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  • Eye redness?

    I'm curious as to how many sufferers of ocular rosacea also suffer from the double whammy of having bloodshot eyes. My eyes are so red and irritated, and it completely came out of nowhere. I stopped wearing contacts and eye makeup 7 months ago but no improvement It almost makes me cry looking at pictures of myself from just one year ago. My eyes were so white and healthy looking. Of course they weren't perfect, but they didnt look so inflammed and awful. I have tried so many treatments, and nothing helps.

    About a month ago, I had one weekend where my eyes went back to how they were a year ago--meaning no irritation, and hardly any redness (overall the eye looked white and normal). Then, for no reason, on Tuesday my eyes went right back to being painful and red and unhealthy looking.

    I have mild facial rosacea, but if I could, I'd take super awful facial rosacea symptoms if it meant my eyes would be cleared up and feeling good. At least I can wear makeup to hide the facial redness. My eye redness seems to be permanent and I get depressed when I look in the mirror and at first glance the "whites" of my eyes just look pink. Yet I can't stop looking throughout the day, hoping that the redness will have gone down. I almost wish I didn't have that magical weekend where my eyes went back to normal. It was such a tease, thinking I would be free from this redness and obsession.

    I know I am overly focused on this, but my eyes used to be my favorite feature. They were big and expressive and if I wore a little mascara, I felt put together and pretty. now when I put on makeup they just get even more red. And I hate the fact that they are so big, because it just means that there is more redness to see

    I am only 26 years old. I have enough insecurities. This last year has been hell...someone please tell me there's hope? I am getting the IPL treatment done in a few weeks. I hope that works. I am at my wit's end and about to become a recluse because I am sick of having to wear my dopey glasses all the time and I am so self-conscious about my eyes. I frequently hear "are you sick?" or "you look tired" or "do you have an eye infection?" I wish I did, because at least then there would be a reason and remedy for my eye redness.

  • #2
    Oh Charon, I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. Don't despair- you can get your beautiful eyes back.
    Are you taking any ocular meds? Have you seen an eye doctor? There are different causes to red eyes and your symptoms and it would be best to definitively diagnose them in order to treat them most efficiently.

    For starters I recommend preservative free rewetting drops applied very liberally in the beginning- like every hour or so for a few days to see if it makes a difference. That may be all you need depending on the cause. Then there are Rx eyedrops you can start if the OTC tears don't help enough (Restasis). But again it's best done with a knowledgeable eye doctor examining and diagnosing and treating you as necessary.

    Do you have any crusty discharge at your lashes (especially upon awakening in the AM)? If so start gently massaging your lids with a warm compress and water or lid scrubs before you go to bed. That can contribute to ocular redness as well. And I am a big fan of cool compresses for redness any time of day. It really helps. You can also pick up one of those cool gel eye masks and keep them in the fridge and put over your eyes whenever to help with the irritation and redness.

    Then there's diet- make sure you are getting plenty of omega 3's as that might help.

    I love this site. When you get a chance read through it and I am sure you can find tips that will be helpful.
    http://dryeyezone.com/faq/index.html

    Best of luck and hang in there- you will get relief!

    Melissa

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    • #3
      Also you might check the TREATMENT subheading for Subtype 4 with the RRDi.
      Brady Barrows
      Blog - Join the RRDi


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      • #4
        Thank you both for your responses. It is so nice to have found this forum where I can get support and advice.

        I am seeing an opthamologist now. I went last fall when my eyes started to get red. I was convinced I had pink eye or some infection. The doctor told me it was "just" blepharitis/MGD. I later asked him if I had ocular rosacea and if I should be treated for that. He told me that I probably did, but it would manifest in the same way as MGD and the treatment course was the same.

        I am currently on:
        -Tobradex 2x/day (for 3 weeks, I'm on week 2 now--hasn't helped much)
        -Pataday (allergy drop) in the AM (not sure if it's helping, eyes are still red so it's hard to tell)
        - Restasis 2x/day. I'm concerned this is making my eyes more red. I asked the opthamologist about this, but he said the redness was probably just from my MGD and I shoudl keep at it.

        I am on 50 mg/day of minocycline. Is there another antibiotic that works better for rosacea? I have been on the antibiotic for about 4 months. At first the opthamologist thought (and I agreed) that it was making a difference, but now I feel like my eyes are as bad as ever. And on top of that, it makes my skin so sensitive to the sun, and with a fair-skinned complexion and some facial rosacea, it's not ideal.

