Provide Urgent Research & Funding for Severe Dry Eye Disease & Corneal Neuralgia Pain.
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Imagine peeling onions, when you stop, the eye stinging eventually goes away, right? But what if that intense stinging never went away? Imagine having an eyelash in your eyes, how long before you remove it? You will likely find a mirror and remove it immediately. For those seconds, removing the lash is your priority no matter where you are and what you are doing. But what if you couldn't remove it? Severely dry eye and corneal neuralgia patients experience constant burning, itchiness, stabbing pain, severe sensitivity to light, gritty sand feeling in their eyes and blurry fluctuating vision. Can you imagine living with these symptoms every day and night for your whole life? Yes, this is the debilitation that Chronic Dry Eye Disease (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca) sufferers feel every single day.
Dry eyes are often considered as a minor side effect of other diseases or medications, but in fact it is a major disease itself, afflicting millions of sufferers. This debilitating disease saps the patients' time, energy and money. It damages the patients' livelihood, their relationships, and overall quality of life, impacting them mentally, physically and financially. MGD, Blepharitis, Corneal Rosacea, Corneal Erosions, are chronic co-morbid eye conditions alongside dry eyes.
There are many reasons patients develop dry eyes, the most common are medication side effects, refractive eye surgery such as LASIK, auto immune diseases, over use of computer and cell phones, Benzalkonium Chloride (BAK), which is a harsh preservative used in eye drops, GVHD (graft versus host disease) and more. When not treated properly, extremely dry eyes can lead to an even more excruciatingly painful disease called Corneal Neuralgia. Whereas some corneal neuralgia patients show signs of extreme dryness too, others do not have physical symptoms of dryness; yet still suffer from corneal neuralgia.
Often, doctors unfamiliar with corneal neuralgia refer patients to psychiatrists, and yet it is clear from the description of the pain that the patients' nerves became severely damaged and thus highly hypersensitive. "The cornea is the most powerful pain generator in the human body," said Dr. Rosenthal, retired ophthalmologist at Boston Eye Pain Foundation. Currently there are no other readily available remedies for corneal neuralgia offered beyond anti-convulsants and autologous serum eye drops. The former systemic medication comes with many side effects and often times do not work. The latter also has not worked for many patients and is very expensive.
For years patients are left on their own to find treatment options, and often possess better knowledge about Dry Eye Disease than many eye care professionals. There are millions of extreme dry eye cases that do not improve with any drops sold at the local drugstore. In fact, for moderate and severe cases, this disease does not respond to any of the conventional treatments, (Warm compresses, Omega 3, punctal plugs, antibiotics, Restasis and steroid drops) which are routinely prescribed by eye care professionals.
These treatments have not changed in decades despite the growing number of patients developing cornea neuralgia; yet all cases are treated the same from mild to severe. In fact, patients often worsen when eye care professionals prescribe steroid or other Over-The-Counter drops. Most steroid drops contain the BAK preservative, which is known to be toxic to the eyes, thereby worsening a patient’s already fragile eyes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22410563
We need help and we request the following actions to be taken immediately:
- Recognize Dry Eye Disease as a serious painful illness.
- Better treatment for Dry Eye Disease and Corneal Neuralgia.
- More comprehensive diagnostic tools than what is currently being offered.
- New topical drops that actually work on the root cause of dry eye disease, NOT just an attempt to mask symptoms.
- Make treatments, medications and consultations reasonably priced and covered by medical insurance.
- Tailored approach for each case since dry eyes are a complicated illness and every dry eye case is not the same.
- Fund Dry Eye Disease research and new treatment options in the pipeline.
- Better education for eye care professionals regarding Dry Eye Disease.
Patients do not have years to wait! Some patients develop the symptoms as early as in their teen years, how can they live decades in pain? Google Lasik Suicide and you will read just how dire this situation is. The quality of life for the growing number of afflicted patients depends on bringing effective treatments to the market.
Please put an end to our suffering.
Kindest Regards from fellow sufferers,
BT & GT
For questions or comments, please email:
cornealdisease at gmail.com
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