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RCE - Eyelid sticking

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What's up folks. Two years ago I had a corneal abrasion, no idea what got in my eye, but it caused the most painful experience I've ever had. After several days of hypertonic ointment, it eventually healed, and my vision was back to 20/20. Unfortunately, after just a few weeks it 'came back', and after several years of this, my eye dr has called it RCE (Recurring Corneal Erosion). Some of the steps to take to avoid recurrences include using an ointment at nighttime, like refresh pm ointment, or Muro128 ointment, and Systaine drops during the day. This - sort of works, but I still get recurrences ever 1-3 weeks.

Over the last two years, it's been incredibly frustrating, but I seem to have the process down now to reduce the amount of time to heal a recurrence by forcing myself to immediately follow a certain protocol. I should also mention that I wake up with dry eyes, (even with the ointment in them), and often have crusted edges of my eyes.

Recently I tried something quite obvious, but different than what the dr ordered as I'm beyond frustrated that there is NO permanent healing for this debilitating condition. (There are several operations but they all have limited results). I started using non-smelly hand/face lotion at night and really covering my face and closed eyelids. And I stopped using the ointment at night inside my eye. Oddly, I had 3-4 weeks with ANY recurrence. I would wake up and be like 'uh - wow, I'm all good!'.

My question is that it seems that in the initial diagnosis of RCE, the ointments were very necessary. However, it 'seems' to me that logically, adding goop to your eyes every night might hinder your body's natural production of tears and breatability, causing crusty eyes. Has anyone had RCE, and found that separate from the abrasion recurrence itself, that your eyelid occasionally gets sensitive and can seem to be the cause of the tear (as in rip)?

Thanks~!
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replied June 16th, 2009
I have the same thing. I litterally have to pick my upper eyelid off my eye in the night. And the pain! The eye dr said i might be sleeping with my eyes open. Uncanny and untrue. I think it might be that i periodically freeze my eyes with arctic temperatures, or that i suffered pink eye 2 in a year, or that i'm just getting old and am unfortunate... What frickin can I do? K.F. I sure wish that I could get feedback.
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replied June 16th, 2009
Karination - it's nice to see someone finally reply to this post. I thought this site was useless, at least now I can share my experience with you. Since I've posted this, a MAJOR change has happened for me that has changed the quality of my life like you can't imagine. I didn't do MUCH different, but I did (once I started to feel that the ointments were causing as much sticking problem as NOT using them), begin to stop using them at all at night unless I have a flare up. And now within a few short months, I'm 99% back to normal. I don't think the ointments are bad or are the problem, but they do cause more 'stickiness' which leads to bothering your eye, which leads to waking up with a flare up.

My input; once you are ready, way after the initial recovery, start to backoff of the ointment every night that both dr's and I thought would NEVER be able to be stopped. Of course, this is just my experience.

Good luck, stay positive. Hang in there.
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replied March 21st, 2011
Most shampoos, soaps, face scrubs, etc. contain sodium lauryl sulfate or a similar chemical which is a powerful degreaser used for, among other things, the cleaning of oil spills. It is very effective and has been used for 70-80 years. Sodium lauryl sulfate has a low molecular weight and is easily absorbed by the skin and other tissues. I think it is absorbed into the miebomian glands and breaks apart the oil produced by the glands before it has a chance to be excreted onto the eye.

If you search out sulfate free shampoos, soaps, etc. on the Internet you can find several brands that may be purchased just about anywhere. Avoiding sulfates has made a huge difference in my life - has actually cured benign essential blepharospasm (supposedly a neurological disorder). I no longer use eye drops and as an added bonus my hair and skin look and feel much nicer.

There are plenty of articles which refer to the meibomian oil as preventing the watery tears from evaporating, but none that I have found refer to the lubricating quality of the oil. Any time there are moving parts (eyelids against the eye) there needs to be a lubricant. If there is no lubricant there is friction and eventually the moving parts stick or freeze.

