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Dry Eyes

Went for an eye test today and was really impressed with Boots Opticians, used Specsavers for years but went to ask about appointment times and was fitted in pretty much right away, had various pre-tests and went for one of those retinal scans. What surprised me was that my eyesight has apparently improved, quite a bit too! They didn't mention my astigmatism either.

Didn't know it did that as it's been getting gradually worse as I've got older. So my glasses are apparently way off prescription and need to get them replaced. Looking for suggestions as to where I could get good value frames and lenses or other good deals as they are so expensive! Tempted to just get new lenses in my current glasses if a lot cheaper now but they are a bit battered.

Might just have to bite the bullet as don't seem to be able to tolerate contacts anymore as my eyes feel dry and swollen and feels like a wierd pressure when I put contacts in. Optician did a test and said my tears are evaporating almost immediately so my contacts are probably just sucking the moisture out of my eye and kinda clamping to it which is probably why they are so uncomfortable. She said you can gets which keep their moisture now but they sound expensive! Got some hypermelluose eyedrops so hopefully they will help.

Hoping I can get back on the contacts at some point - could it be autoimmune/arthritis related causing the swelling and dryness as I get a really dry mouth too? Or malabsorption related. Something which could improve if I got that under control if anyone like York knows?
19:48 Sun 26th Feb 2012
 
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I doubt very much that itbis duebto your malabsorption, but just Google..............Sjogren's Syndrome..............it may well be appropriate.
I'm exactly the same Jenna,a few weeks ago I took my left lens out and felt like it had ripped the front of my eye off.I went to the opticians straight away and was told the same as you,that my eyes were drying out very quickly.I think the thing is when you have contacts in you don't feel the need to blink so much,and I have to remember to do so.
Don't know anything about the stuff in your last para Jenna - but you sound like a kindred spirit. I have recently found good satisfaction and value for money at Asda - but I can only emphasise it is down to the people on the spot. I'd used my local specsavers for years and they just got steadily worse - a procession of temporary locums who didn't know you from Adam or care.
Contact lenses have troubled me as I hit middle age and especially as I worked more with computers, and as my reading vision began to go.
I find the Johnson and Johnson acuvue true-eye are very good, but even those get trying after about three hours - and I need reading specs for any close work while I have them in.
The best moisture solution I ever got was a Japanese one - Rhoto Zi - which I found in Asda just after they joined with Walmart - must have been some weird stock situation - they were buddy marvellous and noting else has ever compared.
I find that as soon as I start to use moisture drops, the wearing life of the contact lens is ticking away. Often now the purpose of the moisture drops for me is to 'float' the lens off the eye so i can remove it without the agony.
I have no idea what the solution is to all this. But I feel for your eyes....
Question Author
Will do sqad, thanks. The optician said I should mention it to my GP.

I've not worn mine properly for a couple of years now Polly though wore them without a problem before that from 14 to 30/31. I just have a stash now for special occasions when I don't want to look geeky in my glasses :)

As soon as I put them in it just feels like this wierd pressure and a bit headachey but it makes sense now what the optician said about them sucking the moisture out of my eyes. Have been told a few times now on eye tests my eyes are dry/swollen. I used to use eyedrops in the morning before I put my contacts in which really helped before this started - Allergen ones I think which were ok for contact lens wearers (quite a few eyedrops can't be used with contacts).

I do miss them! They said I can have a free trial of the good moisture ones but not sure I could afford the more expensive ones right now.
Jenna - at asda I can just buy the quantity of lenses I want - no contract, so unlike when I was with specsavers I don't end up with drawers full of unused lenses.
Question Author
Thanks Mosaic, ooh I think the True Eyes might have been the ones she mentioned! How much are they if you don't mind me asking?

I'll check out the eyedrops too. Got some from behind the counter at Boots, just handed them what the optician wrote on the piece of paper and took what they brought me.

I was impressed with Boots. I had some pre-tests where they checked my estimated prescription with a machine then the retinal photograph then one where I got puffs of air in my eye then had the eye test and she took a really good look in my eyes and did the dye and dry test thing and took a fair bit of time asking about medical conditions as such. Very thorough!

Stil quite amazed about my eyesight getting better! Was -4.50/-4.75 and now -3.50/-3.75!

