Saturday, September 19, 2009

My TheraTears Experiment: Day 9

I’m beginning to see a little improvement in eye moisture with this TheraTears dietary supplement. Yesterday, I walked into a room with a ceiling fan and felt the sensation of coolness in my eyes—something I hadn’t experienced in many months.

Yes, folks, it looks like this dry eye gal is actually getting her eye moisture back. Yay!

Today I felt a layer of tear film again. This time, it was during one of my several-times-a-day eye exercise routines. As I did eye rolls, that coolness sensation hit again. How awesome is that?!

And sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but all is not peachy keen yet. I still feel like something’s in my eyes. That gritty feeling is as strong as ever, and let me tell you, it’s annoying like the dickens. Also, the burning sensation in my eyes is still present most of the time. Fun times, right?

As far as vision goes, my eyesight is still off-and-on blurry. The double vision and blurriness could end up being part of another set of eye problems, who knows? Of course, I hope it’s part of this dry eye disease that’s been plaguing me and that it’ll go away soon. Time will tell.

All in all, I’m pretty darn pleased so far with the TheraTears capsules. Day 9 and things are headed in the right direction, which is good since the past couple of days I’ve been experiencing these yucky fish burps because of this supplement. But if a few unpleasant fishy burps can give me my tear film layers back, it’s a small price to pay. (Especially in comparison of the awful side effects of some of these prescription drugs. I don’t know about you, but sometimes the side effects sound scarier than the original disease they’re supposed to treat.)

I’m purposely leaving my everyday diet as-is and not taking any other eye health supplements while on TheraTears for the month. I’m kind of itching to try new things out just to see if that’ll get me faster results, but then I would never be 100 percent sure if TheraTears was helping my eye moisture or if it was from something else.

If my eye dry isn’t totally under control with the TheraTears once the bottle’s done with, I’m probably going to try cutting out caffeine and chocolate from my diet. I’ve cut down on the stuff since first experiencing dry eye syndrome, but I’ve read that sometimes it’s not enough to just cut back. Has anyone tried completely cutting out the caffeine and chocolate? Did it reduce your dry eye?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Worst-Ever Dry Eye Experience

Like so many others with dry eye syndrome, I go through those days where my eyeballs feel like sandpaper and the burning sensation is almost enough to drive a person mad. My worst-ever dry eye experience wasn’t to do with those symptoms, though.

The day I couldn’t cry was an absolute horror for me. It was a shortly after having my second child, who refused to sleep anywhere but on me (and to this day we’re still working on that—ugh!). No one ever mentions the difficulties of adding a second child to the mix. Not being able to give my first child the attention she deserves was such an awful feeling. So, with the lack of sleep and the “guilty mom” feelings I had going on, a good cry was in order.

But that cry never came.

That day, I learned how necessary tears are to grieving. Dry-eyed sobs do not get the job done. My lack of tears was extremely frustrating and could even be described as painful. I felt like my head was going to explode from trying so hard. I kept struggling to release some tears, but they never came that day.

So that’s my worst-ever dry eye experience. I hope to never feel that pain again. Today is day 5 of using TheraTears, a nutritional supplement. I think there’s an eye drop variety of TheraTears, but I’m hesitant to use it because of my negative experiences with eye drop medications (they cause my eyes to burn, even the ones without preservatives). Anyway, it’s day 5 and I’m not feeling any better. I’ll keep taking the capsules until the bottle runs out (in about a month) and see how my eyes are doing then.

What’s been your worst-ever episode with dry eye syndrome?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Can Positive Thinking Improve Eyesight?

I chanced upon a blog post about a writer's experiences with The Law of Attraction. Miranda, the author, has found this way of thinking to be very helpful in her life. I'm not too familiar with The Law of Attraction, but the gist of it seems to center on positivity--in even the most dreadful of times when nothing seems to be going your way.

Remaining positive even when facing a crisis of sorts sounds like a smart thing to do. Admittedly, I'm not always on my A-game when the shit hits the fan. But I vow from now on to try harder to not sweat the small stuff and to see the good in every situation.

So if life has dealt me a sour card with this dry eye syndrome and increasingly blurred vision, I'm going to do my best to enjoy what I have left and to stay hopeful that my eye problems will get better as time goes on. This isn't to say that I'm just gonna sit in my Lazy Boy chair and live in blissful ignorance as my vision deteriorates.

No, finding a cure for my eye dryness and blurriness is still a priority of mine. I'll never, ever give up on that. But I will strive to not get so down on myself and worry about the 'what ifs'. Instead of another day with eye problems, I'll look at it as another chance at finding a solution.

On a side note, I wonder how this Law of Attraction is working for dieters. It sounds like a useful tool for people wanting to lose weight, especially those struggling with binge eating. Hmm, I think I'll google it.

Anyhoo, catchya next time when I'll discuss my worst-ever experience with having dry eye syndrome. (I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My TheraTears Experiment: Day 2

Okay, we weren’t expecting a breakthrough with the TheraTears eye health supplement on the second day, were we? Of course not. I just wanted to check in and tell a little more about my experiences with this pesky dry eye syndrome.

I noticed a loss of moisture in my eyes during the latter stages of pregnancy with my youngest child. It didn’t really bother me so much as being a minor annoyance. And the eye dryness wasn’t happening every day, just here and there.

After I gave birth, that’s when I noticed the loss of eye moisture more. My eyes would burn and sting. Looking at them, it was like seeing a map of the Mississippi River—only that instead of blue lines representing the waterways, I had lots of red ones.

