Tag Archives: eyeglasses

Dry Eyes Can Be A Big Problem, But It Took Years To Get There

Dry Eye is an actual disease!

I was born into a family (on mother’s side) that suffered with myopia (near-sightedness).  I say “suffered” because I always hated wearing glasses.

While in the 2nd grade, I had trouble seeing the blackboard.  I never realized, of course, that I had a sight problem, because the poor eyesight was “normal.”  Didn’t know what I saw was actually blurry.

After a report from my teacher when I was seven, my Dad took me to a doctor to get new eyeglasses.  On the way home, upon looking out the window of the car, I remember shouting, “I can see.”  A whole new world was opened up!

Of course, I suffered with the horrible, ugly and malicious taunts from other children about the eyeglasses.  “Four eyes” was the most hurtful, I remember.

During the ensuing years, after school, I didn’t wear those hated glasses.  Going on the subway into Manhattan, I had memorized the various subway stations, so that I knew, without looking, which station to exit for work.  If photographed, they were quickly whipped off my face.  During a summer stint of working in a camp as a counselor, before the start of school, I never wore them.  Somehow, I managed.  My sight wasn’t so bad that I wasn’t able to “get along” in the Connecticut countryside.

Many years later, when contact lenses came onto the market, I tried on the glass ones, but that didn’t work out too well at all.  Scrapped that.  When I was married and a mother, the soft ones were available and much more easily managed, so I was hooked.  Very happy not to have to wear glasses; although, some years later, I did need reading glasses.  But that was very manageable.

Decades later, I started to feel quite a bit of eye discomfort, and it got to a point when I couldn’t feel comfortable wearing contacts anymore.  Sight was cloudy, eyes were dry when wearing contacts, and no amount of “Refresh” eye drops helped.  So I researched Lasiks.  It was at the very start of that sight correction alternative.  I decided to wait until the “bugs” were removed and the process was refined.  I waited 4 years.

On my late husband, Bob’s, birthday, back in 1998, he drove me to get my newest sight correction:  Lasiks surgery.  Great birthday present!

Afterward, while still in the doctor’s office, I looked out the large office front window and could see perfectly clearly, the trees across the street!  Of course, I still had to use readers, but the trade-off was wonderful.

Fifteen years later, my eyes had age-related changes, and the great Lasiks results were diminishing.

One of the most visual signs were the forming of more visible red veins in the whites of my eyes, and there was one quite prominent one in my left eye, as depicted in the picture above.

My eyes became very dry – tears were not being manufactured in a more normal fashion; however, my eyes were tearing quite a bit and itched.  These were signs of ageing, for sure.  It took a few years of miserable discomfort and bottles of lubricants and all sorts of eye drops that eventually made me realize I needed to see an ophthalmologist.

DRY EYES!  I also had damage to my corneas!  RESTASIS has slowly repaired the damage to my cornea, but it’s not known if my corneas will fully recover.  In the meantime, a combination of those prescribed eye drops, and OTC lubricants during the day, have made a difference.  Not as good as I was hoping for, but I have to realize it took many years to get to this place.

The ageing process.  I can still read, watch TV, go to the movies, have meals with friends and family, and post on computer and phone.  So, I’m happy with what I can accomplish.  BTW, in four more days, I’ll be an octogenarian.

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