Anyone using Restasis for dry eye syndrome?

stimpy926December 5, 2004

I have punctum plugs in my lower eyelids which have helped tremendously, after a horrible winter last year. My eyes were constantly irrited, sore, itchy, red. I also wear gas perm monovision contac lenses, have worn contacs for about 35 years. Doc says that that is not a problem.

Now that the humid summer is gone, the dry atmosphere is not helping. I'm still putting Thera-tears (and others) in my eyes 6-7 times a day, and the more gel-like, before bed.

I'm considering getting punctums for my upper lids as well. Anyone have them both?

But back to the posted question.... does anyone with my-sounding-condition get any relief from Restatis? I heard that if you already have plugs, then it won't help, which is disappointing...was just curious if there's anyone with experience.

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Restatis didn't do much for me. I've had the plugs for about 8 months and now use Systane, non-prescription drops. It helps a lot now.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2004 at 10:30PM
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Thanks Eva, do you have lower and upper plugs, or just lower plugs? Did you try other brands of eye drops before settling on Systane? Any major difference between them?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 7:52PM
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I googled "restasis" and whaddyano, I end up back here on the forum where I am a member! Paula, I'm a gasperm-27year wearer myself and was just given Restasis this week. I was told it could take 6 months before chronic dry eye would be curtailed by Restasis. Were you on it that long? Oh, the leaflet says it doesn't work for people with plugs. What are plugs? I don't think I want them, my dry eye is bearable and a hazard of working with a computer monitor all day coupled with sinus issues.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 4:09PM
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Hey Cube, my eye doc. told me it was a very common condition, but looking for other sufferers, on the web doesn't yield much. :-(
No, I haven't used Restasis, just seen the ads with spokeswoman Jeanne Turner. I asked my eye doc. about it, and she agreed that it wouldn't work for plug wearers. Plugs are tiny silicone pcs. that they insert into the 'drain plug' of your eyelid, usually the lower one to start. The drain hole is in the innermost part of your lid, you can see it when you pull your lower lid down (looking in the mirror of course). Last winter was horrible for me, me eyes were so dry, red, and irritated, drops and humidifiers were doing nothing. The plugs are great, uncomfortable for a few days, much like back when we were getting used to first wearing contacs, but well worth the effort. Apparently, my dryness has been building for years, because at each eye exam the doc. asked if I was uncomfortable with my dry eyes. I hadn't been, until last winter, when I guess I went up to a new plateau. So, the plugs helped out about 80-90%. I still have days where I'm putting in drops every hour two. It's cruddy, but I guess I can't complain, I'm healthy otherwise.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 8:53AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I am probably way out in left field, but I tried to wear contacts for years, and had to put in too many drops. I stopped after I had to work about 15 minutes to remove a contact that had stuck to my eye. I tried warm compresses, but nothing else. I thought I would always have dry eyes.

I stopped taking HRT when we all read about the bad news. My eczema cleared up, and I had fewer problems with dry eyes. My doctor told me to use Bion Tears when I have trouble.

Please don't be offended if I have jumped in on a serious problem, and seem to be making light of it. That is not my intent. I just want to share that hormones seemed to dry out my eyes.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 1:17PM
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Update! Good news. My eye doc put me on Restatis about 6 weeks ago, and I just had a re-check. It's the additional help I needed after all, on top of the improvement (but not 100%) of the punctom plugs. It's working well. 1 drop x twice a day in each eye. There was more stinging in the beginning after application of the drops, but it has waned now to just a few minutes of discomfort. Well worth it vs. eye moisturizers allll day long. If anyone reading wants more feedback just EM me.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 11:27AM
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Hi Paula ~ I too use Restatis and have found it to be helpful. The stinging does lessen over time as you mentioned. My doc told me to continue using liquid tears 4 times daily along with the restatis. It has helped alot, but eyes still bother me. I must admit sometimes I forget to use both the restatis and the liquid tears as faithfully as I should, so it's probably my fault I don't get more relief. My best friend also uses restatis and it has helped her too.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 11:32PM
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I've not used Restasis for dry eyes.

About 4-5 years ago I was having trouble with my eyes. I'd had a corneal injury some years back and I was some getting erosion again in that eye. Plus - I have roseacea and I wonder if it was beginning to affect my eyes. Put all that together with perimenopausal eye dryness and who knows what really caused the problems.

I got punctal plugs and they helped a lot. Perhaps they stretched my tear ducts for the plugs did fall out and ultimately I was better. I'm just mentioning this for info's sake to aid the random web searcher.

My best wishes to those with these problems.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 9:43PM
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Hello, haven't posted to this forum for quite a while, but was interested in what other Restasis users had to say. This is the most current feedback about it that I could find on the web today.

I have moderate to severe dry eyes as a symptom of Rhumatoid Arthritis and aging. I also have punctal plugs in my lower ducts only.

I've used several types of OTC eye drops and find Alcon Tears Naturale and Thera Tears to work best for me, altho Systane drops are good for the occasional refreshing pick-me-up.

I really like Tears Naturale's little vials that can be re-capped for economy (altho the plastic spout can be left ragged and that's not good for unsteady hands around the eye). The newer Thera Tear vials have a well-designed plastic dropper vial that delivers just the right amount.

Really, I don't own stock in either one - those are just my observations ;)

Anyway, my Opth put me on Restasis last year - twice a day. I found I had slightly more tear production about a month or so after starting use. Initially I didn't have that much burning from using it. For a while, my driest eye would develop an eye tick if I didn't use the drops on time.

My tearing did not continue to increase after using it for months but the irritation did. I wasn't sure what was causing the irritation so I just stopped using the Restasis and the situation improved. I admit this might have been a coincidence since I do have sporadic allergy problems.

However, I'm still off them and I still seem to have slightly more tears than before using it. The irritation problem seems improved. I haven't talked to my Opth about this yet.

Let me add that I too thought the brochure said the drops didn't work if you had punctal plugs, but I asked my doctor about it. He clarified that what that statement meant is that the company didn't do any testing specifically on people who had plugs. They were being careful in case some aspect of having plugs caused any problems. CYA ya know?

I'm not an eye expert of course, but given how this product is supposed to work in the eye, I don't see why, if it going to have any effect, it shouldn't work the same as without plugs. As I understand it, the effect is on the actual tear-producing ducts in one's eye lids.

The only difference might be in increased irritation since the chemicals wouldn't drain off eyes with punctal plugs as quickly as from those whose drain ducts weren't plugged. They ought to clarify this in their information.

Anyway, that's my experience with it.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 12:42PM
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Thanks for your input Elizabeth, I'm doing just dandy on the drops plus the lower plugs. Get a little stinging after insertion of the drops, but it's not bad if I keep distracted for a while. Reading or watching, both mean staring, so I avoid those activities for about 20 min. after the drops go in. Recent eye appt. had was a thumbs up, no irritation seen by eye doc. Winter is still challenging, the house is dry. I don't have the luxury of a whole house humidifier, but my room humidifier helps a lot.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 10:50AM
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Hi Paula,
Sorry I haven't been online over the holidays and missed your response 'til now. I'm glad your eyes are doing better. :)

I wonder if I could bother you for the type/brand of room himidifier you are using? I've tried a couple models over the years and have not been happy. Most are rather noisy, or cumbersome or they leak. The one I bought last year makes so much noise I've been putting it in the bathroom. The biggest problem I have is that it seems to cause congestion. I'm worried about bacteria. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 10:35AM
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Hi, I'm glad my user name was not obsoleted or taken, and we're good to go!

Elizabeth, I use the Bionaire CP2550-U. It's very simple, no filters. All you do is put in water and turn on. It has auto. shutoff if it runs out of water. It's a warm mist. I found that cool mist types wet my carpeting, so that's out. I buy distilled water at the food store if they have, or run over to K mart nearby. The humidifier sits 10-12 feet across the room from where I'm sleeping and it's pretty quiet, with the periodic gurgle of water dropping down, but not noisy to me, I sleep ok with it. I rinse the water container with tap water and a little bleach about once every 2 weeks. I don't get congestion from it, it keeps my sinuses and throat from getting achingly dry, which is stage setting for bacteria to take hold, so I hear. No leaking problems here... if the rubber o ring is proper, there should be no problem. The water container holds 2 gallons, but you don't have to fill it that much water- weight. I put in one gallon for one night, and it lasts til the morning.

