Dry Eye Question

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Date Joined Sep 2005
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   Posted 4/3/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Just in the past year, my eyes have gradually been getting dryer and dryer.  I've never complained about it to a doctor, but my opthamologist told me that if dry eyes bother me, I should try an OTC artificial tears formula.  My optometrist, about a month or two ago, told me about some prescription eye drops that I can also use (started with a P).  I have purchased Refresh Tears by Allergan, and I'm not sure they're helping all that much.  The solution makes my eyes burn like crazy--I guess it does moisturize them, but jeezaloo, it hurts going in.  For those of you on prescription eye drops, do they work any better than OTC tears?  I could always get a prescription from my primary (I think).
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

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Date Joined May 2005
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   Posted 4/3/2007 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Try Tears Naturale II (by Alcon) or GenTeal Lubricant Eye Gel -- these are the ones both my Rheumy and my opthamologist mentioned, and they work well for me w/out any burning.

I believe the secret is that the drops must NOT have anything in them to "take the red out" or make your eyes feel better.

You do need to mention this to your rhuemy, as you may have Sjogren's Syndrome, and it should be monitored.

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   Posted 4/3/2007 9:05 AM (GMT -6)   
elcamino, my eye doctor put me on prescription restasis eye drops because of the severity of my dry eyes. He said restasis is supposed to rebuild the tear layer in the eye as well as increase tear production. Honestly I had been using them for about 5 months and I'm not sure how much of a difference I noticed. When I went through this last flare, I kept forgetting to use them because I couldn't find a convenient place to put them so I would remember to use them. I'm not sure I want to keep forking out the money for them if they don't seem to do much. I have some really good otc soothing artificial tears (almost like a gel) that I really like. I need to talk to the eye doc about the restasis and see what he thinks.

I agree with Lynnwood about talking to your rheumy not only to see what he suggests but to check you for Sjogrens.
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Date Joined Dec 2004
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   Posted 4/3/2007 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
  I agree with hippi and lynn on talking to your doctor about this to see if you could have Sjogren's. They gave you some good suggestions on treatments, so nothing to add to what they mentioned. I hope this gets better for you soon. Keep us updated and take care. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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Date Joined Apr 2006
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   Posted 4/3/2007 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Suggest that you see an opthamologist, not an optomitrist, to try and determine what might be causing your dry eyes condition.  It might be something serious or might not but it would be good to know.  Not sure if your meds are causing the problem but you should bring a list of meds, diagnoses, and symptoms when you see the doctor.  There are several AI diseases which can cause problems, including lupus.
I have had noticeably drier eyes since getting sick but I have mctd and there are several possible reasons why.  Over the past 3 months they seem to have gotten better.  I try not to use drops on a regular basis.
Hope you can find some answers.
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   Posted 4/3/2007 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not on prescription drops but I do use GenTeal drops during the day and the GenTeal gel at night. Did your ophthalmologist do a schirmers or stain test? My schirmers tests was at a 4 so definitely dry but my doc didn't think that it was dry enough for Restasis YET.
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Date Joined Sep 2005
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   Posted 4/4/2007 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone.  I have not been tested for dry eye yet.  It was simply commented on by a couple of doctors (one opthamologist and one optometrist).  My eyes didn't bother me at the time, so I chose to do nothing about it.  I'm going to continue to use OTC stuff and I'll mention it to my rheumy when I go back.  I suspect my case is so mild that the OTC stuff would be sufficient for now.



Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

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