Dry Eye Is Costly, in More Ways Than One
Not only has chronic dry eye cost me my quality of life, but it has also cost me financially. I am extremely fortunate to have good health insurance and financial resources to try new treatments. However, I realize that many are not so lucky, and some are even so bad off that they have to quit their jobs because of their dry eyes.
Spending thousands of dollars
Still, I can’t help but feel guilty that my husband and I are having to put so much of our family’s resources toward my condition. I have now spent thousands of dollars on treatments for my dry eye disease, as many treatments are not covered by insurance.
Fortunately, my Xiidra prescription is covered by insurance. If not, I would be paying over $700 per month for it. But I have paid out of pocket for many treatments, including BlephEx and MiboFlow, autologous serum tears, and intense pulsed light. My over-the-counter lubricating drops, supplements, heated masks, and other items add up as well. I’ve also incurred travel expenses such as hotel and gas bills to see doctors who are hours from my hometown.
Hopefully, as more treatments become FDA-approved, insurance will begin to cover them. The stress of dry eye disease shouldn’t be compounded by financial burden.
For now, though, I’ve learned that I have to budget for such items, as my quality of life has become top priority. I’d rather improve my eyes than buy a new vehicle. I’ve come to accept that my health is a necessity.
Ways to help cover treatment costs
But what can those of us who are suffering do to cover treatment costs? Here are some ideas that I’ve come up with or seen other people do:
Get a side job or hobby job that you love
Is there something that you would enjoy doing that could help you make extra money without adding extra stress to your life? You could bake, sew, or tutor or teach a skill. As an English teacher, I enjoy writing, so I write articles for extra money that I put towards my dry eye expenses.
Create a GoFundMe campaign
When I was diagnosed with corneal neuralgia, I found a YouTube video of a guy who created a GoFundMe campaign to fund his travel and doctor’s expenses to see the top corneal neuralgia doctor in the country. His friends and family were happy to pitch in to help with expenses. This is a low-confrontational way to ask for help, as people can contribute as they so choose.
Ask for help from your church or religious group, if you are part of one
Our church takes up a monthly contribution specifically to help members who are suffering from hard times and need some assistance. If you are part of a church, you might reach out to one of the leaders for help.
How has dry eye affected you financially?
Have you taken the 2023 Chronic Dry Eye In America survey?