I am struggling now in the dead of winter, I'm cold, and love our propane fireplace, but I have to shut my eyes while enjoying it :-/ I tell ya, if I won the lottery tommorrow, I'd have a whole house humidifier installed. It's not an easy option, because we have oil hot-water-baseboard heat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bionaire

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:56AM
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Thank you kindly for the information, Paula.

I haven't tried a warm air humidifier yet. I too had problems with the cold ones leaking and also with the location of the air intake locations. The machines usually had to be set on or near the floor and I have two dogs so I know I was getting who knows what particles drawn into the thing, not to mention dustmites and chemicals fromt he carpet. My main allergy is to mold so that is a major consideration. Adding more moisture to my old carpet is not a good idea.

I was reading about the whole-house humidifiers on the web last week. They are quite pricey, altho I guess they pay for themselves over time. Since I no longer have well water, that might be the way to go, I guess. All the warnings about keeping the portable ones clean make me leery. I'm afraid I'm not the best at remembering to do those chores. I'd think the furnace add-ons would need cleaned to, tho. ?

Have ever looked into some sport goggle/eyeglasses to wear? I have prescription glasses, so I can't use them, although one can get them made with prescriptions lenses if one can afford that. At night I sometimes wear these:

They aren't cheap either, but a lot of care was put into the design and they work fairly well for sleeping. They come in more colors than they did when I bought mine. Luckily I can't see how I look in them. :)

At least for dry eyes, your hot water heat is better than forced air! But I see your problem with having no duct work. Sometimes I think, instead of modifying everything around me, maybe what would work better is if I just bought a diver's helmet and *wore* my humidity-controlled, allergen-free environment. Probably help me with my diet in the bargain. And I'd never have to carry an umbrella. Just think of the pluses! ;)

Anyway, I'll take a look at the Bionaire site you linked to.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 1:26PM
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I saw a new ad for Restasis on TV recently. The sound was muted, but I read the disclaimer which now has been re-worded. Not verbatim, but essentially - - 'they have not seen improvement with people who wear contacs'. Previously it had said 'not for contac lens wearers'. So, I'm here, being at least one lens wearer Restasis has helped :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 8:42AM
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I have dry eyes and have been using Evening Primrose Oil capsules and it has done wonders for my dry eyes. (they are capsules that are swallowed, not put into your eyes) As long as I stay on it I am fine. Once I stopped taking it for several weeks and I got the dry eyes again so back on the EPO and haven't had a problem with dry eyes since. Angie

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 4:35PM
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I think the new TV ads for Restasis also clarify the punctal plug question. If I'm not mistaken it now says something like, "Increased tear production was not seen in patients currently taking topical anti-inflammatory drugs or using punctal plugs."

That still doesn't mean it can't help, just that the studies they've done haven't indicated any change. Perhaps the amount of change they see in punctal patients isn't high enough to register as definitely caused by the medication and not coincidence. I imagine that medical testing requirements about results are pretty strict - and that's a good thing.

I believe the Restasis *did* increase my tear production. Not a lot, but some. Possibly coincidental, but I don't think so. I can only speak for myself and I'm not a medical professional.

I would like to ask the Restatsis researchers why the drug wouldn't have effect or less effect on people with the plugs (or contact lenses). I haven't found anything online about that yet.

Here's a good site with fairly clear info on what Restasis is and how it's supposed to work (as well as general dry eye info: Aging Eye Times

Note, I had to stop using Restasis after a while because it caused irritation. So far the increase in tear production has remained.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 1:22PM
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I have been using Restasis for two months and I can't tell if it's working. Most people report that it burns the eyes when used, I have no burning. I also have four puntal plugs which have been somewhat helpful. As a result of the dry eyes I also have light sensitivity and have found no help with this. I was taking Omega3 capsules but my Doctor said to take Flex seed oil capsules as they are more effective in treating the eyes.

If anyone out there has any other treatments that have worked for them please post.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 3:20PM
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Melvin, if you live in an atmospherically dry area, you're going to have a tough time. We had an uncharacteriscally dry spring here (even for hot/humid Philly area!) and I felt it. I've added 2000 mlg./day flax seed oil capsules to my regime, and I've noticed it helps.

Are you sure the punctum plugs are still installed? Has your doctor checked your eyes for irritation lately? It sounds like your corneas are still irritated if you're sensitive to light. They can tell if there is improvement with the Restatis, and if the plugs are there, obviously. You need to check in with the doctor. If they can't do anything, go to another doctor. At one of my doctor visits he mentioned another treatment or two available, that we would persue, if Restasis did not work for me. I can't remember now what they were, but you need to 'put your doctor to the wall' and get them to help.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 9:38AM
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I've just started to use Restasis for my dry eyes and wanted to report in here. I've noticed since using the drops my eye rims are itchy, red, and slightly swollen under lower lids. (I've never had this issue before). Has anyone else experienced this?

The Restasis is supposed to be supplemented with Refresh drops, if needed, which I've never used. I understand it takes an entire month to see if the Restasis is working.

I do not have punctal plugs, do not wear contacts, but do have Rosacea and extreme sensitivity to light. I've noticed an increase in my dry eyes this summer, in the presence of fans, a.c., or any air blowing in my face. I've not tried evening primrose oil or flaxseed oil. Which is best? I am on a limited budget. BTW, I was shocked at the cost of the Restasis: it is ca. $94 for only one month's supply!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:33AM
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wood - you can extend the prescription by squeezing the very last drop from the'single-use' vials, thereby each vial lasts about 4 days for me. (1 drop twice a day/ea.eye)
This is ok to do, doc agrees.

For me, supplemental drops, of any make, in conjuction with using Restasis, results in a canceling out effect of the Restasis, or diluting it's benefits. I had an increase in irritation and reversion to dryness using supplements. I read somewhere (can't find it now) that the way Restatis works is by helping your body retain the body's natural oil, which in turn holds the moisture in your eye. If you use supplemental drops it will tend to wash away the oil in your eye, which you want there. Makes sense to me, since adding flax seed oil to my diet (1,000 mlg. x/day) helps even further. Try either oil, it's over the counter, so give it a trial.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 1:01PM
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Paula, thanks for your helpful info. I did not know one vial could be extended that far. I had thought I had to empty the entire vial every time I used one, thus I have been using up 2 full vials per day. That would certainly help on the cost. Will look for the flax seed oil.

My other question involves floaters. Do they ever completely go away, once you get them?

I tried to post here yesterday on the other thread about retinal detachments and floaters and flashes, but something about Gardenweb would not take my post.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 1:36PM
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wood, that's a lot of medication, using a full vial, which makes me wonder if your irritation is being caused by that. Just a drop is all is needed. If you are having trouble getting the drop into the eye, either pull down your lower lid and drop it into that 'bucket', or do what I find easy, half close your eye, and squeeze a tiny drop onto your top lashes, where they meet your lid, it'll dribble into your eye. I don't know what to tell you if you're having trouble squeezing the vial just slightly, only to release just one drop. Maybe enlarging the hole slightly?

Floaters do not go away. The eye doc. can see them at each visit. What happens is your brain learns to ignore them, and after a while you won't see them anymore. Thank goodness for that miracle!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Paula, thanks for the above. Actually, I think just 1 or 2 drops would do the trick in each eye. But then, I am wondering why my written instructions said to empty the vial completely with each usage???

I seem to think I notice a difference in less dryness after only one week (less "gunk" in my eyes in the morning). I have not bought the Refresh drops, not wanting to dilute the good effects of the Restasis.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:06AM
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Your 'written instructions'....the Rx, or the Restasis package?

