole

    jole Member

    Yes, it does go along with autoimmune diseases. Actually, I didn't have all the tests done that were listed, but my ophth said he's positive that's what it is. I use Restasis also, with OTC Systane in between as needed.

    My eyelids are so swollen and tender if I miss a day, and my vision becomes very blurred. I kept thinking I needed new glasses because I could hardly read. Well the one test (darn, can't think now) was horrible, so he had me go back 4 times before he finally decided it was the Sjogren's. But my vision itself hasn't gotten worse at all. Also terribly dry nasal tissues/sinuses and mouth. So many things seem to be a part of autoimmune disorders.

  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I'm so sorry you suffer with this too. My eyes are swollen and irritated because my eye doc has me putting hot packs on the eyelids and then massaging them to get the oil glands moving to improve tear production. If it's iflammation which causes the oil glands to plug up, I would think the imflammation of the hot packs and massage wouldn't be doing them much good :)

    I'm glad the drops are helping you. If it were just dry eyes and mouth, I don't think it would be so bad but most of us have the dry sinuses/sinusitis and a whole host of other symptoms. What concerns me the most is the acid indigestion and pain in the pancreatic and liver areas. In rare instances, SS can cause liver failure and lymphoma. Yikes!

    The more I research this condition, the more I realize it can take years and tons of tests and specialists to get a definitive diagnosis. Since there is no cure, I'm going to concentrate on dealing with the symptoms. This is just like deja-vu all over again. Geez, it took forever to figure out the FMS and CFIDS and I'm still dealing with those symptoms. I know it's not unusual for us to have multiple immune and autoimmune illnesses but does it ever stop?

    Love, Mikie

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