Looking for glasses to minimize the wind or HVAC? Watch this video to see my review of 7Eye Dry Eye Glasses. Plus some harmonica!
Managing your Dry Eye symptoms can require a bevy of tools, drops, and hygiene. I take several medications presently, but using some homeopathic, non-chemical remedies has also been very helpful to manage my LASIK Dry Eye.
Watch the video above to see my review of three different eye products. Two are useful to apply heat or cold to your eyes, and one is purely a night guard to prevent eyes from drying out at night. Many people sleep with their eyes partially open. I've learned this about myself because my dry eye spots (doctors examine eyes to see spots where you aren't getting tear coverage) are on the lower half of my eyes. Sleeping with your eye partially open can really dry them out. My eyes can make me miserable the next day if I don't protect my eyes from drying out at night.
I'm very pleased with the Onyix silicone eye shield. I've been using it for about a week and it has yielded very positive results the next morning. Watch the video to learn more. Products reviewed:
Get your Onyix Eye Shields here
I'm not being paid to advertise these products! I'm just sharing what works for me.
Is it hard for you to work at a computer with your LASIK Dry Eye? It’s been a real struggle for me. My eyes dry out all day at work and it doesn’t help when the office runs the AC or heat year round, sucking all of the moisture out of the air.
Most of us, including myself, tend to blink less when we look at the computer. This in turn, dries our eyes out. I have found a lot of help using small desktop misters and humidifiers that run with a USB port.
Watch my video for a review of these two products:
Do you have another desktop humidifier you like?
What is your strategy for working with a computer and managing your dry eye?
I worship the Systane Chapel: I'm a big fan of Alcon and Systane products. My friend Margaret coined the phrase, "Systane Chapel." I think it's funny. It's also true. They have been my 'go to' for the last 20 months of LASIK Dry Eye hell. They don't pay me to promote their products. Like you, I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of eye drops and conducted my own experiments. Systane wins hands down when I compare it with other eye drops.
I combine use of the Preservative Free Systane Ultra drops (chilled) throughout the day, Systane nighttime ointment 3x a day, and Autologous Serum drops. This combination seems to work the best for me. I demonstrate using Systane NightTime in the video and compare with Refresh P.M.
Do you workship the Systane Chapel? Do you recommend another drop?
Each doctor I have visited has had a little nugget of wisdom. Some little trick they recommend to treat the overwhelming symptoms. Some work. Some don’t. Some make it worse. Be careful. I was speaking with a fellow dry eye sufferer recently and we both agreed: Treatment options for Dry Eye are sporadic. There are some scam artists out there. It is the Wild Wild West.
I also use the tumbler to carry my non-prescription drops. Which currently are (I’m experimenting):
Here’s another trick: If you are out and a bout and the eyes are burning…take an ice cube out of the tumbler, wrap it in a napkin, and dab your eyes. This is another great trick that usually provides about an hour of relief (no drops or burning).
Any tips you’d like to share? What’s in your tumbler?
First Lipiflow Procedure for LASIK Dry Eye
Today, I had my first Lipiflow treatment. If you are following My Story, the LASIK surgeon that operated on my eyes initially refused to consider this treatment. After 20 months of misery, I sought a second opinion and this doctor DID recommend it. My original LASIK surgeon eventually agreed to cover the cost of one procedure, but by this time I was working with my new doctor. Read more about this HERE.
Why??! As one of my friends in the medical field said, “I see these people with failed surgeries and they keep going back to the same surgeon to fix it. I don’t understand.” Amen brother. It would be like going back to the same tattoo artist that botched your tattoo. Or, the same mechanic that messed up your car. We could spend a lot of time here, but I won’t! I built this website to promote healing. And that’s what we are going to do. HEAL dammit. Let’s start with some background on the Lipiflow procedure.
What is Lipiflow?
LipiFlow uses vectored thermal pulsating eyepieces known as Activators. LipiFlow Activators are precisely designed to provide necessary inner and outer lid contact to properly apply heat and massage and evacuate the meibomian glands. The entire treatment takes approximately 12 minutes. Read More HERE. In Layman’s, they put these small cups over your eyeballs (inside your lids) and it heats your eye lids, while motors pulse and massage your glands.
How Much Does it Cost?
$750 per eye.
Does insurance cover it?
Mine wouldn't. Said it was "experimental."
Is it permanent?
No. It provides temporary relief. My doc said his patients see relief for a period of 1-3 years. I haven’t seen relief in 20 months so this sounds good.
Does it hurt?
I felt a little discomfort from the numbing drops they put in and the plastic inserts they put into your eyes. The nurse said that this was because my eyes are dry. YEP.
How long did it take?
Total office time about an hour. 12 minutes on the machine.
How did it feel?
The heat goes up to 108 degrees. It feels like little motors moving on your eye balls. Kind of weird. Kind of soothing.
Did it help?
I feel the same right now, a few hours later. It could be because the eye drops irritate me (numbing drops) and I read it can take some time to kick in. I’ll check back soon. Eye cup piece (shown above) goes under your eye lids so this was not so comfortable. I had to sign a waiver (in case it doesn't help). I really hope it does!!!!
