#41 A NATURAL PATH – PART 2

I filled the eye cups with coconut oil, and positioned them over my eyes. It was very strange – almost like looking underwater. In the morning, I was amazed at how much better my eyes felt.

I often think that dealing with dry eyes is a journey that requires resting and sprinting. Sometimes I just succumb to discouragement and try hard to accept the dismal condition that can easily rule my life. But I’ve realized that those periods are a time of gathering strength to keep trying to find a solution to my pain.

Two months ago, I felt like I was ready to try some new things to help my eyes feel better. I saw a highly recommended optometrist. She agreed with an ophthalmologist I had seen earlier in the year; my inflamed eyelids indicated that I suffered from an allergy. I had undergone allergy testing and nothing showed up. I replaced my pillow and mattress covers with expensive dust mite protective ones. What was I allergic to?

She suggested I try allergy drops again. I told her they hadn’t worked, but then she told me perhaps it was because of the preservatives. She said I could order a preservative-free allergy eye drop made by Similson.

I was determined and wanted to give this regimen a fair chance. Before the vials arrived, I tried my prescription allergy eye drops again for a few days. Within a day of doing that, my eyes were hurting. The Similson vials didn’t make a difference and I spiraled into a cycle of pain.

I decided to see the optometrist again so she could check me. She saw the irritation on my eyelids and told me to stop the drops immediately. Her recommendation was to go back on steroid eye drops twice a day.

My ophthalmologist assumed that was what I was doing. But I just was afraid to keep using them – the worst part was they didn’t seem to help me anymore. I left the appointment and went home in a fog of pain. I used the steroid drops that evening and had no relief at all.

The very familiar hopeless feeling began to set it and it was hard for me to stay positive. I had such a collection of remedies and wondered what was left to help me. A few months ago I ordered Manuka Honey drops from Australia. Before that, it was Castor Oil. Neither one helped at all.

I had another remedy to try that was given to me by a naturopathic doctor; it involved using coconut oil. I had waited on it because I didn’t want to try two things at once.

I really didn’t pin my hopes on it because I had tried using coconut oil on my eyelids a year earlier and it hadn’t helped. But I did love the smell of coconut oil; it was actually one of the best things for my hives and I kept some next to my bed.

The new regimen was a little different because I wouldn’t be putting oil in my eyes with an eye dropper. I would use eyecups; my eyes would be immersed in oil and I would do eye movements at the same time.

Now that I had stopped the allergy eye drops, it was time to give this a try.

This is from my treatment plan (Full version on Part 1).
This is from my treatment plan (Full version on Part 1).

Eye cups

LINK TO PURCHASE THE EYE CUPS ABOVE:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013WD3YCW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

First, I needed to order eye cups, preferably glass, but I decided I’d get the plastic ones first because they would arrive sooner and I could be sure if this remedy was helpful or not. The first night, I simply used an eye dropper and put the coconut oil in my eyes before bed.

I woke up and noticed an improvement – the irritation seemed to be gone.

I didn’t want to get overly excited until I was sure. The next day, the eye cups arrived. Before I went to bed, I carefully filled them with the oil. Then I bent over and lifted my head so the oil covered my eyes. I put a towel on my chest because a little oil seeped out.

Putting eyecups on

It was so strange – almost like looking underwater. But it was very cool and my eyes were relaxed. I could see all of my floaters literally floating by. I rotated my eyes in every direction ten times and then bent over to remove the cups.

I wiped my face with a towel and went to bed.

The next morning I was amazed. My eyes were so much better! What a difference it made for me when I didn’t have pain. I could function with so much more energy and hopefulness. I still had a lot of floaters and fog from PVD, but I could deal with that.

Eyecup close up 2

It has only been a week since I’ve been using the eye cups and coconut oil every night. My eyes continue to improve. Before, I used to dread the nighttime regimens. Hot compresses, Restasis and eyelid wiping – I hated them for causing my eyes to feel worse.

But now I’m actually looked forward to my new bedtime regimen. It’s soothing and I know it’s helping me!

It seems like the changes I’m making are making a difference. I look forward to getting healthier now and am so grateful that I’ve moved forward on my dry eye journey to try something that has actually helped me.