Doc should be instructing the proper dosage. If you're reading the package, the pharmaceutical (sp) company is covering their butt legally by instructing you to use the vial once, so as not to possibly contaminate the remaining drops in the vial. That's a pretty remote instance in reality, unless you've got an eye infection going on, or very unsanitary conditions in your vial storage location, or the vials are not out of the reach of others. Plus you use more that way, and of course they want to fill your re-fill Rx sooner.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 9:24AM
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Checking back in, here, as it has now been almost a month since I have been using Restasis. I actually do believe it is helping my dry eyes. I REALLY notice a difference if I forget to use it on the regular schedule (12 hours apart). There are only 2 issues I have with using it:
1. Just after using Restasis, my eyes burn and sting for about 10 minutes and my vision is blurry. That clears up later, of course.
2. The vials, being plastic, are sharp pointed when broken open and not exactly comfortable if one comes too close to eye tissue. I wonder if some softer substance might be used instead. (Also, when twisting off the vial, I usually waste a drop or two, without intending to).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 1:38PM
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Hey wood -

I get the stinging 5-10 minutes after application as well. I find that staring - either by watching TV or reading, will worsen it. If you can do neither of these in that time frame of the stinging, it won't be as intense, sometimes I won't even feel it.

Maybe grab a nail file and smooth those rough edges of the vial? Try to avoid touching skin, and get the drop placed on the top of your lashes, and it will dribble into your eye. (keep your head up and blink a little until it does)

I also hate to loose that drop in the vial tip. You can't squeeze it out. I wouldn't go to the trouble of trying to get it out, though, it's probably more trouble than it's worth.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 12:14PM
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Have any of you tried the new Dry Eye prescription medication called FreshKote? It was brought up in a conversation, and the two (one SJS, one dry eye) spoke highly of it. I've checked their website, , and I'm planning on asking my doctor about it. Any experiences out there...?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 11:05PM
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Never have heard of it. Will check it out. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 10:35AM
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I've been prescribed Restasis for dry eye related to Sjogren's Syndrome, but have yet to use it. The eye doc that prescribed it presented it as a "cure", and did not mention the reported 15% efficacy rate. This made me distrust him.
The information here is good, thanks - can anyone direct me
to any other sites that would contain information concerning
Restasis and dry eye? Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 11:37AM
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Claudia, I have a friend with Sjogren's Syndrome. She told me that her dry eyes were helped by taking fish oils and flaxseed oil.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 11:43AM
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How many of you that use Restasis are also using "Refresh" drops in between? Thus far, I have not, as I did not want the extra expense. I wondered what your experience has been, pro or con?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 11:06AM
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No, as I previously stated, using supplemental drops dilutes the effect of the Restatis, at least for me. Irritation, soreness starts to return.

I read recently that the actual chemical/agent of Restasis is an immune suppressing drug, same as used after transplants.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 3:33PM
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I've been using Restasis since Feb 05, at the beginning it worked. it was great... but after 5 months or so the effect declined and then it just remained like that until now. I still use it though and want to ask my doctor if I should stop it completely and then re-start again? I'm guessing that my body just got saturated or adjusted to the medication so it's no longer working. I don't know if anyone else that has been on it for a while experienced that same decline in the effect of the drug.
One thing that helped me a lot was Omega summplements. I buy a particular brand but I stopped using it for a while and OMG, I could see the difference. So I started taking Omega oils again and hopefully will kick in soon.
I also do warm compresses 4 times a day and use Restasis.
I use computer (w/ a filter) at work and after a day at work my eyes hurt. They have been really dry lately and I don't know what else to do.
I ordered eyeeco eye mask ( I had it before and lost it)and may get an humidifier. What else can I do? I feel that I've run out of options.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 7:31PM
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Interesting about the immune suppressing drug. I did not know that. Sounds a bit scary to me.

Maria, what is the eyeco mask? Also, what kind of Omega supplements do you take? Are they expensive?

My eyes hurt, too, when I use the computer. And particularly when I am in a draft, as when driving and I have to run the fan or a.c.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 10:01AM
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wood, I believe she's talking about this.

I'd like to know what Omega name brand you're taking also Maria.

wood, staring - ie; computer work, tv, reading, is the worst, I know how you feel. I'm not comfortable with a fan running nearby. Everyone else is uncomfortable without a fan, and I'm happy with no blowing air.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 2:20PM
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Paula, thanks. I did not know about these products. I guess that next I will try the Omega oils, if I can figure out which ones to buy and if they are not too expensive.

I'm still just using one full vial of Restasis per day, one half in the a.m. and the other half in the p.m. with no supplemental drops. I still have some puffiness and a little swelling under my eyes since I have been using the Restasis, which has now been about 2 full months.

Any kind of draft or fan in my face drives me crazy, due to my dry eyes. We have a lot of strong winds in my area, and unfortunately, I like to be out of doors and walk a lot, even in winter. I guess I will have to buy wrap around goggles for my eyes.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 10:56AM
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Hi wood, Paula is right, that's the eye mask I'm talking about.
The supplements I got are called Biotears they are a bit expensive but worth trying.Just google it. It took several months to start working for me (about 6 months) I have a bad case of dry eye. There are many brands of Omega oils but I wouldn't know which one is good or not. Since that's the one I've tried and worked for me, I'll stick with it.
I'll see my eye doctor in 2 weeks and ask him about my theory of Restasis no longer working after a while. He is a dry eye specialist, he'll probbably have a good answer.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:05PM
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Hi, Maria. Yes, after you see your eye doctor, please do report back to us re what he says re Restasis, etc.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 12:13PM
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Thanks for all the great information.
I have a little different situation. I have RA with secondary Sjogrens. I recently had lower plugs put in for dry eyes with no success.

I tried Restasis for a few months with very minimal results. I may try it again for longer.

Any suggestions? I thought about the Omega oils and Flax Seed oils, but how much?


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 11:39PM
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Corgi Lvr,

If you have tried Restasis and feel that you do not fit into the 15% of patients it has proven to work for, then I suggest you seriously consider giving the new dry eye prescription, FreshKote, a try. It is effective in about a week and is much cheaper than restasis. There is an advertisement in one of the SJS publications, and I know it is gaining more acceptance daily. It is very new so it may not have been introduced into your area. I live in Ohio, and a lot of physicians are speaking about the effectiveness of this new drop.

Flaxseed oil, fish oil, and freshkote could definitely be the combination you are looking for. Best of luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: FreshKote home site

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 11:21AM
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brulsy - good,thanks much for the link to FreshKote. Competition in our USA market is good, makes us strive for better products/services. I will advise my eye doctor about it at the next checkup. Maria1972 - how're you making out?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 12:02PM
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Thanks for telling us about FreshKote.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 10:04AM
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While I do NOT have any first-hand experience with FreshKote, I am under the distinct impression that Brulsy WORKS FOR the manufacturer.

If this is correct, I think he/she should be a bit more forthcoming about this issue, no?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Makes no never mind to me....I have a vision check appt. tommorrow, and I'm going to ask about Fresh Kote, just for info., the Restasis is doing fine by me for now.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 7:12PM
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A good friend of mine here uses Restasis. I told her about Freshkote and she recently asked her eye doctor about it. He told her the two are not the same, at all, and to stay with the Restasis, as it is the most effective treatment.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 11:00AM
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There is no deception here, and there is no reason for you to feel uncomfortable. For I am an independent rep who recently added FreshKote as a new line. I know nearly everything about the product: indications, dosage, side effects, applications, cost, availability, etc. Since there is little marketing being done by the company at this time, these forums are a great avenue to make US Dry Eye Syndrome patients aware of new porducts that could potentially provide enormous amounts of relief. Thus, when a question is posed regarding FreshKote I try to answer it in as much detail as possible so those interested know the facts and do not fully believe in an "I think it..." response.

On a daily basis doctors across the country are appreciative that there is a different prescription option available that actually WORKS and is far cheaper.


Your friend's doctor is absolutely correct when saying that don't have the same mechanism of action. They both treat different symptoms. FreshKote is an artificial tear that treats DRY EYE, and Restasis is a ophthalmic solution containing cyclosporine which treats INFLAMMATION. Both of which may provide significant relief.

Please feel free to ask any other questions regarding FreshKote. I'm not on here often, but I'll reply if asked or if someone is providing inaccurate info. Thanks, and have a Happy Holiday Season!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 3:19PM
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I'm interested in the FreshKote product. According to everything I've been able to find on the Internet, FreshKote is a prescription product. Yet I cannot find any information about it on the FDA website. Is this an FDA approved prescription product? Did Focus Laboratories meet the FDA requirements for proving safety and efficacy, like Restasis? I'm confused.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 4:57PM
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Brulsy wrote:

"There is no deception here"

NOW there's no deception here.

