Friday, 22 February 2013
My eyes have been a problem for years, a problem that just doesn't seem to be getting any better. That's not my vision, or the concerns about plaquenil possibly causing eye damage, but just the basic dry eye problem lots of lupies have.
Healthy people have eyes that stay moist. Tear ducts produce fluid, and there's also an oil produced by the eyelids. An optometrist told me last week that my pores which produce the oils in eyelids are completely closed. I know my tear ducts do produce fluid if I actually cry, but they're a bit slow to do their job just normally.
I've tried lots of products to keep my eyes moist, from artificial tears through to a thick gooey gel known as polygel (sounds like something related to polly filler or something else you'd use in building rather than something to stick in your eye.) At the moment I'm using Cellufresh eye drops, simply because they are covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and cheaper with a prescription.
One thing the optometrist has suggested I try is to very gently massage my eyelids, to try to encourage the natural oils. Thinking of the number of times people have told me not to rub my eyes, it's strange to have a professional tell me that's exactly what I need to do. But, trying it, it does actually help a bit. I don't see it replacing the eye drops, because massaging my eyelids without using the drops first just scratches, but it does provide a little extra relief in addition to the drops.