Friday, March 9, 2012

Sahara Desert Eyes

First of all, let me say how much I have been enjoying the *glorious weather* here in Maine!   Wow!  Temps up in the 50's yesterday!  Woot!  We have a few days of regular temps (in the 30's) and then next week is predicted to be in the high 50's!!!  All week!!! 

THAT, my friends, is FABULOUS!

I don't think you will ever meet a happier bunch of people than Mainers in March on a 58 deg. sunny day.  It really makes you feel that good.  You Arizona, California, Florida, sunny all the time people just can't understand what a warm, sunny day can do to your mood after a bunch of cold, dreary ones.  I'm pretty sure we could cut in half the anti-depression meds prescribed in Maine if we had better weather. 

The sunny-ness doesn't quite take away the misery of the $650 oil bill I just received, but it does ease the sting a little.  I'm hoping this will be my last large oil bill for awhile.  

One little glitch in today's wonderfulness is the way my eyes are feeling.  The last few weeks they have been horribly uncomfortable when I wake up in the morning.  Like I want to rub them like crazy--even though that makes them feel worse.  And  for about 2 hours in the am, I feel like I have something in my eyes.  Being an eye doctor, one would think the knowledge I have would be helpful.  And I suppose it is, because I can self-diagnose.  which is always a good thing....

Dry eyes is what I have.  Why?  All of a sudden?  Jeez, could it be that it's winter and dry?  How about that 40 sumthin' woman that I am.  It couldn't be because I'm getting older, could it??  How ironic that the eye doctor has dry eyes.  Well, at least I can sympathize with my patients, right? 

It is so wonderful to be reminded of the fact that you are not 20 anymore.  Thank you, Mother Nature.  bitch

So, for those of you wondering about dry eye, I'll give you a brief run down.  Dry eye can occur in anyone, but mostly in older adults.  The environment plays a large role.  Dry climates are worse (duh), dusty, moldy, rooms with blown air etc can all contribute.  Hormones, menopause (hence the prevalence in women), medications, contact lens wear, previous lasik surgery can all contribute to dry eyes. 

Dry eye is the deficiency in one or more of the tear layers--water, lipid and mucous.  Treatment is aimed at improving the tear quality, either through supplements or increasing production.  Warm compresses can open up the glands that produce the lipid/mucous layers.  Artificial tears can supplement the lack of quantity of tears.  Flax seed supplements can help to produce a better quality tear. 

For me, since it is just the beginning of the problem and most likely due to my age and the dry environment, I am just using artificial tears to relieve the foreign body sensation and 'stickiness' feeling to my lids.  Many people also experience a light sensitivity, grittiness, blurred vision and redness.  I would advise not using Visine brand--some of the Visine types have medication in them that do nothing to help with dry eye and often can make it worse.  I prefer Refresh or Systane brand.  (just my opinion) 

So here I am each morning doing my warm compresses and putting in Refresh tears.  fabulous.  Thankfully, I don't wear contact lenses, because that would just make it worse.  For those of you that do wear contact lenses and are noticing problems with dry eye, there are many brands of contacts that are designed to increase comfort with dry eye.  You may need to switch brands to get more comfort.  Also, the type of cleaner that you use can cause drying as well.  Switching to Clear Care or AOSept hydrogen peroxide based cleaner will, almost all of the time, improve comfort for those with dry eye.  But, please, check with your eyecare provider before making any changes. 

Sunglasses will help sheild your eyes from the sun and wind so make sure you always have a good pair. 

Today I am going to focus (haha no pun intented) on the positive-- the super nice weather-- and not on the dryness of my eyes.  At least I have eyes and they are fully functional, right?

So, Mother Nature, thank you for the great spring day.  But please remember I'm going to fight you full force with artificial tears in each hand.  So take that. 


Christi said...

Enjoy the weather!

Bobbi said...

So excited about the warmer temps next week! Bringing the Fuji in for a tune-up in preparation. I may add some bike shoe clips ;)