Might just want to consider adding a signature line that discloses your affiliation. I know you from other forums. Most people would STRONGLY prefer you were more forthcoming about this.

On some forums, your financial interest in this product constitutes a violation of T&C of forum participation.

You may just want to take note of that....

Happy Holidays!

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 7:20PM
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Hope it's not too late to get in on this forum . . . I've been struggling with the chronic dry eye thing too. I think I've had it for quite a long time, but for some reason my condition deteriorated in July 2006. My opthamologist first misdiagnosed me with bacterial conjunctivitis, but when the antibiotic drops did not help, he did a Schirmer tear test in which my eyes produced 7mm of tears in about 12 minutes. I'm not totally sure what normal tear production is, but he said that for my health status and for my age (I'm 22), it was abnormally and severely low. He instructed me to stop wearing my contact lenses (gas perms) for a period of 6 months. He put me on Restasis, which irritated my eyes (severe burning and such), but since he said that the quality of my tear film was improving, I stayed on it. I also began to take oral flax seed oil and omega 3 capsules at that time, and used Refresh drops 4 times a day. A couple months later, my condition deteriorated again and I realized that this was from switching oral contraceptives to Yaz, which contains a diuretic. I stopped taking the Yaz and switched from Restasis to Alrex, a cortisone drop. I had some success on Alrex, but when my doctor allowed me to start wearing contacts again, I switched back to Restasis. The contacts that I began wearing about two months ago were a very special type of gas permeable lens, called a "plasma lens," which apparently is supposed to help your eyes to stay hydrated throughout your wearing time. I also began taking Allergan's new eye drop, Optive and got lower punctal plugs. I also developed a floater on my left eye that I think came from constantly bombarding my eyes with eyes drops, and though I've learned to ignore it, it's still annoying. All of this, and my doctor still tells me that I have dry spots on my eyes, and I still have a lot of discomfort while wearing the contacts. I'm starting to wonder if there is some kind of underlying condition that's causing this, because I also suffer from atopic eczema. Is this just shoddy genetics that I have to learn to put up with, or are there any other options that maybe I haven't tried and may help in my case? Any suggestions are welcome, thanks a lot!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 5:18PM
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My sympathies swcherity...I would only guess try going back to using just Restasis drops, with no other additional brands of drops, only because I found that additional drops seemed to weaken Restatis' effect in my situation. I think you need to lay all this out with a GP or internist, to start, if not with another eye doctor first. A floater is usually seen with the aging eye, twenty two is awfully young to be having this problem -

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 10:40AM
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Emily, I agree with Paula. But I know someone who got an eye floater at age 18. He still has it, in his thirties. They can come at any age. I am still trying to learn to live with mine, as it is quite large.

You may need to keep yourself more hydrated. I notice that all my eye conditions get worse when I do not drink enough water.

As for the Restasis, I wonder if anyone else is experience a worsening of their dry eyes as a result of this severe pollen season? Here in VA we are drowning in pollen. I am having to use more Restasis, more often. (Before, it was 1/2 a vial, twice a day). Also, the wind seems to make a difference.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:30PM
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I'm 52, I developed dry eyes at age 37. In 1997 I had Herrick Lacrimal Permanent (not semi-permanent) plugs inserted in all four puncta, and I had relief for ten years, albeit with some tearing down my cheeks at times. But earlier this year my eyes started getting dry again, I had my doctor check the status of those old plugs and he found they were starting to disintegrate. The permanent plugs weren't so permanent after all. Now I'm looking for a better remedy. My doctor has suggested Restasis but it's expensive and I would prefer a more natural treatment idea. I would like to try taking Omega 3 and flaxseed oil supplements but I need to know more about them. Do these things really work? How much do you have to take every day? How long before you see results? Would they work well enough for me to not have to have plugs put in again? My doctor will not put in permanent plugs again, only the semi-permanent ones that last only six months. Anyone and everyone, your feedback is much needed. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:12PM
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I first started having a problem with dry eyes last October and had to quit wearing my gas perm contacts. I finally got a script for Restatis on May 16th. Within 4 days, I was able to wear my contacts for around 3 hours and now two weeks later are wearing them for 10-12 hours a day. There was definitely quite a difference in the mornings when I first got up. Before using the Restatis, my eyes were burn and tear really badly, now they don't. And BTW, Restatis is cyclosprine which is the generic name for Prograf which is used to prevent organ transplant rejection. I know, because I had a liver transplant in July 02 and take .05 m/g of Prograf once a day!!!!

But the Restatis really helped. I just wish I had started taking it before now.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 6:12PM
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So is there a generic for Restasis?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 9:51AM
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There is one from an Indian company, Sunpharma, not approved in the U.S. However, there's a preservative in it that is harmful with long term use. I found an interesting site for dry eye people -

Dry Eye Syndrome will send increasing amounts of patients to eye doctors' offices. People living longer, environmental pollutants, and the current lifestyle of staring into monitors/TV screens all contribute.

Remember to FULLY blink you eyes, not a half-blink, which contributes to the condition as well by not fully washing the eyeball with fluid.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 4:27PM
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Paula, thanks again. I find my eyes seem much drier as time goes by. Part of the problem seems to be air blowing directly on to my eyes, as from the a.c. in my car. But in this southern heat and humidity, it is torture to turn that off....Likewise, a fan in the house.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 1:15PM
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I hear ya woodnymph2....I've got lower plugs, take 4 capsules of fish oil/day, and use Restasis religiously, and I'm still uncomfortable a lot of days. Ceiling fans, AC, our propane fireplace in winter - are only tolerable if I shut my eyes. It's he// when I get a hot flash and want a fan to blow on me! :-(

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 1:51PM
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What kind of fish oil do you take, Paula? Is it the same kind that lowers cholesterol? Maybe I need to look into this.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 10:11AM
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I'm 48. Last summer following my first attack of iritis i developed severe dry eyes. I have been using a number of over the counter lubricants from GenTeal - gel drops, severe dry eye gel, and pm gel. None of these products give me much relief. I started restasis about 4 days ago and am hopeful. The next step would be to look at getting punctal plugs.

My biggest difficulty is sensitivity to car headlights - during the day any car with running lights on (and i'm not talking about the new neon lights) drive my batty. At night car lights and any outdoor lights make it impossible to drive. I'm so phobic at night I tend to stay in. Does anyone else experience light phobia due to dry eyes ? The opth's can't seem to figure out where this is coming from. This happens even when i'm not having an iritis attack.

thank you for your input !!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:42PM
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Yes, my eyes have always been light sensitive, even before I developed dry eyes. With me, it's genetic: my late father could not stand the glare when he drove a car. My issue with light is compounded by the fact that I have a large floater in my better eye. It really bothers me on monochrome, gray days, when it snows, and in bright sunlight. I'm ok if I wear a visor and sunglasses, but one can't always do that!

When I see my eye doctor this summer, I will try to remember to ask him about thelight sensitivity.

Let us know if the restasis works for you.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Sorry for delay woodnymph2,..just a supermarket generic liquid capsule with a mix of different fish oils. kpb...I never heard of iritis before, my sympathies. I don't have too much trouble with sunlight or headlights, but a car trip is detoured to a store if I forget my sunglasses. I just spent an excruiating long ride in a bus, with the air conditioning running. Most of the time my eyes were closed. I have to limit my time reading the computer monitor, the staring is hard to take. The only way I can comfortably read or watch a movie now is with with no glasses or contacs, the book or portable DVD player right in front of me.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:09PM
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Thanks, Paula. I agree, a.c. blowing on the eyes (or dry heat in winter) is the pits. I'm trying to figure out what climate would be best to move to with this condition. Often friends think they are doing one a favor by directing a fan or heater on you, but if only they knew!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 2:47PM
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I've just been prescribed Restasis and wanted to double check something said here. I was told that artificial tears could be taken, and the instructions on the Restasis medicine itself said just not to take them within 15 minutes of the Restasis.

