Hi, five months ago I suddenly developed severe dry eye in what seemed overnight. I was perfectly fine, with not even signs of mild dry eye and in a matter of days my eyes became unbearably sore, painful, and had a menthol sensation. After extensive testing (hormonal and auto-immune) came back normal, my doctors can not figure out how a 20 year old can have such sudden severe dry eye. I am on restasis, have punctal plugs, tried steroid drops, warm compresses, lid massages, and I have not gotten relief. They said my tear break up time is low, but I don't have much meibomitis, my schmimer fluctuates every time (from 4 to 20) so the doctors say is not a really reliable measure. I am also on tetracycline and occusoft lid scrubs.
I have recently been tested for allergies, and I am highly allergic to dust, mold, my pet.. etc. But I cannot take anti-
histamines because they will dry me even more. What do you think might be a possible cause for this painful condition?? Also, do you think allergies may be a culprit?
If by "menthol" you mean an odd, cool / warm, blowing sensation then you may have a condition called keratoneuralgia. This is a VERY new concept of patients who have severe dry eye symptoms but very few abnormal findings on examination. One thing you didn't mention was whether your corneas show "staining", but I'm betting not. Search Boston Foundation for Sight and read what they have on the topic, and also consider contacting them - they are very friendly on the phone. Before you plan a trip to Boston, contact Rebecca Petris at the Dry Eye Company for a recommendation for a good dry eye doctor near you, one who can "think outside the box".
As far as allergies, unless these are NEW allergies, it is difficult to blame your sudden new eye symptoms on longstanding allergies (even if undiagnosed).
The Schirmer test is very highly dependent on the skill and knowledge of the person administering it. It is more likely that the extreme values are incorrect than that you really fluctuate that much.
The menthol feeling shows when I am feeeling the worst and as far as corneal staining, my doctors say it is very minimal to none. I have already talked to the guys at Boston Foundation for Sight and tried their prosthetic lens and unfortunately it didn't work for me. My symptoms fluctuate a lot, from intense burning to just blurry vision. I have also already talked to Rebecca and I am scheduled to see Dr. Toyos for an IPL treatment for evaporative dry eye. I may also try the autologous serum drops.
As far as the schimmer goes, last time the person who measured it was a bit aggresive haha, so maybe the high results could have just been reflex tears.
At the same time that my dry eye started, I also had sinus pressure, then hives and lip swelling a couple of weeks later.. so that is why I am making the allergy connection. Based on your experience, can an allergy cause dry eyes?
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.