Many years ago someone once said to me “Old age never comes alone” at the time I didn’t quite grasp what they meant, I do now.
For around 8 weeks now every morning when I got up my eyes would start watering and wouldn’t stop usually until mid afternoon.
This would happen every day and sometimes my eyes were so itchy i ended up rubbing them so hard i gave myself several eye infections.
I thought at first that maybe I had developed an allergy to something so I tried taking Piriton for a week but that didn’t make any difference.
About 10 days ago I managed to give myself another eye infection, this one quite a nasty one.
I used some chloramphenicol 0.% antibiotic drops to clear that up and once it had gone decided to go to my GP about it.
My GP took one look at my eyes and immediately referred me to an ophthalmic optician.
This was 2 days ago, the exam was not fun I had orange dye put in my eyes and at one point my eyelids were turned inside out which whilst not painful was uncomfortable and bizarre.
After the 45min exam was over, he told me what was wrong with me.
Meibomian gland dysfunction
Well now only do eyes produce water they also produce oil from glands in your eyelids, this oil is essential for eyes as it provides a film that prevents the water from drying out too quickly.
Because my Meibomian glands are blocked the oil isn’t being produced, this gives me dry eyes.
The cornea is the fastest healing organ in the body and overnight because my eyes are dry my eyelids are sticking to my cornea.
In the morning when I open my eyes the eyelids tear the cornea, the optician described it as looking like a grazed knee, because the cornea heals so fast this damage is repaired in 4-6 hours but until it’s fixed my brains natural instinct is to produce tears to protect it, this is why my eyes water for half a day then stop.
When I said earlier “old age never comes alone” this is exactly what I meant, it comes with all the these aches pains and yet another incurable condition.
I am getting so used to hearing that word now.
So treatment is all about managing this condition, this involves lubricating, cleaning and stimulating the glands.
To lubricate my eyes I am currently using Thealoz Duo eye drops but these are mega expensive and once this bottle is used I will move to hydromellose eyedrops which are like a 5th of the price.
The eye lubrication has to be done 4x per day with the 2 most essential one being first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Simple enough, one drop in each eye.
Well that’s a bit more involved and also a bit uncomfortable, but I am sure I will get used to it.
This involves using a cotton bud (I use bamboo ones not plastic as they are less harmful to the environment) and an oil remover, I use Cetaphil.
You have to clean the eyeline of each lid with cetaphil to get rid of the old dried up oily gunk which blocks you’re glands, this is done once a day.
Then you have to stimulate the glands, this is done with heat and massage.
You could use a flannel and hot water but this cools too quickly so you’ll be constantly dipping the towel in the water, you can get “gel packs” which you heat in the microwave and these will need constant reheating, or you can go for the 21st century option like I did and get a gadget.
This mask works really well and applies a lovely heat evenly across my eyelids.
Then I have to massage them by gently running my fingers along the eyeline without pressing too hard.
All these daily thing I now have to do, eye shit and lung shit means it’s now hours from when I get up until I am ready to face the world.
Oh well, shit happens.