Since Restasis decreases inflammation, I see no medical reason why artificial tear drops can not also be used or how they could even dilute them or anything. Was the reasoning behind not also taking the artificial drops just a opinion (guess) or was it a real medical opinion from a doctor? It just doesn't really make sense to me especially since the pharmacist, medicine, etc all say otherwise.

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding and you guys are talking about some other type of drops or something. I just hate to see someone giving medical advice that is wrong and people just accepting it as fact. Am I missing something?..because I plan on using both. Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Restasis/Refresh

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 3:22PM
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carla - scrolling up to last August, this is what I had said. Again, I emphasize that this is MY experience, I'm not dictating any medical advice, everyone's situation is different. Good luck with your dry eyes.

"For me, supplemental drops, of any make, in conjuction with using Restasis, results in a canceling out effect of the Restasis, or diluting it's benefits. I had an increase in irritation and reversion to dryness using supplements. I read somewhere (can't find it now) that the way Restatis works is by helping your body retain the body's natural oil, which in turn holds the moisture in your eye. If you use supplemental drops it will tend to wash away the oil in your eye, which you want there. Makes sense to me, since adding flax seed oil to my diet (1,000 mlg. x/day) helps even further. Try either oil, it's over the counter, so give it a trial."

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 7:12PM
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Hum...I'm thinking maybe you read or are talking about other kinds of over the counter eye drops...those kinds that get the 'red out' or are for allergies, etc. Could that be it? Yes, even I have read that those kinds can make dry eye problems worse...

but the lubricant or artificial drops that are used for dry eye I think usually only add moisure/oil so they are not washing anything away or fighting anything. I would think that since Restasis works by suppressing inflamation using artificial tears shouldn't be a problem. I really don't see how you arrived at the conclusion you have about lubricating drops 'washing away the oils' -- why do you think the oil amount goes down (and not up) when using the drops? Granted, if they worsen your problem for whatever reason you should think twice about using them. I would just think they would help most people, but I'll keep it in mind if I experience any problems. What kind/brand was hurting you?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 9:33PM
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I've been curious about this issue, too. Right now, I am only using the Restasis 2 times a day, and no eye drops of any sort. What has been your most recent experience, Carla?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 4:23PM
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No, I've never used any drops other than the brands indicated specifically for dry eye syndrome... Systane, Refresh, one or two others, from the grocery store, and recommended by the eye doc. (Never use those drops intended for 'allergies', ie itchy, red, bloodshot etc. these are the last things you want to use. Check with your doc!)

I don't know why I became uncomfortable after supplementing the Restatis, but I was supplementing sometimes 6x/day, so - using flax or fish oil was ok'd by the eye doc. as well, for additional comfort. The doc. was mildly suprised as well when I told him that the Restasis stinging doesn't happen until about 5-10 min. after application, maybe a lot of people get the stinging immediately - I don't know.

The good thing about more people being diagnosed is that more products/treatments will be discovered. I can't find the article I read online over a year ago (2?), about the oil in your eyes being better retained without supplemental drops, on top of Restatis. There's so much more information out there now since I first started researching. Doesn't matter really, additional fish or flax oil is not going to hurt, as far as anything I've read or been told by the eye doc.

We're in the humid part of summer now, and it's a blessed day when my eyes are comfortable, and I don't even think about dry eyes.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 6:53PM
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Hi everyone,
I just discovered this forum while looking for info on using Restasis successfully. I just started using it a few days ago and like many of you, I am experiencing some burning in my eyes. Like Paula, mine starts about 15 min. after I put the drops in. It can last for hours or even all day. Has anyone found a way to minimize this? It's particularly frustrating because before now, I didn't have any of the typical symptoms of dry eye (burning, itching, dryness) and now I do. I was prescribed Restasis because of a recurrent problem with blurry vision that was attributed to thin tears and dry eye syndrome.

Thanks for all the great info!

By the way-- I was also told that it was fine to re-use the vials, but to cover the tip to avoid contamination. My solution: I attach a small binder clip to the bottom of the vial, with the metal parts folded up. This provides a flat surface so the vial can stand up on the counter. Then I invert a clean prescription bottle (just the right height) over the vial to keep it covered. When I need to use the vial, I just have to lift the cover and fold down the metal clips. Keeps everything sanitary and accessible, and will save a lot of money! (provided I continue to use these annoying drops)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:12AM
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I have the burning almost immediately after I use the drops, not a lot later. It seems to go away quickly. However, if I forget the 2nd dose of drops toward evening, I am reminded, as my eyes start to feel uncomfortable and dryer than usual.

As for keeping the vial uncontaminated, I just put the already-opened vial in a plastic baggie until the next usage.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:52AM
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tx heidi - burning all day doesn't sound too good, I'm sure your doctor told you to follow up with him/her , after a time, a week or two, to see how're you're doing. Mine stung for a longer time, when I first started out, but definitely not all day. See if that improves, let doc. know if it doesn't, you may not be able to continue with Restasis.

I just keep my vial on the shelf inside the medicine cab. I don't have young curious hands going in there, so I don't worry about contaminents.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 12:04PM
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Well, I've been using them now for a few days, never really get any stinging. My eyes seem better but can't tell if that's reallly from the medicine or not because they usually go through cycles only time will tell. Let me ask you guys though.. what is your usual dosage -- one or two or more drops? Just wondering; mine is only for one drop per eye twice a day, but the pharmacist acted like some people took more than one drop per eye at a time.

And, I know, I know...everyone's doing it, but the pharmacist and Dr. told me not to use the vials more than once (even within the same day). The risk of infection was just too high even if I covered them, etc... Anyone elses Doctor tell them NOT to reuse or is everyone just using them more than once anyway?

Oh, I have only had to use artificial tears a couple times and didn't notice any rebound or worsening effect because of the use...Again, though, I guess maybe more time is needed to really know for sure.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 12:50AM
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Hi carla, that's great you don't have the stinging, it's the only drawback for me, of using Restasis, but welcome over not using it.

Perhaps some people are mistakenly believing that a whole vial represents one application. This is not my prescription, it is one DROP per eye, twice a day, preferably 12 hours apart. This is their standard dosage on their printed insert. I have been reusing the vials for over 2 years, and never had an infection or issue. Re-using was recommended by my doctor, knowing how expensive the Rx is. Pharmacists, and others, are hung up on scare tactics, lawsuits, etc. Some patients are more susceptible to infections, then maybe one use per vial may be prudent. Maybe this is why Restasis does not come in a bottle?

I just had a checkup, and they added Liquigel drops to my list, inserting before going to bed, for futher moisture. My eyes are moister in the morning now. I asked to the doc. if anyone else complained of stinging when using supplemental drops, like me, and said there were a few.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:06AM
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Paula, is Liquegel a RX? Is it expensive? I think I need more help, so will check into this.

Carla, I use one entire vial in a day, half the vial at each of the 2 dosing times, a.m and p.m. It may well be that I am using more than 2 drops per eye. I notice the more drops I use, the better my eyes feel, eventually. But it is so costly.

I am not worried about infection. I've not had any problems using a plastic baggie.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 11:57AM
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wood - Allergen's "Refresh" brand, with a little gel in the liquid which helps the moisture 'stay' longer. It's difficult to use this during the day, since it blurs your vision for a bit. Ciba has a version as well, don't know the name, Refresh was at my local drug store. They both have the same formula. They are over the counter.

I must be stingy with my drops, a vial lasts at least 2 days for me. I am a good shot, none on the cheek ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Liquigel

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 1:50PM
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A follow-up to my earlier message: I've been using the drops for nearly three weeks now, and the burning has diminished greatly. I still have a slight burning sensation that starts about 15 min. after using the drops, but it goes away in about half an hour. So for anyone who is having problems getting used to these drops, stick with it... it gets better! (Still haven't seen any appreciable difference in my vision, though.)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:31AM
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I have been using Restasis for about 4 months and have not noticed any improvement until a few days ago, all of a sudden my eyes feel more moist and lubricated with a lot less burning. I am surprised that I did not notice much gradual improvement but rather a sudden one. I really hope this improvement continues. I hope everyone finds some relief with the treatment you are taking and believe Restasis does not work for all but only a minority.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 3:46AM
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brianbld, The Visine people recommend Restasis for dry eye
syndrome, not their own products. I'd be careful with that, check with your doc. on what to use!