A friend shared this Internet clip with me.

A friend shared this Internet clip with me.

IMG_2369
These are brands of coconut oil that I’ve used.

© Judy Unger and http://dryeyediaries@wordpress.com 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Author: Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!

12 thoughts on “#41 A NATURAL PATH – PART 2”

  1. Hi Judy, I’ve just discovered your blog and am so thankful that you’re sharing your experiences. It’s definitely time that I do that too, as I’ve been struggling with DED and MGD since laser eye surgery 6 years ago. While it fluctuates (which is so hard sometimes as I don’t know what is making it worse!) it has gotten worse over time. I’m very curious about the coconut oil that you use and if you have MGD as well as dry eye? Has the coconut oil continued to help? Do you wash your eyes/face in the morning? Thanks so much for your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lynn, (I hope I’ve got your name right)
      Thank you so much for your comment – it just fuels me so much. I often wonder when I share where it will lead. I’m so sorry you’ve suffered from this miserable condition after laser eye surgery. Mine also came after surgery. It was a shock and it still fluctuates. However, I’m in a much better place now, thankfully.
      The naturopathic doctor that recommended this also said it could be interchanged with ghee. I haven’t done that. I just bought a bottle of oil at Target and chose one that was more liquid than solid (unrefined, virgin, organic coconut oil). I’ve used two brands already. When it was a little cold where I was, it became more solid so I heated it slightly in the microwave.
      I no longer use eyelid wipes. In the morning I wash my face like I’ve always done with a very mild facial soap.
      I have been diagnosed with MGD and dry eyes but not clear about where my pain is coming from. Earlier this year I was told my eyelids show a lot of irritation. The coconut oil seems to be addressing that very well.
      I am extremely sensitive – I tried serum tears from my own blood and had a bad reaction. So you can imagine that I was afraid to try this. I did use castor oil and coconut oil in my eyes before and it didn’t help me. Gel at night used to help but then it stopped working for me.
      Staring through the liquid oil for about a minute seems to have made the difference. It is very soothing and I notice in the morning that I no longer have any pain. I do get a bit of irritation and discomfort through my day sometimes, but not as much as before. The oil only works for me at bedtimes because it blurs my vision too much otherwise.
      I’ve been doing this six weeks now. I missed a day this week and boy did I suffer. So I won’t do that again! I wash the eyecups with soap and water and let them dry. One time the cups were damp and water got in my eye and burned. So be careful of that!
      I wish you luck if you try this. Please let me know how it goes!

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      1. Thanks very much Judy! I too have tried castor oil and coconut oil, honey, Cliradex, a million other scrubs and things and every eye drop known to human kind! I’m a bit scared to try the coconut oil as it didn’t help when I last tried, but I am willing to try everything and anything that will help to alleviate this extremely challenging condition that affects and interrupts my life daily – as it does for others including you, which I am so sorry about. I’m 36 years old and so scared about this condition getting worse. I’ve just started IPL treatments (have only had one session) and I’m praying that it will help. I will let you know how it goes!
        Best wishes,
        Alysha (Tylynn is my middle name :))

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so sorry, Alysha. You’re too young to suffer with this. Mine started when I was 52. So you’ve done all that stuff that I’ve done. I was actually making my eyes worse by using too many drops and eyelid wipes. That’s another thing you could try. Let me know how it goes. I’m praying for you!
        Try not to worry. Just stay determined to solve it and find relief. I’m certain you will. 🙂

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  2. Judy, I have severe dry eyes. I have used eye ointment at night time for 16 years. I had to go off my hormones when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My eyes have gotten much worse since I had the surgery and radiation. I am using eye drops every hour. I read that eye drops can cause dry eyes. How did you stop using them? Did you do it cold turkey or gradually? I am miserable, depressed and not loving life.

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    1. Julie, I’m so sorry that you are in “dry eye hell.”
      I’m not able to write a long reply at the moment, but I will definitely get back to you soon. (I’m on vacation)
      I highly recommend the coconut oil with eye cups. See if you can order eye cups on Amazon to start with. They’re not expensive.