        I am getting IPL in a few weeks. Has anyone else had this treatment? Did it help? I really hope so. I feel a bit silly paying $500 (each time!) for a treatment that's pretty much unproven, but I"m at my wits' end. I even considered getting "eye whitening" surgery at one time (I've ruled it out now, too dangerous and I need to treat the underlying treatment).

        I take fish oil 6x/day, not sure if it's made a difference but I know it can't hurt. Has anyone else had success with other supplements or a particular diet? I love soda and beer, but I would consider abstaining if it would help my eyes.

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        • #5
          What are your opinions of hot or warm compresses? All my opthamologists have told me to use them. But what I don't understand is, if the root of my problem is inflammation, doesn't heat make that worse? I've read that I should use cold compresses, but will that do anything?

          EDIT to add: Thank you both for replying. It is so nice to have found a forum for advice and support. I hate feeling like I'm all alone in this!

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          • #6
            You are very welcome

            Hi Charon, I think the warm compresses will help you because you were diagnosed with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). If you read this link you will see that in conjunction with gentle lid massage it will liquify secretions and keep the meibomian glands clear and allow oil back into your tear film which will prevent the tears from evaporating so fast. The link explains it in a clear and concise manner (in other words way better than I can LOL). Make sure you cleanse your lids as well to get rid of all the bacteria at your lash margins (blepharitis) as this exacerbates the clogged Meibomian glands.

            http://dryeyezone.com/encyclopedia/lidtherapy.html

            Ask your ophthalmologist if you can be switched to 40 mg doxy (Oracea) instead of 50 mg mino because all you need is the anti inflammatory effect and right now you are on a dose that is not necessary for your problem.

            Restasis should be helpful but it takes a long time for it to start working so give it a couple of months.
            If it irritates your eyes then I wouldn't continue but if it doesn't I recommend to give it a chance.

            The question I have is why you are on Pataday? It is a great medication for ocular allergies but you didn't mention that. Are your eyes itchy at all? Do you have ocular allergies? If not I would ask your doctor if you could d/c Pataday or if not what is the rationale? I do like this med but only for allergies and not MGD or blepharitis.

            Not sure why you are on the Tobradex for so long. I think you can ask your doctor if you can d/c it for now. The Tobradex is part antibiotic and part steroid and you don't need to be on it for so long unless you have an active infection. And even then I am not sure if it is a good idea to be on a steroid (albeit mild) for more than short term to get the major inflammation calmed down. You are on enough stuff so that should be taken care of.

            So just to repeat what I wrote- I think Restasis is good to continue in order to give it a chance. It helps calm down inflammation that might be decreasing your tear production and causing some of your symptoms. I think preserv free rewetting drops absolutely can help and cannot hurt so I would give that a shot as well. Liberally to begin (every hour or 2) for the first few days at least and then perhaps down to 4 times a day. Omega 3's are best from your diet so if you could swing that it would be preferable but if not continue with the supplementation as long as you are not experiencing any adverse effects from it. D/C the Pataday (unless you have ocular allergies) and D/C the Tobradex (if you have an active infection there are straight antibiotics you can take but doesn't sound like you do). Begin gentle lid cleansing and massage therapy with warm (not hot) compresses before bed at least and perhaps in the AM as well. Massage gently so you don't aggravate your symptoms. Use cool compresses throughout the day as needed- they cannot hurt.

            Hope that helps.

            Best,
            Melissa

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            • #7
              Hello, Charon,

              I cleared up my red eyes doing the compresses plus using "lid scrub" foam. I use a brand that contains tea tree oil. I keep forgetting the brand, but I'll let you know if you want.

              In addition to the above, I would alternate (and now I can put a lot of nights in between) dry eye lubricant (the kind in the tube that you put sort-of under your lower eyelid at bed time) and castor oil on the lash lines and lashes.

              I'd apply the castor oil with a fresh cotton bud (q-tip) for each eye section (4: right left top bottom) so as not to carry any bacteria or mites over to another section or into your castor oil bottle.

              I believe the castor oil drowns the bugs. It is not harmful to your eyes. In fact, it too is moisturizing and I have read alternative tracts that say it helps prevent cataracts.

              When you first put it on (first many times depending on how torn up your lids are) it may sting. Don't worry. It's not your eyes getting injured. I went through this, too. It's just that it's going into injured tissue. You don't need a ton, just be consistent and apply an amount that makes its presence known.

