Does this seem like dry eye?

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by malcolmsmit, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. malcolmsmit

    malcolmsmit Guest

    Some background, I'm in my late 30's, I do computer work for a
    living and I wear glasses for a slight astigmatism. I have no vision
    problems not described below. Certainly no flashes, dizziness or

    About a year ago I would occasionally get a short stabbing pain in one
    of my eyes. This would happen in either eye but only one at a time. At
    first it was so infrequent, like once a month, I never really bothered
    to do anything about it. Anyway over time this became more frequent,
    especially during the last 6 weeks or so. I noticed the pain would
    either be a stabbing pain in the eye, or aches around the orbital of
    one of my eyes. As before only one eye at a time would be affected and
    the pain typically lasted only for 4 or 5 seconds or less. The triggers
    were more or less random, moving my eye or having it focus on something
    would trigger it, but again only for a couple of seconds and then the
    pain would be gone.

    I noticed over time it became more frequent, from once a month a year
    ago, typically after staring at a computer screen for most of the day.
    Since then it became a weekly, and eventually daily thing.

    Recently (the last few weeks) I could get my first small jolt just
    before I got up. I would be awake with my eyes closed, I would move my
    eye and get a little and brief discomfort. It was occurring several
    times an hour, so 2 weeks ago I visited my optometrist, we ran through
    the standard battery of tests including glaucoma. I haven't had any
    other symptoms, like nausea or flashes. My vision is excellent, other
    then this pain. Anyway he could find nothing wrong, and suggested I
    suffered from dry eye and he gave me some lubrication drops. I didn't
    notice much difference in symptoms so I visited my doctor. She could
    find nothing wrong and suggested possibly dry eyes. Anyway I bought a
    gel lubricant and I thought things were a bit better, but last night I
    was working late in my garage when my eyes started to bug me. I was
    tired, I admit, I closed my eyes for a bit and things were fine. My
    cornea in the affected eye felt sore and tired. I finished up and went
    to bed. I think I put my liquid drops in, not my longer lasting gel
    drops, but I woke up a few hours later with an eye ache in one of my
    eyes. I went to sleep again and I woke a few hours later again with
    some real eye discomfort. I got up and put some gel drops in and took
    some aspirin. After 20 minutes I felt better and slept the rest of the
    night. As I lay in bed this morning my eye was still a bit sore, but
    when I got up this quickly relented. Seems like sleeping make it worse?

    Does this seem like dry eye?

    Any ideas why the problem seems to have escalated in so much in the
    last 3 or 4 weeks? Perhaps this is the way it normally presents it
    self. I would expect an occasional episode, but it seems wierd that my
    eyes would be chronically dry.

    Granted in hindsight its probably been a year or more, but its seems
    like its only become a problem in the last few weeks. I thought I was
    getting a handle on it, but last nights little episodes, kind of threw
    me for a loop.

    My eyes are clear but the veins are somewhat enlarged from what I would
    think. Like my eyes are tired or something. They are not red like an
    infection, I'm sure my MD or optometrist would have said something if
    there was something really unusual.
    I bought some better night time gel for my eyes and flaxseed oil today
    Not sure what else to do.

    The wierd thing is, I was a different optometrist a year ago, he asked
    me if I suffered from dry eyes, I told him honestly no. He said oh, he
    thought my eyes were slightly elongated, not much but a bit more than
    average and that might cause dry eyes. His said his son had the same
    problem. I dismissed it at the time, but perhaps he was being very
    malcolmsmit, Aug 3, 2006
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  2. malcolmsmit

    acemanvx Guest

    computers are associated with dry eyes. Take your glasses off for near
    and the computer if you can see clear enough without em. Computer
    glasses may help, perhaps readers for you to relieve accomodative
    strain? Take frequent breaks and dont forget to blink!
    acemanvx, Aug 3, 2006
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  3. malcolmsmit

    Dom Guest


    Yes it does sound like it could be dry eye.

    Use artificial tears at least every 2 hours through the day, especially
    when working on the computer.

    Use a gel or better still an ointment such as Lacri-lube or Poly-visc
    just before bed.

