My name is Sue VandePanne, and it’s been nearly three years since I shared my story of hope. I suffered with Dry Eye, but with the right care, I overcame my struggles. I’m writing again today to say to those of you still struggling, don’t give up hope.
Over the last three years my eyes have continued to improve. It has been a slow process but today they feel better than ever. In fact, a few months ago it suddenly occurred to me that I had been going outside on windy days. A few short years ago I never would have even imagined it possible. Surprisingly, even in all that cold, Michigan, winter wind, my eyes were feeling just fine. I felt triumphant. Dry Eye was no longer running the show.
Watching Out for Fans
Even though the wind outdoors hasn’t been a problem, I’ve learned that my eyes feel better when I avoid overhead fans. For some reason air that blows from above is harder on my eyes. So now I have a mental map of all the overhead fans in my favorite restaurants and I choose very carefully exactly where I sit. Another problem solved!
I still wear wet contact lenses because enough oil from my Meibomian glands doesn’t reach my tear film, so my own tear film evaporates quickly. The wet contacts feel great. They’ve become so much a part of my daily routine that I don’t even think about them unless it’s time to order more. To maximize the amount of oil I do produce and secrete, I have my Meibomian glands probed once a year. This opens a channel for the oil to flow out and is something my doctor in Tampa, Florida will be doing once a year for the foreseeable future.
Miraculously, A Fully Functioning Individual
Miraculously, I’m now a fully functioning individual (who will never take her eyes for granted anymore). Sometimes I hear horrific stories from people who are suffering terribly and feel hopeless — a feeling that I remember well. Life with Dry Eye can seam hopeless, but I’m writing this to assure you that it doesn’t need to. Help is available. I was blessed to find a great ophthalmologist, Dr. Steven Maskin, who truly understands Dry Eye and knows how to treat it. You will find a great doctor too.
My best to all of you… there is HOPE!
Sue VandePanne, Dry Eye Patient
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