The ENT says my nose is healing up nicely – thank goodness! My nose and throat still feel pretty rough, and I’ve been coughing quite a bit, but I did start out with a throat infection. (I neglected to mention that in my last post – I got sick my last day in Seattle and lost my voice, which made for a weird traveling experience – hope to post more about traveling to and from Seattle soon, before I forget everything I want to post about it!) I’ve got 2 days left on my antibiotic, and I follow up again with the ENT next week for the throat thing.

Life has been full of doctor’s appointments lately. That’s not out of the ordinary, unfortunately. At least it means I’m taking care of myself, though, and I’m glad that this week I’m not too sick to go to them! (That happens fairly often – not being able to go to the doctor because I’m feeling too bad to get myself dressed and over to the doc’s office. It’s very frustrating.)

Although I’ve been pursuing ways to make progress with the fibromyalgia, it’s been sort of on the back burner lately. That is partly because of my nose and throat, and partly because of my eyes. I am still having a lot of trouble with my eyes. (I am sitting here typing this in my huge dark sunglasses that fit over my glasses – sexy!) I am taking a risk right now by spending too much time at the computer. When I’m done posting this, I’ll go do something that doesn’t require looking at a screen.

sunglasses-pic-for-blog
I’m too sexy for my sunglasses

The problem still seems to be blepharitis and allergies. We’ve tried a bunch of different steroid treatments, including a special preservative-free one that had to be made at a compounding pharmacy. No luck. I’m on Restasis four times a day now, and that seems to help some. I also use a warm compress on my eyes for a few minutes once or twice a day, and wash the eye area thoroughly. I’ve been doing my research on blepharitis and things that might help. I visited the eye doctor again yesterday, and this time I came armed with a list of questions (“Do you think this would help? How about this?”). We are NOT trying any more steroid treatments or allergy eye drops, because they just haven’t worked.

The most likely cause of my blepharitis is seborrheic dermatitis (yes, I know that’s a mouthful). Seborrheic dermatitis is what ordinarily causes dandruff…but I have it on my face. (Lucky me!) I first got it 2 summers ago. I was stunned when my usually oily skin became dry and cracked and itchy and started flaking. I went to the dermatologist, who gave me prescription strength hydrocortisone and said to use it on my face twice a day until my skin stopped bothering me, and then go off it for a while, and then go back on it if my skin started getting bad again. I had managed to get down to once a day, but every time I went off it completely – even for a day – I had disastrous results.

I’m now back on it twice a day, because I’m hoping it will help my eyes. The skin around my eyes gets extremely dry and flaky, and of course I can’t put the hydrocortisone that close to my eyes, but I can at least rub it into my eyebrows and forehead so flakes don’t fall into my eyes from there. As of this morning, I’ve also started using dandruff shampoo on my eyebrows (don’t laugh). Might help – who knows?! I already use Head & Shoulders, not because I have dandruff on my scalp (I have a little, but not enough to merit using dandruff shampoo) but because it could benefit my face. (But no, I don’t wash my face with it. Just my eyebrows. OK, fine, laugh if you want. I think it’s kind of funny.)

I’ve also started taking flaxseed oil supplements, massaging my eyelids after using the warm compress but before washing (that’s supposed to help get the oils that are “stuck” out of there), and using Ocusoft wipes to cleanse my eye area instead of diluted baby shampoo. I’ve ordered a “real” warm compress for my eyes, as opposed to the wet washcloths I’ve been using, since the moisture from the washcloths dries out the skin around my eyes, which may make the blepharitis worse and definitely causes some discomfort.

Have I covered all the bases? Anyone know of anything else that might help?

The eye issues have been going on for several months now. Hot weather seems to make them worse. So does blowing air from A/Cs, fans, etc. It’s been a very hot summer here. I’m hoping the cooler weather that should be on its way will bring some relief.

I’d love to hear from any of you who have had similar problems with the eyes or skin, even if it’s just to say, “Hey, I understand what you’re going through!” Please leave a comment!

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2 thoughts on “Blepharitis. Ugh.

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