It was a beautiful day. After much needed rain, the air was clear and slightly warm. Even though it wasn’t spring yet, the smell of blossoms caused me to inhale deeply.
I walked briskly toward the building where I had an appointment with my ophthalmologist. It had been 9 months since I had last seen my doctor. Even though she wasn’t able to “cure” my dry eyes, I always respected her. She would prescribe things that I asked for, such as serum tears. Few people ever had that covered by insurance, but mine were. Unfortunately serum tears and most remedies didn’t help my problem, they worsened it.
This would definitely be an interesting appointment because I wasn’t suffering anymore with unrelenting eye irritation and pain.
I managed just fine with my eyes now. Some days were better than others. On this particular day, my eyes were tired and slightly dry. It was probably due to spending a lot of time on my computer the night before. But I had escaped the lifelong diagnosis of dry eye suffering and for that, I was eternally grateful.
As I opened the doors to my ophthalmologist’s office, I wondered, “How had I escaped?”
I often shared my technique of using coconut oil. But other than one woman who said it was helpful for her, no one else seemed to have been cured as dramatically as I was. I remember how I used to search the dry eye support group site. I was envious of people who found relief. I tried so many things, and was devastated when they hurt my eyes. I had such a long list.
Many items I ordered were expensive. If I couldn’t use them, I mailed them for free to any dry eyes sufferers who were interested. That helped me feel better about it.
Perhaps the key for me was that I never gave up.
I did rest for periods of time; I admit I was in complete despair. But it wasn’t giving up because eventually I went back to trying something else.
The last thing on my list was to go to a naturopathic doctor. I had heard of that before, but without a recommendation I had no idea who to trust. Plus it was expensive. So instead I tried dietary changes on my own without any improvement of my eye condition.
When I did go to a NT (naturopathic) doctor, I made many changes. (See posts: #40 A NATURAL PATH-PART 1 and #41 A NATURAL PATH-PART 2)
I attribute my cure to the coconut oil technique. The week before I started it, I finished a regimen of preservative-free allergy eye drops that were a disaster. My eyes were horrible and I went to see the optometrist who recommended those drops. She saw my irritation and told me to discontinue them immediately.
The night after that appointment I began using a coconut oil technique. I was desperate. I had waited on it because it was important for me to try only one thing at a time. That way, there would be no confusion about what worked or didn’t.
I put the oil into the eyecups and stared through it. The next morning I woke up. My eyes didn’t hurt. I couldn’t believe it!
From that day forward I continued using the oil at night. Once my eyes were better, I didn’t sustain many of the things my NT suggested. I went back to using some plastic items in my kitchen and I stopped using an air purifier in my bedroom.
A few months after my eyes stopped hurting, I had an appointment scheduled for scleral lenses. They would be expensive and my eyes were much better. I debated about cancelling that appointment.
I’m glad I didn’t. The doctor suggested that instead of scleral lenses, I try soft daily contact lenses. I was amazed at how I was able to handle lenses again. These were different from the hard contact lenses I had worn for 40 years. I had to practice taking them in and out.
Initially, I received a multifocal lens for my right eye. It would allow me to have some close up vision, which was convenient. But when I’d go to a movie or play tennis, I didn’t like seeing blurry in the distance on that one eye.
A month later I asked my doctor to prescribe another lens for me that I could wear for those other situations.
I only wear my lenses about twice a week – mostly for social occasions or for a tennis game. My friends have told me I’m seeing the ball much better these days. I am elated for other reasons. Once my eye condition improved, I was able to concentrate on dieting. I gained a lot of weight during when I was suffering from dry eyes – eating helped me feel better temporarily. I took off 40 pounds in six months and was a new woman.
I feel tremendous empathy and sorrow for my fellow dry eye sufferers. I wish everyone could find something that heals him or her. I encourage people to keep trying. If I had given up, I would still be suffering.
I consider myself cured because I live my life without my eyes hurting or distracting me.
That doesn’t mean my eyes are 100% the way they were before this condition took over my life. There are times when my eyes are annoying, but I do not use any kind of drop. My problem became severe after I overused eye drops and eyelid wipes. And my eyes are still very different since having cataract surgery. I have a lot of floaters due to PVD (posterior vitreous detachment).
I’ve continued to use coconut oil before I go to bed, but not every day. If I miss a day, sometimes I’ll notice. Then I’m sure to use the oil again that night. I never use it during the day because my vision is affected and gets blurry from the oil.
I was ushered into an exam room for my appointment. The doctor’s assistant came in and asked me to look at the eye chart. I wore my glasses and asked her for results when we were done. She said, “Great! You saw 20/20!”
When my ophthalmologist came into the exam room, she carefully looked at my chart. “Your vision test was excellent,” she said warmly and added, “How are you? I haven’t seen you in a while. You are able to wear contact lenses? That isn’t something recommended for people with dry eyes.”
I was excited to share with her my amazing story. I began with explaining my coconut oil technique. I described how I put the oil in eyecups at night, and after the first attempt, my eye pain went away.
She nervously laughed but seemed genuinely happy for me. “Let’s take a look at your eyes,” she said. She put in yellow fluorescein drops and turned off the light.
“Your eye pressure is good,” she said. “Everything looks great!”
I wondered if she needed to see me again. I asked her if I needed to make an appointment to come back.
“It’s not necessary,” she said. “You don’t need to come back again unless there’s a problem.”
Just as I was ready to leave, she asked me about my multifocal lens. She said, “I didn’t know those were available. I also wear dailies and now I want to get one!”
I was amazed how I was sharing helpful information with my doctor. It felt great to be a pioneer of so many positive things.
As I walked out of the building toward my car, I took a deep breath of the springtime air.
I felt like I was walking on a cloud. I remembered how I used to leave eye appointments with my throat choked with tears. When I’d get to my car, I’d sob for a few minutes before driving home.
I was very thankful that those days were behind me now.
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