              My eyelashes have grown since I've been using the castor oil.

              As for the ointment, it's good because it will help heal the surface of your eye and the underpart of your eyelids. It takes a bit of practice to put it on. But everyone has to get used to is. Just be careful not to have slippery fingers when you do it or you'll pop yourself in the eye with the tube!

              G
              "It's all illusion anyway."

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              • #8
                Charon, I forgot to reply to your question about soda/beer. I would say try a month or so without it and see if it doesn't help. Sugar is pretty much agreed on as a trigger for rosacea (facial/ocular you name it) and many other health ailments so it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it isn't doing you any favors. I know it's a sacrifice but it just might make a difference and if it doesn't no harm no foul.

                Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Thanks you guys!

                  Melissa, my opthamologist gave me the Pataday because he said he saw some allergy symptoms...he said it wasn't the main reason for my discomfort but that my allergies were making things wrose. I think he has me on the Tobradex for so long because my blepharitis/MGD is extremely stubborn and has not responded to other treatments.

                  I am trying to stay optimistic. I am going to stay with the Restasis and give it a few months.

                  I hope that the IPL treatment works. i am nervous though that it will hurt my already sensitive skin/eyes. But if people with rosacea get the treatment done, it can't be so bad.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Charon View Post
                    Thanks you guys!

                    Melissa, my opthamologist gave me the Pataday because he said he saw some allergy symptoms...he said it wasn't the main reason for my discomfort but that my allergies were making things wrose. I think he has me on the Tobradex for so long because my blepharitis/MGD is extremely stubborn and has not responded to other treatments.

                    I am trying to stay optimistic. I am going to stay with the Restasis and give it a few months.

                    I hope that the IPL treatment works. i am nervous though that it will hurt my already sensitive skin/eyes. But if people with rosacea get the treatment done, it can't be so bad.

                    Hi Charon, I feel that the Tobradex has outlived its usefulness and I wonder if you wouldn't be better off just cleansing your lids with commercially prepared lid scrubs without antibiotics or steroids. The pataday takes about 6 full weeks to work so if you have ocular allergies trying it out for a couple of months (as long as it isn't irritating your eyes) is fine. Definitely give the Restasis time to work.

                    Sending you healing vibes and hoping relief comes your way very soon!

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                    • #11
                      My main problem with my eyes is that they get very bloodshot (at work in particular -I work in an office).
                      It's embarrassing and I check my mirror a lot to see how red they are! My right eye is much worse than my left.

                      I resorted to using Clear Eyes occasionally and what a relief! But I know it's no good so I don't use it now.

                      I take an antihistamine daily for allergies and I'm avoiding refined sugar and junk food which seemed to help in the past but it doesn't seem to be working this time.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pinkpunk View Post
                        My main problem with my eyes is that they get very bloodshot (at work in particular -I work in an office).
                        It's embarrassing and I check my mirror a lot to see how red they are! My right eye is much worse than my left.

                        I resorted to using Clear Eyes occasionally and what a relief! But I know it's no good so I don't use it now.

                        I take an antihistamine daily for allergies and I'm avoiding refined sugar and junk food which seemed to help in the past but it doesn't seem to be working this time.
                        Hi pinkpunk, the antihistamines you are taking for allergies might be drying out your tear film making your eyes red. I agree you should not use Clear Eyes or anything that promises to "get the red out" as that is due to a vasoconstrictor and after a bit will cause a rebound redness. The best drop for you to try is a preservative-free rewetting drop- such as Refresh Plus or Tears Naturale. Any rewetting drop that is preservative free is best. You should instill 2 drops in each eye every hour or 2 in the beginning and after a few days you should experience some relief.

                        You might also want to try cool compresses when you are home for some relief.

                        Good luck.

                        Best,
                        Melissa

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                        • #13
                          Gently cleansing your lid margins twice a day with a non irritating lid scrub gently using warm compresses to massage your lids (to help the MGD).so it is not new info though there may not have been formal studies regarding this benefit until more recently. As usual, anecdotal evidence precedes formal data.

                          eyesurgerynew.com/eye-surgery/post-eye-surgery-care-tips

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                          • #14
                            Not getting enough sleep
                            Allergies
                            Smoking pot
                            Eye fatigue (maybe your glasses aren't strong enough?)

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