The older I get the dryer my skin becomes but what bothers me the most is my dry eyes. I’ve been struggling with it for years.
It turns out dry eye is a huge problem for older women and many of us suffer from it. When I say suffer, I mean it. My eyes often feel like they have sand in them, they itch, frequently tear and just plain hurt.
My previous eye doctor suggested I wash my eye’s with baby shampoo and apply warm compresses using a damp facecloth for ten minutes at a time. That didn’t help. The facecloth would get cold too fast, the baby shampoo was drying out the skin around my eyes and my eye’s remained dry.
I read everything I could on the subject. I added extra fish oil supplements, switched to preservative free eye drops, upped my water consumption and changed my blood pressure medication to one that did not include a diuretic. Still, no relief.
I finally dragged myself to a new eye doctor for a proper diagnosis. He numbed my eye’s and did multiple weird tests before he concluded…I have chronic dry eye. Duh!
He also told me I have meibomian gland dysfunction. These are the glands in our upper and lower eyelids that secrete oils onto the surface of our eyes which keep our tears from evaporating too quickly. These glands often become blocked as we age and can cause or worsen dry eye.
He didn’t suggest Restasis or Xiidra because they’re expensive, are seldom covered by insurance and his patients have mixed results. He agreed a washcloth was not a great way to apply warm compresses to the eye and suggested I try this microwavable eye compress.
Let me tell you, it is nothing short of amazing.
I heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds, put a clean tissue over my eyes and lay back to relax. The compress comes with a few disposable sheets to put between your eye and the compress to keep it sanitary. When those ran out I just substituted a clean tissue.
When I remove the eye mask, my vision is totally blurry. Luckily I knew this might happen so I didn’t panic. #neurotic It simply meant the oil from my eye glands had melted and was flowing properly so it could help moisturize my eyes.
I’ve also added these wipes to my eye care. After I’ve removed my makeup and washed my face, I use these to ensure every bit of eye makeup is gone. I’m always surprised to find a trace of makeup on these because I thought I’d already removed it all.
I now have several brands of preservative-free eye drops which come in these one-use disposable tubes. They’re all single use so I have them scattered in every purse, in my car, and by my desk. I discovered these retaine MDG drops seem more moisturizing than most. I keep a tube of this retaine PM gel on my bedside table and put a small amount of this gel in my eye’s when I go to sleep.
Dryer than usual conditions is still a challenge for me. When we flew to the east coast yesterday, I had several vials in my purse and kept one on my tray table to use every 30+ minutes. These vials are single use only but my eye DR said it was OK to recap and use for up to 3 hours.
It may seem like a lot of trouble to go to but my eyes are finally feeling better. I’m not cured…there is no cure but my dry eyes feel better now than they have in several years.
Do you have dry eyes?
Thanks for reading and have a great day.