    Have your partner or someone look at you while you are sleeping to see
    if your eyes are *completely* closed while you sleep or open just a
    crack, which would be enough to cause problems (the solution is to tape
    your eyes closed overnight!).

    Continue the fish oil, avoid aircon & heating if possible, avoid
    caffeine & alcohol, avoid dry dusty environments.

    Has something changed in your environment or lifestyle
    (dust/hobbies/weather/work hours/new computer/health issues etc) in the
    last 3-4 weeks?

    Do you have arthritis or any other health conditions?

    Dom, Aug 3, 2006
  4. malcolmsmit

    malcolmsmit Guest

    No health problems, including arthritis, no real changes in the last
    few weeks or months. My left eye is worse than my right. In fact my
    right hasn't bothered me for a while. I tried some nightime ointment in
    my eyes last night as my left eye was sore again before I went too bed.
    I slept through the night and my bad left eye felt fine in the morning.
    I think it got a bit aggravated with the car AC and in a meeting room I
    had to spend an hour in this morning. Felt like it had a draft in my

    It does seem like my eye is dry and somewhat irritated. I'm going to
    stick with the nighttime ointment for a week or so and see if things

    BTW: What tape does a person use to tape his eyes shut? Medical tape? I
    don't see any harm it trying this, although I tend to get up in the
    middle of the night so it may not work for me.
    malcolmsmit, Aug 3, 2006
  5. malcolmsmit

    malcolmsmit Guest

    Yeah I wondered about this as well since I got a new prescription last
    December, I thought maybe this was causing some sort of eye strain.

    I tried working on my computer with my glasses, without my glass and
    with my old glasses. I'm not sure it make a lot of difference.

    Thanks for your response.
    malcolmsmit, Aug 3, 2006
  6. malcolmsmit

    tkopan1 Guest

    Dear Malcolm,

    While we cannot discount dry eyes, sharp pains generally are muscle
    spasms that can occur from eyestrain. I do not recall seeing anything
    about your age, but the closer you get to 40, the more frequent the
    symptoms can become. The more you strain and concentrate, the less you
    blink; the less you blink, the greater the dryness.

    It may be more of an investment, but I would suggest that you be
    measured for computer or VDT glasses which generally should not be more
    than +0.75 over your base prescription unless you are over 40. Then it
    will be slightly less than your reading precription due to the
    increased distance. If you can eliminate the "eyestrain," you may
    eliminate the symptoms.

    --Dr. Tom
    tkopan1, Aug 5, 2006
  7. malcolmsmit

    malcolmsmit Guest


    Thanks for the advise, it sounds good. I'm 37. I'm still not sure what
    the cause is. I stopped taking daytime drops as they seemed to be
    making the problem worse, although I still take a nighttime ointment.
    I'm finding that when my eye(s) start to hurt, just stopping and
    closing my eyes to give them a minutes rest, did more for me than
    daytime drops. They have improved with the night time ointment and the
    one minute eye resting during the day, has reduced some of the stress
    on my eyes.

    Basically I feel like my cornea or muscles around it are a tad
    inflammed. Either because of eye strain or dry eyes or both. I kind of
    suspect its eye strain as well. When these short stabbing symtoms
    started a year ago, it was always late afternoon after looking at a
    computer screen all day. This would cause me to close my eyes and the
    symptoms would go away.

    I'll look into the computer glasses suggestion. I have a slight
    asigmatism, which makes me tricky to get a prescription for I think. I
    know I got a prescription a five or six years ago, which made
    everything nice and sharp, but would give me a headache after an hour
    or so on the computer. I went to another optometist, who is now
    retired, who gave me a great prescription, but after 5 years things
    were getting fuzzy again and the frames were out of style, so I got a
    new pair last December. When I first got them, honestly my first
    instinct was there's something wrong with them. I had a bit of a cold
    at the time, so it was hard to know if the glasses or the cold was
    making me feel quesy. I had a bit of trouble with them the first couple
    of weeks but I got used to them. Still I've often wondered if they were
    right for me, even though I get 20/15 vision with them. I had them
    re-checked by another optometrist a few weeks ago, and he thought they
    were fine.

    I'll definitely look into the computer glasses.

    Thanks Again.
    malcolmsmit, Aug 5, 2006
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