Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No More Tears

I learned recently that my eyes don't produce enough tears, and I've been strangely obsessed with this development.

It's true, in hindsight, that my eyes have felt weird for quite some time now; I just didn't know that the feeling was extreme dryness. I had assumed that, being in front of a computer for most of the day, my eyes just hated me and wanted to pop out of my head.

But on a visit to my eye doc (hadn't been in three years), he decided to do Schirmer's test when I mentioned I took daily allergy meds (which, apparently, cause dry eye). When I said it was "extreme dryness," I meant it. He told me I needed to produce 15 mm of tears during the five-minute test, and I produced 5 mm in one eye, and 3 mm in the other. So, on Restasis I now am to help make my eyes better.

It's such a simple issue, really. Makes total sense given how long I've been taking allergy meds (almost nine years). And yet, it's gotten under my skin. For one, I'm now hyper-aware of the discomfort, and it's now 5,000 times worse than it ever was. My eyes feel raw and unhappy all. the. time. The drops don't seem to have kicked in yet, and while I was at first hesitant to use them (I chafe at the notion that I have to take any kind of medicine forever, except the allergy ones because those help me breathe and not die), I now eagerly await the two times a day I have to squeeze them in.

I also just feel so bothered by this. I find myself getting all metaphysical about it: is there some deeper reason why this is happening?I feel like a superstitious ninny, having gone so far as to half-believe that these last years of my life, where I have cried more than ever before, have somehow drained whatever predetermined amount of tears we may or may not be allotted.

It's just disturbing to find myself unable to cry. Or rather, to cry but with a noticeably fewer amount of tears. I honestly can't tell right now if it's my current state that's making me imagine things, but I feel like it's been quite a while that when I cry (I don't cry a lot, btw, though right now I sound like it's a daily thing with me), I've been aware that the tears run out but I'm still "crying," still in that mode and struggling to breathe and all that. This is since before the visit to the eye doctor.

And I know it's bugging me now because this last month has been emotionally difficult on many fronts. A series of unhappy incidents have led to a greater need to cry, and the tears just haven't been there. In the time between visiting the eye doctor and right now, a couple things have happened that have been cry-worthy, and I was very aware of this, how I was choked up and felt all I usually feel when the crying's coming, but the tears themselves were scarce. Fascinating and freaky.

I asked my doctor if I would ever go back to normal tear production levels, and he said it was highly unlikely. That, too, fascinates and freaks me out, and I don't fully get why. I've got a to-research list to tackle about this, from how tears are produced and if they really never come back, to what on earth Restasis is supposed to do for me.

I swear, it makes me want to cry. Oh, but yeah.

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Posted by Tere @ 2/29/2012   | |

3 Comments

  • Anonymous Betsy posted at 3/01/2012 7:32 PM  
    Wouldn't drinking extra water take care of dry eye. I understand that meds and other things make your eyes dry, but instead of 8 glasses of water maybe drink 16. I'm sure it annoying but might help. I have it on www.Koolagan.com. Good luck an let's all shed some extra tears.
  • Anonymous Caraslife posted at 3/04/2012 1:06 AM  
    Interesting, very interesting. I'd be wondering all the same things and fully aware too if I was you. YOu actually perk my interest in finding out more too because I seem to have the same problem, though never thought it to be anything either. I've had MANY reason to cry and been in full 'I want tears' mode and nothing. Figured it was just me being as stubborn as ever lol. GOOD LUCK
  • Blogger angelaluvnlife posted at 3/15/2012 1:06 AM  
    Ok so I stumbled on to your blog and found that I am having similar issues, but like you wasn't really aware of it till someone pointed out I am in a business networking group and the Opthomalogist mentioned that I had red eyes and asked if they were itchy and I said no and he cocked his head thought it was strange and said usually you would have dry itchy eyes. Ever since then MY EYES feel SOOOO DRY!! I hate when people point things out I actually have an appt on monday but they are driving me crazy I totally feel your pain :) hope they feel better soon!
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