There is an explanation for my irritated eye but it’s not corneal abrasion and it’s not some foreign body stuck in my eye. It seems that I have severe dry eye, which doesn’t sound like much but if not treated has the potential to lead to serious vision problems. Fortunately I have a good doctor – a whole team of people running around that center – and now I better understand what’s going on.
I’ve been “sort of” using artificial tears now and then when my eyes felt dry. But I am now supposed to use them 4-5 times a day, and a more expensive (and therefore probably more effective) kind than what I’ve been using. They gave me a tiny sample so I can try it out. There is also a gel that I am to squirt inside the lower eyelid before I got to bed. I have a feeling this is going to be a bit messy and feel weird but it should really help heal the problem.
It occurred to me in the car on the way home that it didn’t help matters that I broke my humidifier tank when I was trying to get it set up a few weeks ago and dilly-dallyed around and didn’t get it replaced until a week ago. The dryness in the heated apartment in the dead of winter, even this mild one, has not helped matters. I have a new humidifier quietly spitting moisture into the air and I’ve adjusted the setting to keep the levels up. That should help some, but not as much as the drops and the gel.
The doctor explained that what I’ve been experiencing is really connected to the same dry eye problems I’ve had in the past, even though it seems different. Before, I would wake up in the morning with my vision a little blurred in one eye and it would get worse over the next few hours, and then gradually get better. This time the vision isn’t changing, it just feels as though I have something in the eye. But one of the causes is likely to be the same — my eye isn’t completely closing when I sleep and it dries out. If the part that’s uncovered is the center part, then the vision blurs. If it’s the corner part that is open, then it just feels as though there’s grit in the eye.
I’m also spending way too much time doing computer work. My eyes are tiring out and this is apparently another factor causing dry eye. Hmmm, gee, I wonder what that means?