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Dry Eyes
May 2001

Q. I'm having a very serious problem with dry eyes. I have tried plugs, gels, drops etc. and nothing works. My eyes have been dry since I was 20. Now I'm 43 and my eyes are worse. They burn, ache and my vision is blurry. At night the eyes no longer relubricate themselves and hurt when I wake. I can't read anymore because it really burns and hurts. I also cannot stay on the terminal very long. I'm scared I'll soon lose my job and eyesight and not be able to support my family. I would now say I am handicapped. Please HELP and let me know what breakthroughs are happening with dry eye remedies/surgeries/cures.

A. I would assume you have seen one or more eye doctors to check on the health of the eyes themselves. The treatment you have tried so far are all topical measures, namely eye medication, without much success. The dry eyes may be a symptom of some underlying condition such as Scorners syndrome, a type of immune disorder in which dry eyes are just a symptom. Immune problems are often evaluated by a rheumatologist (joint specialist), since many types of arthritis are considered auto-immune disorders. If this is the case, treatment for the underlying condition might prove helpful. Your doctor can evaluate whether this approach might help.

HELPFUL WEBSITES:
http://www.aoanet.org/cpg-10-cposd.html
http://www.nei.nih.gov/pubpat.htm
http://www.medem.com/MedLB/sub_detaillb.cfm?parent_id=30&act=disp
http://www.sjogrens.org/

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