When you first started treating Dry Eye symptoms, you may have started out using lubricating eye drops, most likely the less expensive ones with preservatives. For a while, maybe they helped. Maybe they still do. Or, maybe they don’t.
If you progressed beyond just lubricating drops, along the way you probably used some prescription medications to treat infections, inflammation, or allergies.
It’s possible you used something to clean your eyelids and lashes, or something to get rid of demodex mites.
Some of you had in-office procedures — tear duct cautery, meibomian gland probing, Lipiflow, gland expression, IPL, to name just a few.
Some even underwent surgeries.
What about supplements like omega-3 or lutein? Did you add those to your diet? Did you change it in other ways?
How about water, do you drink lots more now?
Some of you use lenses, like Scleral lenses or Dailies Total 1’s.
Warm compresses anyone? How many times a day and for how long?
Maybe you sleep with moisture chamber goggles at night and go out with wrap-around glasses during the day? Don’t’ worry, no one thinks you’re fooling around. Although some people might say you’re crazy. Have you heard, “It’s all in your head?”
It would be comical if it wasn’t so serious. Dead serious. And expensive. Did we mention PAINFUL?
Are You Treating Your Dry Eye or Someone Else’s?
Whenever we Dry Eye patients get together we like to talk about our symptoms and treatments. It goes something like this.
This is how I feel. How do you feel?
This is what helps my symptoms. What helps your symptoms?
We ask and we tell because we’re all desperate to feel better and get our lives off permanent hold. But there’s a risk, one that we should all be aware of.
Are you treating your Dry Eye or someone else’s?
What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another person, because all of our Dry Eye conditions are unique and special to each of us, just like our fingerprints.
Does knowing that make you feel any better?
We didn’t think so.
Consider a broken leg. If you show up at the ER with a broken leg, it’s quite likely the doctor will order an X-ray before setting the bone. Why? Because your bone and the break are unique. The doctor can’t treat yours the same way he treated the broken leg that came in the ER two hours ago.
If later, you run into someone who has a broken leg, you’ll probably compare notes. This is how I broke my leg, what the doctor did, and what I’m doing now. You might even exchange tips on how to scratch those hard to reach spots, how to keep your cast dry, or how to manage pain.
Each Dry Eye Patient is Unique
But you probably won’t rip apart your cast and try to reset your leg yourself. For one it would be hard to do (not to mention foolhardy), but you also recognize that your broken leg is unique to you
So just be mindful, when you’re chatting or talking with someone about your Dry Eye symptoms and set of conditions, that you don’t start treating something you don’t have. It’s a good idea to check with your doctor before you try anything new.
And yes, ask questions. Lots of them. The more you know the better, because your Dry Eye condition is unique to you and needs to be treated that way.
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