Any remedy for dry eye?

Although not specifically related to GCA/PMR does anyone have a remedy for dry eye? I suffer from it in high winds and bright sunshine, exacerbated by the fact that I only have one good eye. I usually wear glasses - varifocal for good eye and reactive to sunlight as recommended by optician. I also wear eye makeup, including mascara, which is probably not a good idea, but I' m determined not to let this illness rule my life! So when my eyes water I end up with sticky marks on my glasses from the mascara, that's not a great problem just a nuisance. Not being able to see through either eye is a bit more problematic. Have tried most of the OTC remedies but would like to know if anyone has found something that works! Thanks.

21 Replies

  • Hello DorsetLady

    I found out a lot about dry eye when I had laser surgery for long sight. It did wonders for my eyesight but I have suffered a bit with dry eye since then and have had a lot of support from my clinic to help deal with it. Usually it is caused by blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelids, where many of the glands are that produce tears. And if we already have inflammation elsewhere in our bodies, why should we not have it in our eyelids too? OK, so far so simple. But tears are a good deal more complicated than I thought. There are actually three layers to our eye lubrication aka tears. The first layer is a mucoid layer that is produced by glands around the epithelium, which is the membrane covering the eyeball. This forms a sticky base onto which a watery layer sits. This is the watery tears produced by our 'tear ducts'. But in healthy eyes there is also a lipid or fatty layer that sits like a slick of oil on top of the tears and stops them from evaporating. This oily layer is secreted by glands at the edges of the eyelids. These often get gunged up (with dead skin cells, makeup etc) and the oily stuff solidifies like butter and blocks the ducts. Blergh! So then in sun and wind, the tears evaporate and the tear ducts go into overdrive producing more watery tears.

    The eye clinic encouraged me to adopt a cleansing routing involving cotton wool pads and Johnson's baby shampoo, a drop per eye on a warm damp cotton pad. I kid you not. Actually, it doesn't sting at all. Then use the pad to make quite a firm sweep across the eyelid from one side to another, or use a clean fingertip, massaging the eyelid to help unblock those glands. Another really effective treatment, to use in conjunction with this routine, is to get a clean facecloth wrung out in water as hot as you can bear, fold it into a pad and lay it over your closed eyes for a few minutes. The heat actually helps the buttery goo to melt and be released as you do the cleanse/massage routine.

    I have become a great fan of the hot facecloth routine and do the shampoo thing at least twice a week. And the great thing about it is that it is cheap as chips. There is no reason for you to stop using eye makeup.



  • Thanks Kate,

    I'll give it a go! Dorset Lady

  • Oh yes, and try taking one flax oil capsule every morning.

  • Kate, thanks will do, knew I'd get a lot a good advice from your site. Brilliant as usual. DL.

  • Hi DorsetLady,

    My eyes feel very dry at times and if I did not know that I have pollen allergies, I would probably think my tear glands were not working properly. These allergies last from spring to mid autumn and make my eyes feel dry and scratchy. I use Opticrom eye drops and sometimes, Flixonase nasal spray - no more trouble with my eyes.

    Could your problem be also caused by an allergy, I wonder?


  • Hi Pats, don't think it is an allergy, my eyes don't feel particularly dry or scratchy, but they seem to be affected all year round, although that doesn't mean anything, my GP has given me some nasal spray because of a cough which she thinks may be pollen related! As I said wind and bright sunshine affect it most, and lots of opinion seem to think it's related to age. What isn't!! Will keep trying the suggestions. Many thanks. Dorset Lady

  • Hi dorsetlady...........100% waterproof mascara,nothing less,is a must.Rimmel ,Max Factor,Maybelline and others.Not cheap but worth it.Does not move.Not smearproof.Look for the 100% label !!!!!!!Good luck.Hug.Soo.

  • soojay, thanks, Dorset Lady

  • Only just saw your post Dorset lady . Good luck hope your eye's feel better. x

  • I have dry eyes too, which pre-date PRM etc by many years. I find artifical tear drops work well - as mentioned by Pats, or I think Boots do an own brand version. But, as always, check with an expert such as optician, chemist etc

    Oh yes, another thing, get plenty of sleep and don't stare at a computer screen for too long!

