My Dry Eye Story
Sitting in the lobby during a much-needed break from entering data into spreadsheets, I felt the overwhelming desire to just close my eyes.
Not soon after, a kind lady a few rooms down noticed my shaken appearance and asked, “are you sleepy?”
I replied “yes,” which was only partly true. I had a full night’s rest, my body was ready to work, I was ready to work. All except for my eyes.
My eyes were exhausted; my lids wanted to stay shut, and I could tell that they had had enough. It was a very confusing experience. The painful and frightening sensation I felt when trying to focus my eyes on everyday objects was completely alien to me.
The job of entering legal documents into a spreadsheet was a new experience for me. Most everyone I worked alongside seemed to be doing well and had been doing it for a while.
I thought it would be the same for me.
Dry eye symptoms emerge
The first month wasn’t too bad, but by month two, I started to notice symptoms.
It took me maybe another month to realize that I possibly needed help.
In the very beginning when my symptoms started to appear, I would always try to rationalize the pain and discomfort. I would tell myself that these symptoms are temporary and would eventually disappear. Finally, I decided that these symptoms were not going to go away and my eyes were, in fact, getting worse. It was time to see a doctor.
Finding the right eye doctor
I visited my local optometrist.
The doctor was able to diagnose me virtually right away after seeing that the tears in my eyes dried up in a matter of seconds.
She also noticed that my meibomian glands had taken damage and would have difficulty lubricating my eyes without assistance.
She gave me a list of medications such as Xiidra, over-the-counter eye drops, and omega 3’s. She also recommended that I wear a bruder mask for 20 minutes daily.
Since then, I’ve found that only two of those things seem to bring any relief. I will get into that more in another article.
How my dry eye feels now
After my diagnosis, I continued to attempt to keep doing data entry and I stuck with it for a very miserable and depressing two months.
During that time, I felt as though I was working my eyes to the bone only to come home to complete darkness because I did not want to open my eyes for any reason whatsoever.
After too long a time I was finally able to leave the data entry job; due in large part to the support I received from both my father and my husband.
Have you taken the 2023 Chronic Dry Eye In America survey?