Just some ideas based upon logic and a lot of research.
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replied August 8th, 2011
eyelid sticks to eyeball at night
For the past 3 months, I have to pull my eyelid off my eyeball in the middle of the night or I can't flutter my eyelid. I have been to the doctor and they recommended ointments at night. They are thick and sticky and seem to work for a few hours but then there lubrication seems to evaporate, yet the film remains for a few minutes when I open my eye(left eye is the problem). My vision is fine and during the day I have no realy problems. Any suggestions!!
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replied August 8th, 2011
eyelid sticks to eyeball at night
For the past 3 months, I have to pull my eyelid off my eyeball in the middle of the night or I can't flutter my eyelid. I have been to the doctor and they recommended ointments at night. They are thick and sticky and seem to work for a few hours but then there lubrication seems to evaporate, yet the film remains for a few minutes when I open my eye(left eye is the problem). My vision is fine and during the day I have no realy problems. Any suggestions!!
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replied March 4th, 2012
This link has connected me with alot of people who have or are experiencing RCE. It is great to read about things that people have tried and what they find works and does not work.

http://danielbaird.com/hopefulcynic/2006/0 6/recurrent-corneal-erosion-syndrome.html
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replied April 28th, 2012
REC
JenniO Queensland 29/04/12

I had a slap to the right eyeball with a ziptie (granddaughter released it while sitting on my knee). This was treated with antibiotic ointments for a few days and all seemed to be fine for about six weeks. Next thing I knew I found my right eyelid would become stuck to the eyeball while I was asleep. I spoke to the Ophthalmologist about this who said it was calcium deposits. He suggested I use Lacrolube ointment at night for relief and told me that removal of the deposits can cause it to reform again and could perhaps become worse each time. I have elected to do nothing at present and just live with having to remove the lid manually each morning. I do not have any problems at all during my waking hours.
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replied August 29th, 2012
Corneal Erosion Laser Operation
Hi,
I had these symptoms two years ago and it is very painful when the eyelid sticks to the eyeball.
I am surprised that no-one has talked about laser treatment which I have had and am now cured.
The small operation is done under local anaesthetic and only takes about five minutes, the laser seals the area under the cornea.
I had mine lasered at St James's hospital in Leeds and it seemed a pretty normal operation.
I was having to put gel in the eye every night and now I just apply drops when I wake up and during the day.
Please ask your doctor to pass you to an eye consultant
and get it lasered.
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replied June 11th, 2014
I suffer from this condition and this is what I do to minimize occurences: learn to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your stomach or on your side with your head and eyes mashed in to a pillow can cause an erosion upon awakening or moving your head. Essentially, you don't want to rub your eye in any way. Second, learn to keep your eyes closed upon awakening. This sounds harder than it is-- it's really quite easy to train yourself to do this. Third, keep an eye lubricant by the bedside-- any sterile, "dry eye" saline solution will do. Get the cheap stuff. Before opening your eyes put a few drops in to each eye-- the drops will find their way in. Finally, take your index finger and pull gently down on the skin right under your eyelid on each side. Then take your thumb and do the same on the upper side right under your eye brow (GENTLY lift up). Keep your closed during this. What you're doing is freeing the eyelid to move freely. Once you've done this, open your eyes. What happens with RCE is that your eyes dry out overnight. The eyelid opening or pressure on the eyelid causes the upper layer on your cornea to tear or lift off, exposing nerve endings. This of course is what causes the pain-- sensitivity to light, tearing, foreign body sensation. In my own situation, the RCE's can be mild to nothing, or bad enough that it takes days to heal. So freeing the eyelid from sticking and lubrication before opening the eyes is critical. Also: do this routine everytime you wake up-- even it getting up in the middle of the night and going back to bed again. Even if you just did it an hour before. Every time. Sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through but its not a demanding or time consuming routine. And for me, it keeps the RCE's to a minimum and also seems to minimize the severity of the ones I do get. There are times I KNOW I would have had an RCE but headed it off doing this routine.
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