I was going to book in with Specsavers for another hearing test (without the faff of going back through consultant referral) as my hearing still hasn't recovered after a cold I had early December-ish and has been really annoying me more than usual - it was borderline hearing assistance last time, but up and down with menieres, but pissing me off now. Might try the Boots one now instead and depending on what that says see if I ask GP for referral for a proper one - not had an NHS one for a good few years now.
Jenna - which bits of you are still healthy?
Just do the rounds of all the opticians - 'my late mother suffered with glaucoma' gets you the eye test free. They never check. And you're under no obligation to buy. In my extensive experience of opticians, there's no such thing as excellent service. Just luck, dealing with good individuals and taking charge of your own needs.

The service you get is purely down to who you have on the day and even 'established' opticians have to have locums in so they can have a weekend off.

I don't know offhand what I pay for the acuvue true-eye but if you just google asda opticians, you can get the price - that's what I pay. But the real bonus is I only order when I need.
glasses direct do good value glasses, and do the occasional special offer on top too. i think you wont find it's all that cheap just to replace your lenses
eye express are really cheap - get my goggles from there (as do mr and boy). excellent service and really quick. can also do just your lenses if that's what you want. x
the glaucoma excuse only works if you are significantly older than jenna!
Nhs fraud - mosaic "Just do the rounds of all the opticians - 'my late mother suffered with glaucoma' gets you the eye test free. They never check. And you're under no obligation to buy"

Dry eye assessments are available for a fee or paid for by the PCT by some optometrists and can help underline the cause and therefore best management for your situation.. Some lenses such as the TrueType or other silicon hydrogel lenses (most modern lenses are being made of this type nowadays) are more suitable for those with dry eyes although most then still feel their wearing time is still limited.

If your optometrist says your tears are evaporating quickly this could indicate poor tear film surface and this can sometimes be related to meibomiam gland dysfunction. This can be helped with regular lid hygiene, warm compresses and lid massage. Often people are also recommended to Use supplements such as omega 3 or flaxseed oil.

Dryness can also be exaggerated by doing concentration tasks such as reading or computer use by reduction of blink rate. Reduction in tear volume can often be a normal age related change although I know better than to ask your age. Often it can also be a side effect of certain mediations also. You can get lubricants to use with and without contact lenses such as Blink.

Short-sighted ness can improve at times (more often in 50+ years) but be aware that this amount of change may take some time to adapt to. Especiacially if you had no big symptoms prior to the exam.
Question Author
Thanks all. I will look into those places - I couldn't do the glaucoma thing though, even if I looked old enough (I'm 33). I've been shortsighted since junior school and my eyesight has always deteriorated so was pretty surprised at an improvement. Thinking about it though I've heard of people who have changed from short to long sighted (or maybe the other way round) though moreso people, that I've known, who weren't too bad one way or the other. Not that I'm complaining! Hope it carries on, would love to be able to see properly unassisted :)

Thanks for that York, really interesting. Dryness and swelling seem to have come up in most of the eyetests I've had recently, including contact lens checks when I wore them - last checked just under 2 years ago though they've felt worse lately. They recommended wsahing them with baby shampoo one time but it was horrible. Tried the visi tear gel but it just seemed to sit on my eye and not do much so hoping the drops will help better. I'll try warm compresses again, see if that helps.

I'm not on many meds at the mo as off sulfasalazine until after an op due a week Friday, keeping away from cholastagel for the malabsorption as it seems to irk my already irky gallbadder so mainly codydramol and omeprazole and, for the menieres, stemetil and betahistine when needed.

Will go seek out some more Omega 3 as a former osteopath asked me if I got dehydrated a lot when examining me a few years back and recommended it. Tried it for a bit and it did help but then ran out and didn't get round to buying more.

I have tried to cut down on my laptop time recently as I was spending all day at work on a computer then most of the evening at home, especially as I've not been out much with gallbladder stuff, so I've been trying to give my eyes a bit of a break. I've also cut down my coffee intake big time in case that was causing me to be more dehydrated.
If your contact lenses make your eyes red and irritated it is probably because you may be allergic to them. Eye drops may help, but i don't think they will treat this. Are you sure you don't have any other eye problem? If you do, maybe that's why your eyes react like this.
If not, is it probably best to give up contact lenses. Wear eyeglasses if you need or just be happy with your eye color because hurting your eyes it's not good and it may affect them for long term speaking.
I ahve constantly dry eyes - I have hypermellose drops plus the Doc gives me Otrivine, which I prefer, as my dryness is thought to be part of my allergic rhinitis.

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