I’m on my third referral for ophthalmologists for a problem with my eyes. The doctors keep diagnosing me with something different than what I think I have.
I’m wondering what’s leading them to these diagnoses when I’m not reporting any symptoms of what they say I have. So, is it possible to “see” dry eyes in a patient?
Symptoms: Stinging, burning, scratchiness, stringy mucus, and excess irritation from smoke.
I have none of these problems. My problem is that the lashes in the corners of my eyes poke the opposite eyelid and it causes a great amount of discomfort. After almost 40 years of living with this issue, I started plucking the offending eyelashes and that provides relief. I’m trying to get them to use one of the treatments that permanently removes the eyelashes (laser, cryo, thermo, electric) but the doctor thinks that, instead of having a problem with my eyelashes, I have dry eye.
He tells me the symptoms and I tell him I have none of those, and repeat my symptoms to him. He says I need his treatment instead. He gives me eyedrops (Restasis) and then gives me punctal plugs.
I’ve had these plugs in for almost a week and they give me a sensation that makes it hard to look around. Every time I look left or right, it feels like the tip of a ballpoint pen is being shoved against my eyeball.
The eyedrops he gave me burn my eyes and make me feel uncomfortable pretty much all the time. Every swim in a heavily chlorinated pool, and your eyes burn for a short time after? Well, mine feel like that for about 10 hours after using the drops, and they are every 12-hour drops. And they make my eyes feel swollen like they want to pop out of my skull.
So why am I using painful and discomforting treatments that he’s giving me for a condition that I don’t think that I have? It’s not like he’s giving me a treatment that has no negative side effects at all. If that were the case, I would just take the treatment and report to him a lack of positive results later. But what’s happening now is horrible side effects that affect me every moment I’m awake, and I’ve so far seen no positive results from these treatments.
So - why is the doctor so convinced that I have dry eyes and not an eyelash problem? Can he “see” it when he looks in my eyes?
Let’s pretend I do have dry eyes, but the symptoms from my eyelash issues overwhelm the symptoms from dry eyes. I won’t even be able to tell if his treatment is effective, because another issue I’m suffering from is many times as bothersome.
I couldn’t convince the previous doctors that my eyelashes are a problem, either. They thought I had Blepharitis, and an optometrist thought I had an allergy. All of their treatments are massively unpleasant, and have so far yielded no relief from my symptoms. It seems that every doctor I visit gives me a treatment that is less pleasant than the previous treatment, but they have yet to treat the symptoms I’m reporting. They keep treating totally different conditions which are normally accompanied by symptoms which I do not have.
Any advice on how I can get them to discontinue treatment for conditions I don’t have and give me treatment for the condition I do have?