Here is a link that might be useful: Visine

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 12:55PM
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thank you all for being here!
I have had corneal problems, detached retina.. laser resurfacing, stromal punctures, plugs in my tear ducts.. tried humidifiers.. the last time a new doctor prescribed restasis. My eyes got horribly red and irritated. I stopped the drops 3 days ago.. now my eyes are watery, blurry... feels like I'm getting pink eye.. I see the doctor thursday.

However.. after reading your posts.. I will give restasis a try!! This is awesome.. thank you all

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 10:05PM
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Interesting, as I glanced through this extensive thread, I do not believe I saw that anyone who started on Restasis indicated they had to undergo an INITIAL REGIME involving the use of a steroid drop such as Lotemax, 4X/day, along with Restasis 2X/day, drops separated by at least 10 minutes, for two weeks, then to decrease the Lotemax to 2x/day, continue the Restasis 2x/day, again drops separated by ten minutes...for another SIX weeks, then to stop the Lotemax and stay just on the Restasis 2x/day.

My doctor explained to me that Restasis can be irritating, and the comcommittant use of the Lotemax (or other steroid such as Alrex) helps prevent initial irritation as the eye adjusts to Restasis.

I will say that my Shimer's (sp?) dry eye test revealed a big fat ZERO tear production for both eyes, and I started the initial Restasis regime just last week.

I can honestly say it is working, and I'm not really noticing any major stinging or other irritation. I have noticed that upon awakening, my right eye (the worst of the two) now feels normal in the socket...I mean I don't notice it there, like I used to. And I awoke the other night in the middle of the night, and I had a tear in each eye!!!!

I also have glaucoma and take one eyedrop of Xalatan each night. I'm 51.

So did your doctors use the initial regime? Or straight to the Restasis, which may be why some of you are not comfortable?

Anyhow, I go back once the 8 week initiation period is over (end of May) to see if I make tears (and of course to have my pressures checked again for the glaucoma).

But hey, I can't complain either....pretty healthy otherwise!!!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 1:01PM
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No, no initial regime. The stinging at first with Restasis is worth it for me. What I hate most is the expense and wish there was a generic.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 2:24PM
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I started using Restasis about a year ago and followed it up with lower-lid plugs about 4-5 months ago. Neither seems to really be working - HOWEVER - on FEbruary 15th of this year, I suddenly - within TWO weeks - lost ALL my scalp hair following by losing all my body hair as well. Now I know alopecia is caused by stress - but I have been in much worse stressful situations in my life than I am in right now - not to mention that suddenly going bald and hairless isn't stressful on its own. Do you think that since Restatis (cyclosporin) is an autoimmune drug and alopecia is an autoimmune disease, that the darn drug has reversed its affect or something? I am still using Restatis 2x/day and none of my hair anywhere is showing any signs of growing back. I'm making an appt. to see the eye doctor today...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:33AM
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rjk2247, I wouldn't necessiarily blame stress solely as the reason, or the Restatis. In reading about it, there is no known reason for alopecia. I think you should see your regular MD first, before your eye doctor, for the hair loss. My sympathies, I never heard of this autoimmune condition before. Since dry syndrome is part of the same autoimmune world as rheumatoid arthritis, it does sound possible, as now I am being affected by other rheumatoid symptoms. It's bad enough there are cancers, bugs, virus's out there to attack us, do we need our own body to attack us... argh?!

Now, for people suffering under cost of Restasis, and the patent has not as yet expired - clearing the way for generics, heed this (at the risk of being scolded for advising carelessness, however, my competent eye doctor told me to not throw away the vial after one use):

My new Rx received this week contains 4 containers, each holding 32 vials (128 vials total) cost, with freight $391., plus change. According to the instructions from the manufacturer, you put ONE DROP in each eye, then discard the rest of the vial. This is done twice a day. This means:

2 vials/day = you use it all up in only 64 days, a little over 2 months, at a cost of $ 6.11 per vial

There are enough drops in each vial to last me at least 3 DAYS, @ twice a day dosage. This means:

1 Rx of 128 vials x 3 days = 384 days divided by 30 days (-/+ per month) = 12.8 months, at a cost of $1.02 per vial

The Rx is ONE DROP in the eye, not an entire vial. There is no reason to discard the rest of the vial, except to satisfy the lawyers and insurance companies. After 4 years, since going on Restasis, using up the vials has never presented any problem for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alopecia Areata

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 11:48AM
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That is really scary. Thanks for alerting us about this. I've not had any problems, thus far. Please let us know if you find out more and what your eye doctor tells you.

I am finally learning to make one vial last me 3 times. I seem to need more than one drop in each eye, as I have found I need to lubricate the outer eye area, not just the inner. Just doing that really makes a difference.

Has anyone else noticed that during this season of high pollen their eyes are dryer? I know mine are, and the winds do not help.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:48PM
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I just had another thought: I have a friend who also has your symptoms. She has Sjogren's Syndrome, which is an autoimmune disease. You might ask your family doctor to check this out.....

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:50PM
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My eyes feel dry when atmospheric humidity is low. I don't have seasonal allergies. And inside when the indoor heat is blasting in winter. One Restasis drop is plenty for my entire eye, actually results in shedding out excess. Also, the stinging I used to have, from putting supplementary drops (Systane, Genteel, etc.) has stopped. I put in gel drops before going to sleep, drops when I get up in the morning, after taking out my lenses, when it's dry... drops drops drops.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 1:17PM
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I've heard about the gel drops - any recommendations as to brand? I decided to stop my Restasis for one week prior to seeing my eye doctor. I just have a funny feeling about the Restatis doing the reverse on me. I've already seen the regular doc and a dermatologist (3x). Both of them admit they don't know much about autoimmune disease and researched it on the same websites I did. My girlfriend has Sjogren's. I'm going to re-visit that website and see what clues I can pick up. Also Mayo and Marshfield. Thanks for the advice and thoughts. I'm reallly spinning my wheels on this one. No matter how great the wigs look (and they still don't look like my hair) I'd still rather have my hair, eyelashes & brows back.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 9:06AM
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I have discovered a new trick for my dry eyes that may help others with this problem I've been having....

My problem was when I take a shower, even the water over my closed eyes would be irritating to them, and when I would get out of the shower, both eyes would be very red (like being drunk red!) and glassy. A REAL NICE LOOK FOR THE WORK DAY AHEAD....NOT!!!

I assume it is because tap water is a different ph than the ph of tears, and further dries out the eyes.

This was occurring despite the restasis therapy, which IS really helping.

Anyhow, my trick that seems to be working is to apply a drop of a very viscous lubricant (I have celluvisc) right before I shower. This drop has a thickness to it and it blurs the vision, so it is suitable for bedtime use. But for me, it has added a film to my eyes, which seems to protect them from the harsh tap water, and by the time I'm done showering, the filminess is gone, and the eyes are not red at all!!!!

Hopefully this idea helps others with red eyes after showering!!! Dry eye ain't funny!!!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 9:41AM
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I had Lasik Surgery 10 years ago and untill one year ago had no problems. In the last 12 months I have been on Lotamax drops 3 or 4 different times. Currently I take 2 Doxycyclin capsuls daily, Pataday drops once a day, Restasis drops twice a day and Refresh Plus on demand. I have two plugs in my right eye and one in my left.

My eyes are sooooooooooo dry especially in the morning. I keep Refresh Plus drops next to my bed and use them if I wake in the night. I have not found any relieve using the Restasis after 3 months but will continue until I am told differently.

Something my Doctor has me doing is to wash my eyes 2-3 times a day with Baby Shampoo and that actually helps.
As of today she has me trying a NEW eye drop called "Fresh Kote". I just put it in for the 1st time and it was very soothing. You do need a perscription for it.

A note concerning reusing the Restasis. A Doctor at an Eye Institute in FL told me to use one vile per day. After the 1st use I was to put the vile in the refrigerator to use again at night but then throw it away because there is no presevatives in it. I put the vile in a perscription bottle to hold it upright.

