Monday, 28 March 2016

Dry Eye, Blepharitis or an Allergy?

Do you suffer from dry eye? Or been told by your doctor that this is what you have?

I have - about four times, twice by doctors as they signed prescriptions for eye drops. And they have included anti-biotic, false tears and some gel ones. Nope, none of them worked, only aggravated my eyes. Eventually I decided to stick to a mild over-the-counter eyewash which works.

The third doctor diagnosed Blepharitis, printed off a copy of the information and the prescription for get type drops.

Having read the information sheet I came to the conclusion that Blepharitis is a 'catch-all' name as three conditions associated with it are: Seborrhoeic dermatitis, rosacea or - wait for it! - dry eye syndrome.

Apparently there is no one-off cure for Blepheritis. You are told to follow a set of treatment rules. Unfortunately, whoever came up with it hasn't made any allowance for people with various disabilities:

Gently press the eyelids with a facecloth soaked in very warm water for 5-10 minutes.
If you cannot bend over the basin how do you do this? Someone suggested carrying the wet cloth into the bedroom and lying on the bed! Oops, water on the floor, bed and clothes. And, of course, by the time you are prone, the flannel will be cold. 
I won't bore you with the rest of this treatment.

A suggested alternative is a reusable heat bag which you put into the microwave. I did buy one but as I have Repetitive Stress Injuries in my arms and shoulders and it is heavy I couldn't hold it up to my eyes. Neither can I lie on my back for the required length of time. 

In order to try to prevent recurrences you are also recommended to carry out this eye and lid hygiene every day. 

I eventually sorted out my own 'cure' which may have worked or my eyes may have cleared up by themselves. As I also had a rash (nettle?) on my upper chest I assumed I was having an allergic reaction to something(s).

My 'Cure'

Whenever my eyelids itched I filled the basin with hot-hot water and held the flannel over my eyes for a few seconds at a time for as long as my back would let me. Dried my eyes, gentle massaged the lids then applied Simple Eye Balm to the lids and around the eye area.
Now I do this every morning, takes less than five minutes and, fingers crossed, might help to keep 'it' at bay.

If anyone has any more suggestions for alternative ways to deal with this all of us sufferers would appreciate them!