  • sorry, meant PMR!

    anyone know of a cure for mixed up fingers :)

  • HelenJC,

    Agree with computer screen, trouble is, you get involved and the time runs by and you don't realise how long you've been on it. Find watching TV also has same effect, so I deliberately limit that.

    Don't know cure for mixed up fingers, or brain. Trouble is, these machines that think they know better than us humans! Dorset Lady

  • I have one eye due to GCR my water first thing in morning yours are dry may be we can help each other ??? i find hot eye pad helps ,i am still afraid to wear any eye makeup as after almost a year i still wake up with some fear my good eye will not work ,had hoped i would have accepted it my now ,you seem to have coped very well so good luck hope have found some answers /

  • Hi 2watsons,

    Don't be afraid to wear make up, that's not going to affect your other eye. So long as you are still on steroids, that's what's keeping you safe, I think we both lost our sight in one eye about the same time, last April? I'm now down to 12mg, but know I shall still be on for at least another year according to Ophthamologist, maybe forever! So what!

    Try and be more positive about your good eye, or like me (according to my long suffering other half) "bloody- minded" (apologies on a Sunday). I am determined this thing is not going to stop me living my life as best I can.

    This site is great for support, and volunteers like you make it happen, remember that. You help a lot of people who are as frightened as you at times, and don't know where else to go. Love Dorset Lady.

    Ps thanks to everybody for their input. DL

  • Thank you Dorset lady ,yes you are right have big party in few weeks so will wear the lot ,fear is getting less ,now on 7mg will have to say on 5mg for life it seems ,i have days when i curs but most days are now good ,so thank will face each day with a smile .TAKE CARE

  • Good, enjoy yourself! And get spoilt. Dorset Lady

  • Hi again DorsetLady,

    Just a thought - you say that when your eyes do produce tears they literally wash your eye make -up off, which might point to blocked tear ducts. These are the tiny holes at the inner corners of the lower lids. Years ago, my mother had this problem and the tears would run down her face. She was constantly dabbing her skin with tissues. She was referred to the local eye hospital and the ducts were quickly unblocked by a nurse using a fine probe. It only took a few minutes - problem solved.

    We don't like our make up spoiled, do we? When I was on the higher doses of pred my hands would really shake and it often took at least 20 minutes to apply my eye liner, but I wouldn't give up. It's much easier now - on 6.5mg the shakes have almost gone.


  • Hi pats,

    Saw my optician today for normal eye test, and my good eye has improved on the long-sighted side of things, no wonder my glasses haven't been right for driving the last couple of months! Strange how the body adapts! On the minus side, she was a bit worried about glaucoma in that eye, so has referred me back to the eye clinic. So when I see ophthalmologist will discuss the whole dry eye/tear duct issue with them.

    Know what you mean about make-up, can now get eye makeup on my good eye without being able to see what I'm doing! and not looking like Dusty Springfield (showing my age now). Mind you applying nail varnish is still like a military operation with lights and magnifying glasses. Good job I'm not in a hurry any more! Dorset Lady.

  • Another little factoid about eye care that I learned from the clinic. When we blink we refresh our eyes by replenishing those three layers of tears. But when we are sitting at a computer screen, our rate of blinking goes down massively. We might not be aware of staring but we are. So a good tip is to put some drops in before you switch the computer on.

  • Kate,

    Thanks for that, yes I do spend a lot of time in front of screen - iPad rather computer, but all have the same effect I guess. Your earlier advice re baby shampoo etc has been put into practice, the morning after I've done it, I seem to have more rubbish in my eyes, so I assume the glands are getting rid of goo (as you put it). You also mentioned flax seed oil capsules, I guess that's for arthritis rather than specifically for eyes! As always, thanks for your time and advice, Dorset Lady

  • Hiya, the flax seed oil capsules were prescribed by Prof Reinstein who is top eye surgeon. I said to him "do these really work?" and he said "yep"..

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