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Eye allergies or dry eyes?
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Eye allergies or dry eyes?

In January, I developed an infection in my eyes which was diagnosed as kerato-conjunctivitis.  I was put on prescription eye drops which cleared the infection.  About a month later, my eyes began bothering me again but this time there was no mucus discharge.  My symptoms included red bloodshot eyes, a gritty feeling like something was in my eyes, and severe sensitivity to light which would cause my eyes to start tearing excessively whenever I was in the sunlight.  My eyes bothered me so much that I couldn’t put my contacts in.  I went to see a doctor and he said that I had eye allergies that caused my eyes to be inflamed so he put me on Pataday.  This didn’t work so he prescribed Alrex.  Alrex does work but I am hesitant to continue using this on a long term basis because of the side effects.  I found out I am allergic to my cat but I have had him for years and I have never had this problem.  I was suspecting that it might not be allergies at all and may be severe dry eyes since a couple years ago I moved to a very dry location and last week when I visited a very humid location, I had no eye problems at all – I didn’t even have to use my drops.  Is there any way to tell the difference between eye allergies and dry eyes?  Is there an OTC ointment I can use that is safe for long term use since using artificial tears and a humidifier hasn’t been able to help me?  What do you think is causing my eye problems?  
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since you are experiencing some of the major symptoms of dry eye I would advise against ointment. The ocular surface needs complete wetting and ointment interferes with wetting.Contact patients often have dry eye and epithelial damage due to contacts.Ask your Dr. to try you on Freshkote(Focus laboratoites, Little Rock,AR). Freshkote mimmicks the natural tear film in that it addresse all 3 layers. It has a lipd (oil)  to
stabilize the tear film and retard evaporation.This lipid also helps keep skin cell spores out of the tear film. Often these cells can be a problem for contact wearers.When they get into the tear film dry spots appear on the ocular surface.These spots cause problems you have described. Freshkote also has an oncotic pressure of +65mmHg which is just enuogh to overcome the natural -55mmHg of the eye, which leads to healing of the epithelium. The complete wetting comes from a hydrolization of PvA &PVP with polymers which give a chemical bonding to the surface of the eye. Freshkote also has polixitonium which has been used in contact lens solutions. It helps with wetting and has strong antimicrobial and antifungal qualities. Healing has been seen in EBMD and RCE in as little as 36 hours but the literature says allow 1 to 4 weeks. Freshkote can be used before inserting contacts.Allow 30 seconds for it to disperse in your eye and can be dropped on top of you contacts during the day. It should cost about $30 -35 for a six week supply- depending on where you live.You will need an Rx from your DR.
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