I recently was checked for Sjogrens and it came back negative. I am grasping for answers or help.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 5:03PM
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Lois, Doxyclin will cause dry eyes! Are you taking it for Rosacea?

I use one vial per day, too, even though the ads say to use only one drop 2 x a day. Are you going to the outer edges of your eyes? I found I have to.

I was told by my eye doctor that I ought not to have Lasik Surgery because it only increases the dry eye syndrome. Possibly because you had this, it is making the situation worse.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 8:57AM
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I have lower plugs, have been in rgp's for 10+ years. I only started having a problem with dry eyes about 2-3 years ago. My doc says it has nothing to do with the rgps. Restatis was prescribed years ago, but when i went to get the prescription it was $55!!!!!!!!!!! I said hell no. I have been out of contacts for almost three months and my dry eyes have gotten soooo much worse. Doc explained that happens a lot because the contacts are a way to produce tears in your eye. Even with the plugs nothing improved. My eyes do not produce tears and when I do cry or put artificial tears in, they are sucked up so quick, it's actually quite amusing to watch. So Doc prescribed restatis again about 1 month ago, I held off goign to the pharmacy because of the sticker shock, finally went two weeks ago, it was only $45 for 64 vials. SO not nearly as bad, and worth it, for the pain recently. Overall, I think the restasis is starting to work, but dry eyes suck. Give up corrective lense surgery because the specialist I saw said if anyone doc does surgery one someone with dry eyes they should lose their license. My doc said to not give up hope though because of course they are coming out with advancements.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 6:01AM
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In addition to Restasis, I've been prescribed Evoxac (cevimeline) -- an oral pill for dry eyes. I think it is really a pill for dry mouth, but is being used off-label for dry eyes. It does have some side effects -- some sweating, some extra of salivia (if you don't have the dry mouth problem), etc... but it really seems to work well when my eyes get extra bad.

Anyone else try/hear of it?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Am having good results with restasis (3 months now) but it's 110$ for 32 vials in NYC! What's the longest I should use 1 vial? So far, I've been covering them with foil and refrigerating them and using over 2 days....does anyone think I can extend this to 3 or 4's sooo expensive without insurance. Thanks for any input.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 2:19AM
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Restasis is a one drop per eye med. More than one drop will just leak out the corner of your eye. Don't try to cram a half a vial into the eye, you are just throwing $$$ away!

Now, the package insert says to discard after one use..that is to protect the manufacturer, since there are no preservatives in it.

My eye doc told me when she gave me the RX, that once a vial is opened, I could store it in the fridge, open end up in a little "shot glass" to keep the tip from being contaminated. The fridge keeps the temp low so germs don't grow, since it has no preservatives. The eyeball is not a sterile environment anyway, so just keeping the med refrigerated once opened, dropper tip untouched, should be a likely way to extend the product without incidence.

By doing this, I get 4 days worth out of one vial, thereby really reducing the cost. Try that, Coco14 to save $$$. (My shot glass is a souvenir from Little Cayman island, so it makes me remember my vacation there!!!)

What no one has responded back to me yet, is that when she gave me the initial RX, she had me also do 8 weeks of a prednisone drop like Alrex PRIOR to instilling the Restasis. This method of introducing my eyes to Restasis caused me no burning or stinging as others have mentioned. Now I'm finally weaned off the Alrex, and now solo on the Restasis and have no burning or fact, it is comfortable.

I do put in a drop of Refresh Celluvisc before I shower, though, as fresh water getting into my eyes hurts and makes them red. The celluvisc puts a filmy shield on the eyeballs that is washed out by the time I'm done with the shower and I'm not painful or red from the tap water.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 10:22AM
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Thanks so much for your informative answer! Using it over 4 days will be great and save me alot....I cover the tip with silver foil, refrigerate(upright in a shot glass as well) and now instead of discarding after 2 days, I'll just use each vial up....still wondering it dangerous?
Re: alrex....I use it "as necessary" -it's a good allergy drop. Also like Systane.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 1:42PM
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I put the rest of the unused vial back in the box and close it up tight. No refrigeration. I have never, ever had any problem with infections.
As for how much to use, I think we are all different. I feel I have to use a bit more than recommended, and smear it to the outer edges of my eyes. If I do not do this, I notice the difference.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 2:56PM
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I heard you shouldn't use plugs and restasis at same time. anyone know? or experience ? also, anyone have pain behind your eye from using restasis? thank you. james

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:46AM
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No, it's not that you should NOT use Restasis in conjunction with punctum plugs, it's that the mfr. has no documented results from patients using both. Each individual has different results. If you read from the beginning of this thread I state my experience. You can use both. I've never had pain behind my eye from using Restasis, again, a visit to your eye doctor is in order if you're experiencing pain.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Thanks so much for the useful Restasis info, etc.

Any other Sjorgren's persons here? Have you had help with the Flax oil/primrose oil?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:37PM
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My Dr. recommended Restasis & gave me some free samples. I read the directions & saw it contained ? cyclosporin, an immunosuppressent. It also said it hadn't been checked for persons who had had herpes infections in the eye. Since I have had recurrent eye infections with herpes I was afraid to use the drops! I had had the plugs inserted twice & both sets came out in time & was told by the Dr. that they don't use them much any more? Both my husband & I use Systane drops that don't have that preservative in it that causes our eyes to burn & have bottles everywhere: by the TV's, bedside table, car, my purse, etc.!! Most recent problem I have is intense itching of the eyelids (not allergies) ... drives me crazy!! Dr. said to soak very warm wet clothes over the lids frequently but doesn't seem to help. Any one else have this problem ... what helps?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 1:42PM
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I recently visited my eye doctor and since I have dry eye syndrome, he recommended that I take fish oil and flax seed oil for this.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 12:10PM
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I have read the messages about Restasis and I have been using it for about 5 months with marginal success. I will have to have a Schrimer's test to quantitate any results.

A helpful tip for you Restasis users: RECAP your vials using the ORIGINAL cap you just twisted fits perfectly and snugly to your vial. Just a helpful hint.

I had my lower punctums permanently sealed shut via a laser procedure in 1995 and they are still shut tight today. Silicone plugs just fell out as soon as I left the doctor's office. I don't know if some docs are averse to sealing off tear ducts permanently, but my doc just came and did it within 10 minutes...easy and no problems except a little scratchiness for a few days as it healed to a super smooth scar. Absolutely no problems with it today.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:36PM
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I've been using restasis since I got lasik 6 months ago. After refilling my RX 4 times, I've decided to stop. I don't think restasis helped very much but it definitely is expensive.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:44PM
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That's unfortunate william83...lasik surgery is not recommended for people with dry eyes, as it is one of the major side effects. Yea..we have to pay through the nose until the patent runs out.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 8:57PM
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Wow. This is a topic that I have to weigh in on. I have been battling dry eyes for at least 5 years now. I have gone to several different doctors. One of them put in the permanent punctal plugs. I could not stand them. They looked like miniature nails and I had irritation from them every single day. One fell out, and I went to another eye doctor and had the other removed. They were horrible. I have tried just about everything, including restasis. I was on two drops a day for a year and a half. I eventually noticed some improvement. The prescription ran out, I did not renew. I kept thinking about being on an immunosuppressant like restasis for life? My new doctor has me on FreshKote and put in the dissolvable plugs. I will have to have them replaced in 3 months, but it is way more comfortable than the "nails."

