When Your Eye Drops Aren't Working: Back to the Drawing Board
Last updated: June 2023
My eye-care plan isn’t working. I realised this the other day when, no matter what I did, my eyes were just too dry and sore to keep them open. I had followed my plan that day, so I didn’t know why I was having no success.
Sunglasses at night
I was sitting watching television in the evening. It was a movie I really wanted to see. The air-conditioning was on because it’s summer in Australia. The air-con seems to blow straight onto my face no matter what I do. This was making my already dry eyes worse.
In a recent story on ChronicDryEye.net I had been reading about the covers for air-vents in the ceiling. I tried to find if they were made for wall mounted air-conditioning systems. I couldn’t find any. My next strategy was to get a ladder and a ruler and try to move the air-con blades further up and to one side. But that didn’t work either. Even if it had worked, it would only have been a temporary fix, but I was desperate by then.
I got my sunglasses and put them on. Yes, at eight o’clock in the evening! I’ve done this before and it helps a bit. But people on the screen sure do look a strange color through those glasses!
My eyes were still sore though, as the damage had already been done. It was then I lost the plot. I rounded up all the drops in the house. Seven different lots of drops, plus one tube of gel were plonked on the table in front of me. It was no use using the gel, because my eyes are too blurry to watch television with the gel. The little single-use vials annoy me, so I put them aside. I knew I shouldn’t use the allergy drops, because it wasn’t an allergy problem. I put them and the antibiotic drops (from a recent infection) back in the fridge.
That left me with the Hylo-Fresh and Nova Tears drops that the optometrist had recommended. But I’d been using them for most of the day and I was still in trouble. Finally, I turned to my Systane Complete (preservative-free) and Systane Original (contains preservatives.) I tried one of them, and then a little later I tried the other. Neither worked.
Second opinions and new glasses
That movie never did get watched. I went to bed early, again.
But I did make two decisions. I’m going to see a new, well-respected retinal specialist for a second opinion. This will cost a few hundred dollars out-of-pocket, but I can’t go on this way. I’ve now made the appointment.
Secondly, I’ve ordered a pair of glasses that I found online. They have clear glass with no prescription, and they have 100% blue-light blocking. Best of all, these glasses have protection on the top and sides, like wraparound sunglasses. I can wear them to watch the television and not worry about the breeze from the air conditioner.
So I’m waiting for these two things to happen – the visit to my new eye specialist and the new glasses to arrive.
Hopefully I can give a positive report on both soon.
Has having dry eye helped you better advocate for yourself?