For a while, I chalked it up to lack of sleep and poor eating habits. With a demanding baby, I couldn’t do anything about the lack of sleep, but I did try to take charge of my eating habits. First I stepped up my water intake. This seemed to help, but then didn’t. Next I tried giving up my daily chocolate and coffee habits because I’d read that caffeine contributes to dry eye syndrome. This actually made my problems worse. (Weird, huh?)

My dry eye problem got worse and I ended up going to see my family doctor, who just told me to get an eye exam and to take over-the-counter eye drops to relieve the symptoms. I tried several different eye drops, including a couple of the leading brands, a homeopathy brand from my local health food store, and one that had a thicker consistency than regular eye drops (to supposedly trap in moisture better).

None of these did much to help me. The homeopathy eye drop was the best out of the bunch, but even then my eyes were still in pain from the dryness. With all of the other brands, I used them once or twice and had to return them to the store for a refund.

At the eye doctor, I had my usual exam done (like I do every 2 years). It was a new doctor because my husband’s insurance had changed and we could get a better discount on eyeglasses at this place. (I’ve been wearing glasses for driving for the last 5 years; before that, my long-distance vision was awesome. Sigh.)

I told the doctor about the troubles I’d been having with eye dryness. She didn’t seem concerned, said that my vision was okay, and made light of how common dry eye syndrome was becoming. At the time, this felt reassuring. I really wanted to believe that my problems would fix themselves eventually (or at least diminish over time), so I took this doctor’s visit as a sign of better days to come.

But here I am today, posting on a blog I named Dry Eyes and Blurred Vision. This post has gotten kind of long, so I’ll save my worse ever dry eye experience for another day. Besides, it’s a doozy and really deserves its own post, I think. Anyway, thanks for reading this and I hope it helps you not feel so alone with your dry eye symptoms.

Friday, September 11, 2009

My TheraTears Experiment: Day 1

Today marks my first day of taking the TheraTears supplement in hopes of regaining eye moisture. The instructions on the box say to give it 4 to 8 weeks before any significant results are seen. The bottle I bought, with 90 capsules, will last 30 days. So, I’ll give TheraTears a go and see if my dry eyes improve after a month or two.

I have to say, though, I did hesitate before buying a bottle of TheraTears. Sure, I’m a supporter of using natural supplements to enhance health, but “enhance” is the key word here. Balanced nutrition from fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains is my main goal when it comes to staying healthy. Vitamins, herbs, and other supplements are just that—supplements.

Looking at the ingredients in TheraTears, I saw some basics—vitamin E, flaxseed oil, and fish oil. I thought, these ingredients are nothing new to my diet. I eat a variety of oily fish several times a week, mix flaxseed in my yogurt every day, and get an adequate amount of vitamin E through my everyday foods and also in my multivitamin.

So why in the world would I want to spend my money on this supplement? The short answer: I’m desperate. Seriously. My vision is getting increasingly blurry and my dry eyes are just bothering the heck out of me. Without vision coverage insurance, I am trying hard to avoid a visit to the ophthalmologist.

Besides, I think that’d be a waste of money anyway. When I did have health insurance and vision coverage, I saw both my family doctor and an ophthalmologist about my dry eyes. Neither one gave a damn about my problem; both basically said dry eye syndrome is common nowadays and nothing to worry about. (I’ve done a lot of reading since then and have learned otherwise. Don’t let your doctor off the hook about your dry eyes! There are several tests that can be used to diagnose dry eye syndrome.)

I decided to take TheraTears after reading about how flaxseed and fish oil tend to become oxidized before they can do a body any good. This is why vitamin E is included in each capsule; the vitamin E prevents this oxidation from occurring. Why is oxidation so bad (in this situation, anyway)? Well, the oxidation of fatty acids in flaxseed and fish oil produces free radicals. These free radicals are what we want to avoid, as studies have indicated that they may help certain diseases, including cancer, progress faster. Anyway, maybe this oxidation thing is why my regular dietary intake of flaxseed and fish oil hasn’t been easing my eye dry symptoms. Time will tell, right?

You can buy a 90-capsule bottle (a 30-day supply) on for $12.76. I was surprised at the cheap price because I saw other eye health supplements costing twice (sometimes 3 times) as much as TheraTears. It’s a wonder that this company doesn’t jack up the price, just to stay in line with the prices of the other eye health supplements. (Knock on wood, lol.)

I like that TheraTears was used in a 18-year research study conducted by the National Eye Institute, and with favorable results. It’s hard to know which eye health supplements to take and which ones not to bother with, especially when online product reviews can be faked and of course the company selling the supplement will say only positive things about their product. Knowing there was a study overseen by a U.S. government agency helps a bit in reassuring me that my money spent is not being wasted on a bunch of empty promises.

Anyhow, I’ll see where this TheraTears eye health supplement takes me. I’d be lying if I didn’t have high hopes for this product—I’m eager to get my normal eye moisture back!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Here's The Deal...

I've started this blog to try and find a solution to my eye problems because, really, I've just about had it with the dry eyes and blurred vision. Hopefully, my attempts to regain the healthy eyes I once had (and took for granted, but boy oh boy do I now "see" how fabulous it is to have good vision!) will work.

This Dry Eyes and Blurred Vision blog will basically just chronicle different things I do (and have done already) to try and reduce the blurriness and increase the moisture. I hope to find a solution to my eye problems (obviously) and help you with yours in the process. Karma can either be a bitch or a beauty, and I'd much rather dish out the latter of the two because what goes around does come around. Cheers!