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      1. Hi Julie, I’m out of the country but wanted to reply to your message.
        As far as stopping all the treatments that were irritating my eyes – I am hesitant to recommend that to everyone now because for some people, it might cause corneal erosions if they discontinued artificial tears.
        An ophthalmologist (not a dry eye specialist) diagnosed me with a possible allergy after seeing that my upper eyelids had extreme inflammation. Prior to that, I had intense pain and discomfort ranging from sensations and burning to an inability to open my eyes. It was awful and my corneal specialist and several other eye specialists (even at a well known clinic) said they didn’t see any problems at all. I thought perhaps that I had corneal neuralgia.
        The worse my irritation became, the more I used eyedrops and eyelid wipes – my eyes were sticky and uncomfortable. It was a vicious cycle. The doctor that diagnosed a possible allergy, gave me three samples of steroid eye drops to use. The first one worked the best – Durezol, the others (Alrex, Lotemax) not so much.
        Within a day, my eyes improved significantly. I assumed that it was the Durezol that was responsible. It turns out that it wasn’t. It was the discontinuation of treatment that made the difference. I stopped the Refresh Plus vials, the eyelid wipes and hot compresses. I continued using Restasis for another month and then stopped that, too.
        My eyes had another flare up a few months later. I requested Durezol again and it didn’t help. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t the reason my eyes felt better – just a coincidence.
        When I was contacted to do a video about dry eyes – I was far from feeling “cured” or anything close to that. But I felt hopeful.
        Even with a flare up – my eyes were still manageable. I went down the allergy path – I had a lot of tests and everything was negative. I tried an air purifier in my bedroom, a humidifier, Clariton and even preservative free Similson allergy eye drops. The eye drops worsened my eyes immediately so I stopped them.
        Then about two months ago, I sought out a naturopathic doctor to see if I could go a different route. I expected more dietary changes and was a little wary to try coconut oil.
        It was actually the very first remedy I tried, which was soothing and non-irritating. I was surprised because I had tried coconut oil on my eyelid margins and even as an eye drop – it didn’t help and blurred my vision. But the eyecup method at night really made a difference. I’ve tried it during the day (before a nap) and it isn’t as effective. I think the 7 hours where I’m sleeping allows the oil to dissipate, so my vision is clear when I awaken.
        So to answer your question, I pretty much stopped the eyedrops cold-turkey within a week. At first, I just used them twice a day – but I noticed that 30 minutes after using them, my eyes worsened. So that was all I needed to know to completely stop. I realized that even Restasis was bothering me after a week – so I stopped that, too.
        For four years, my eye condition ruled my life. I was very depressed and socially reclusive. I fell several times, which was very traumatic – luckily I didn’t have any major injuries. But I felt nervous and unsure of my steadiness because I didn’t open my eyes well. I pretty much isolated myself.
        I’m on vacation now and feeling great. The soft daily lenses I’ve started wearing are working well for me. On my vacation, I’ve used the coconut oil every other day and might eventually discontinue it if my eyes keep feeling this way. I almost could say that now I’m cured.
        I sure hope my story can lift you up. My remedy might not be your remedy (I was devastated when serum tears didn’t help me because I was sure it would). But if you get anything from what I’ve shared – I encourage you to stay hopeful and keep looking for something that will help you. It’s there and you can’t give up hope. It will get better, Julie! Please write to me again and update me. I really care.

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      2. Thank you for sending such a wonderful reply. I am so glad that you are having a wonderful vacation. It gives me something to smile about. Today has been a bad eye day. I feel very discouraged, feeling hopeless at times, and dreading my future life. With that being said, is there a way to communicate, and not have this be public?

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      3. Hi Julie,
        You may absolutely email me – I am so sorry you are struggling and discouraged. I’ve been there and it seems endless. But it isn’t.
        Here’s my email: judy@judyunger.com.
        Feel free to write to me anytime.
        I’m thinking of you and praying you have some better days soon.

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    1. I buy organic virgin unrefined oil. I purchased two types from Target. The temperature is what makes them liquid. In the summer, I never have to do anything to the oil. Now that it’s colder, I warm my jar in warm water in my sink first. Occasionally I’ll use the microwave.

      Good luck! Thanks for writing and let me know how it goes!

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