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 5:01PM
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I have used Restasis for dry eye. It did not help me, but I have lower plugs in both eyes. I have Sjogens and have had lasik in my left eye and it is more dry than my right. I have just started FreshKote and it seems to be helping some. Don't know yet how ecpenseive it is. I also have glucoma in both eyes. I am on TRAVATAN for the glucoma.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 2:23PM
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I used restasis for several years after having plugs placed in my lower lids, which were very expensive, and then they fell out. I was doing well on restasis but when I went to see a new doctor just recently he changed my drops to Oasis Fresh. I still have three boxes of the restasis that I haven't opened but wanted to see how the Oasis would work before going back. I'm not sure the Oasis is working as I'm having to put more drops daily and even in my sleep when I can't stand the friction in my eyes. Anyway, I'm responding to these messages because I wanted to find out if anyone could use the three packs of restasis that still have not used. As they expire Oct 2011, Feb 2012 and March 2012, I'm not sure that I'll get to them if I keep using the Oasis to see if that works. Let me know if you're interested in one of my packs.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 6:38PM
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I have dry eye due to taking Tamoxifen, which neutralizes estrogen in the body. I read on another forum about taking fish oil 3 x a day to help. I asked my ophthalmologist, and he said yes, he would recommend it. I started about 5 months ago. It took a while to work (about a month) but it is much better.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 1:30PM
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I am 28, just had my third child and my dry eyes started when I was pregnant with him. I started using over the counter drops for the dry eyes while pregnant. Thought it was just a pregnancy thing but they continued to be dry after I had him I still use the drops but this past February my eyes got severely dry eyes along with I guess what you would call allergy eyes. At night while my eyes are shut my eyes get the most dry. I wake up and they feel awful and are blood red. I rub them sometimes for some relief then I put some antihistamine drops and artificial tear drops in my eyes along with a cold rag and by morning they are clear. I wear contacts but stay at home with my kids so wear glasses at home but it doesn't matter if I wear glasses for the day or contacts I get the same result at night. During the day I have a little itching and dryness but not as much as the evening and nighttime. I went to the doctor and they gave me the prescription antihistamine drops that I said I put in at night. They are very expensive and I don't think they are helping with the dry eyes just maybe the allergy part. I am taking Claritin and I guess that is helping with the sneezing and the day itching. I thought it was solely allergies but I think it's both it's dryness and allergies. I wouldn't mind trying the restatis. Fay if no one has taken you up on those samples I would like to try them. I'm getting Lasik this summer. Does anyone know if that makes your eyes dryer? I am really looking forward to it being that I have been wearing glasses since the 2nd grade and contacts since the 7th and I'm almost 30. I just need something to help with these dry eyes.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Amy, one of the side effects of Lasik is dry eyes. Unless your doctor feels your dryness is temporary, he/she should know of this.

I hear ya on the inconvenience of glasses since you were in 2nd grade. I was very nearsighted by the fourth grade. I would ask about whether punctum plugs are right for you. Don't ask for Restasis without getting an official diagnoses of Dry Eye Syndrome or Sojourners Syndrome first. Is it only a wintertime dryness problem, or year round?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:18AM
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Paula hopefully when getting Lasik they will give me something for the dryness if it continues. They really just started being super dry this past February when flowers started to bloom and pollen hit the air. Honestly don't remember having this problem in past years. I'm assuming it has to be related to a new allergy. I haven't always had allergies. I have had dry eyes since 09 when I was pregnant with my third child but not nearly as dry now and no itching like they do now. I keep hearing about the plugs but if insurance don't cover them then I prob won't be able to get them considering my husband is the only one that works and we have 3 children under the age of 5. The Lasik has been something I have planned on and saved for years now and will be a great investment b/c of all the years my parents growing up and I have paid for eye glasses, contacts, exams I could have got Lasik 5 times over. It will be great to wake up in the middle of the night when the baby cries and see. I hope my problem gets better. I have eczema too and that is under control so now I have a new problem to worry about.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 11:44PM
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I am very skeptical about trying Restasis because I simply do not like taking anything without worrying about the long term effects or immediate side effects. Doctors are telling me that I have dry spots on my eyes but my discomfort is obviously minimal because I didn't even have symptoms. I guess I felt like the doctors were just pushing a product on me. I had been using Lotemax drops for superficial punctate keratitis and optive refresh drops. All I want is my contacts back and to use over the counter drops and maybe some fish oil supplements.

What are the down sides of Restasis and how much will my co-pay be?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 2:23PM
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I got great relief from dry eyes when I stopped using soap on my face. I use products on my face that do not have sodium lauryl sulfate in them. . . like Burt's Bees Facial Cleanser and Mary Kay Timewise 3 in 1 cleanser. That stopped the itching, burning, redness of my eyes.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Hi, I have severe dry eye from lasik surgery and age. I have had lower plugs for about 7 years and use restasis regularly. I stopped using it for about a year and didn't realize my pugs had both fallen out. It was summer and I couldn't see very well because my eyes were so dry, so I tried the restasis (had some left) and it made a huge difference. Although I don't believe it trains your eyes to make tears, I will probably use it for life. My eye Dr. Said that alot of people remove their plugs with the use of restasis to keep the eye flushed of debris. Not me; but I don't think I would do uppers for that reason.
When I went to a dry eye specialist he told me to take at least 3000mg of fish oil per day and drink lots of water these have also helped a great deal. Hope it helps you.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 10:12PM
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I have used Restasis, gave it over a years try. My eyes burned with it and it just kept getting worse. The cost even with insurance was horrible. I now use the Systane Ultra drops and they are the best drops I have ever used. I also tried the plugs but they just kept falling out.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:44PM
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hi all i,m new here and was reading th ru everythin and very helpful here too:))) i,m 54, female, have had hooribe dry eyes for yearssss now,,, i have sjogrens and other muscle auto immune illness too,, i take plaquienil for that.. but my eyeys a lways a badprob,, I HAVE tried all the teras mosly too, and the lotamax, etcc, I

    Bookmark   December 25, 2011 at 12:33AM
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Has anyone tried Hyaluronic eye drops for dry eye syndrome? Seems as if it might help.


"Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory.

People take hyaluronic acid for various joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional.

The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during certain eye surgeries including cataract removal, corneal transplantation, and repair of a detached retina and other eye injuries. It is injected into the eye during the procedure to help replace natural fluids."

A link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 12:53PM
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I didn't read every single reply, so if this is repeated info, I apologize. I developed dry eye during the last year. It progressed to the point I was miserable, in awful discomfort and embarrassed to go out! Very uncomfortable; constantly drenching my eyes.. nothing helped. I remembered something from my nursing days and Googled to find the website below: Richmond Products

The product is "Foam Edged Moisture Chamber" eye patch. It eliminated my dry eye problem about 95%. I only wear them at bedtime, and usually I only wear one (my right eye was much worse). My method is to apply lubricant eye drops, not only to my eyes but directly into the chamber itself. You want a "rain forest" effect inside the chamber. Took 3 or 4 nights to see the total improvement, but helped immediately. I rarely need to use eye drops in the daytime now. Good luck w/ this!

Here is a link that might be useful: Richmond Products

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 8:51AM
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I used Restasis for a couple years. It was quite helpful in the beginning, but I did experience stinging after application. My ophthalmologist suggested keeping it refrigerated until I was ready to use it, and that made a big difference. After a while, it seemed to lose its effectiveness, and I was annoyed with the side effect of having the whites of my eyes appear red so I stopped using it. My symptoms are worst during the night and first thing in the morning, or when I am doing eye-intensive work, such as reading or working on the computer, The best relief I've gotten from an OTC treatment is from drops called Soothe.

Thanks for the suggestions -- I'm going to try fish oil or flaxseed oil and ask my eye MD about FreshKote.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:37PM
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Hi, I am new to the forum. I was diagnosed a month and a half ago with severe inflammation of my eyes. I had been experiencing burning, gritiness, redness, blurred vision for a while. My Opthal. prescribed Restasis, 2x a day, artificial tears, and refresh gel at bedtime. He also recomm. flax oil. Thus far, I am not getting any relief. He did state that it would take 3 months for the Restasis to kick in.
I bought the flax oil, but haven't taken it reg. it made me nauseuous, but I will try again and make sure I take it with my early meals... I am not looking forward to turning on the heat, in my case a wood pellet stove. I must invest in a decent humidifier this winter. I appreciate the input of everyone, it helps. I'm glad I stumbled onto this site, I don't feel so alone with this condition. It is really affecting my quality of life. Thanks for letting me vent (whine) lol!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:44AM
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Have dry eye syndrome .... Been taking restasis 4 days now. one day it feels great now my vision blurry its not clearing up. Thinking i may be using too much in my eye.. Any advice people????

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 4:16PM
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Wow what a long thread. Very informative. Question Do you wear contacts? Are those causing your problem.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 2:48PM
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