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EXTREMELY irritated and dry/scratchy eyes for almost a year? HELP
Hello,
I'm a 17 year old female and about a year ago my life turned completely upside down.
At first I started waking up with moderately dry eyes, and rinsing them with cold water would suffice. Progressively, the dry scratchy feeling got worse and worse and would not go away. I used eye drops (refresh or thera tears) and they helped but only temporarily. Makeup was extremely irritating and I could hardly keep my eyes open in the wind. In the last 6 months they've gotten so bad, I had to do an incomplete on my college classes, can't concentrate on anything, can't hold down a job, can't drive, nothing. It's been so depressing. It literally feels like I have eyelashes or sand in my eyes. I go through an entire bottle of refresh over the counter tears in a week/week and a half. My daily regimen consists of pataday (allergy eye drops) and restasis in the morning and night and alot of over the counter ointments and drops. I don't think I've heard of anyone with a similar condition as me... I've been in so I'm currently going to an eye specialist who said my eyes don't produce the natural oils that they're supposed to be.. instead of oil the consistency of olive oil, mine is like toothpaste. He has me on these extremely expensive omega 3 pills and is in the process of ordering blood work to see what could be causing this because obviously there's an underlying problem. I've been in so much pain and discomfort and I'm very concerned and depressed because its been so long and there seems to be little improvement :( please help .. does anyone have  any experience/advice? Sorry for the length!
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Well, you're awfully young to have this problem!  I do, but I'm a lot older.

Tears are a bit complicated:  there's a watery component, and there's an oily component that helps keep the tears from evaporating too fast.  My eye doc says that In one form, people just don't make enough of the watery portion.  For them, Restasis is the answer.

In the other form, "Meibomian gland dysfunction" (Google it), the oil glands at the base of the lashes produce a thickish toothpaste-like goo instead of the nice, clear, runny oil they are supposed to make.  My doc told me that Restasis has no real effect on this problem.

I've tried the omega supplements, and found that they maybe help a little.  I also use a tiny dab of LacriLube at night.

The very best thing for me has been warm compresses on my eyes twice a day for about four or five minutes each time (I listen to music).

I make the compresses by putting a little dry rice in a sock, tying off the end, and heating it in the microwave until it's nice and warm, but not hot.

Some things that can cause dry eyes are a kind of psoriasis, and ocular rosacea (both good to google).

I also recommend a tremendously usefu website, the Dry Eye Zone:

http://www.dryeyezone.com

Good luck to you.

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MGD is new on my radar. I am convinced that healthy tears improve vision - mine sure did after I started treating my MGD symptoms. First, warm compresses as you suggest, followed by gentle finger massage of the lids - upper and lower. My opthomologist suggested that I look into finding a way to get my MGD to express - that is, gently force some of the lipids that it makes, out of the gland thru the ducts. I watched a few videos on the subject on youtube and got em to flow a bit. Now my eyes will once again tear up when I blink hard - just like I remember the doing years ago. Good luck.
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You may want to investigate this new treatment
http://www.reviewofoptometry.com/content/c/32679/
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