Would this help me with my LASIK Dry Eye or other Dry Eye?
Check with your doctor. I have severe MGD from LASIK so it is ideal for me. Others it may not be if you don’t have a gland issue. I produce tears. They evaporate too quickly because my glands (in the eye lid) don’t produce enough oil to keep them on my eyeballs. = (
My eyes had some discomfort after the procedure, but I felt fabulous the next day! Since having the procedure, dryness and discomfort have diminished tremendously. I still have to use eye drops, but it is at much less frequency. About every 1-2 hours. One of my readers wrote me offline and said that he uses the Onyix Silicone Sleep shield. According to him, using this to protect his eyes at night helps prolong the benefits of the procedure. I've placed an order for this shield and will review it when it arrives! So far, a thumbs up for Lipiflow. I'll continue to check in. Let's pray that it provides some measure of long term relief.
Readers have recommended using the Onyix Silicone Sleep shield (pictured above) for dry eye relief (while sleeping) and to prolong the effects of Lipiflow. Check back for a review on these goggles when I test them for myself!
Are you using Xiidra or Restasis? Or both? I was really excited when I read the news about this new drug to treat Dry Eye Syndrome. But what about Restasis? Can you take both? My newest doctor said it's OK to continue taking both medicines. His recommendation was to main a baseline while he attempts to treat the condition with other therapies.
Restasis hasn't really seemed to help my condition. I've been taking it for a year without much relief. Xiidra clinical research shows patient improvement in as little as two weeks, but there are some downsides to taking the medicine:
It's expensive. My insurance co-pay is $30. I can imagine it would be higher on other plans.
It burns. It burns really badly when you put it in your eyes.
It gives you a gross chemical taste in your sinuses a few minutes later.
I read in another forum that some early adopters have seen relief. I'm hopeful too. Bless our science and medical community that we are finally seeing some movement to treat Dry Eye. Prior to Xiidra, Restasis was the only drug on the market. My new doctor said he is consulting on a new eye drop that incorporates the best elements of Autologous Serum drops. I hope to see that soon. Maybe they won't need to be refrigerated?
My story is on this website for three reasons:
I was not properly screened. There are at least three tests that could have potentially ruled me out as a LASIK candidate:
LASIK is a highly profitable procedure. A former employee of a LASIK doctor claims that the general cost for a LASIK procedure is about $600 per patient. There is nothing wrong with making money. But doctor’s are not giving patients all of the facts because they want the money to keep flowing. Educating patients about all of the potential risks will decrease their patient volume.
I honestly cannot say I wouldn’t have had the surgery if my doctor had disclosed all of the risks. But I would have given it more thought knowing all of the facts. Your doctor is required to give you ALL of the facts. This is called Informed Consent.
Arm yourself with the facts. Demand the proper screening prior to having the LASIK procedure.
Managing your Dry Eye Syndrom (DES) can get expensive. Really expensive. You can see what my monthly medicine regimen costs here. My total cost of care has more than eclipsed the original cost of LASIK surgery. The symptoms are so relentless you get desperate. For months, I found myself buying anything on Amazon that might help and spending all kinds of money on supplements from the Vitamin Shop. I have a box of supplements and gadgets that have not really helped.
For me, I have found tremendous relief from some free therapies. Also, reading Dr. Maskin’s book has helped identify some potential triggers. Inflammation is often the culprit behind serious Dry Eye symptoms. Here are some FREE things I have been doing to manage my symptoms:
Over the last 20 months I’ve felt a lot of shame and embarrassment when being in the public. I feel a little weird wearing sunglasses all the time. I feel even weirder using drops made from my own blood (carrying them around in a steel tumbler). It can be socially awkward when you’re sitting with someone and you have to put drops in your eyes every 15-30 minutes. It puts all of the focus on you.
“Do you have to put those drops in all of the time?”
"Yes, on most days."
“Do you think you are addicted to those drops? Like it’s psychosomatic?”
"No definitely not."
“Isn’t there a cure?”
“Can’t you sue?”
"It’s very hard to pursue medical malpractice."
“Will you have to do this for the rest of your life?”
"I’m just taking it one day at a time for now."
“I had LASIK done and it was great. I’m so glad I did it.”
"SIGH. Yeah well it doesn’t work out for everyone. Some people aren’t good candidates for it. It can really screw up someone’s life if they aren’t screened properly."
At the present time, I have to wear sunglasses during the day and wear 7 Eye Dry Eye Goggles. I also work with a mini humidifier at my desk. I carry a tumbler with serum drops and Systane Ultra drops. I also use a hot compress frequently throughout the day. It’s ok when I work at my desk, but it can be really humiliating to go to a meeting (especially with people that don’t know my deal). I need an extra bag just to carry my dry eye crap with me.
How do you deal with dry eye shame?
Bluesifyin' LASIK Dry Eye sufferer. Read my blog to get tips, struggles, blues, reviews, whatever on this journey through hell.