That’s what I’m doing right now, so please forgive the typos. I just tried to cut my sandwich with the wrong end of the knife too… So what do dilated eyes have to do with fibromyalgia? Not much, since my eyes were dilated to check out a preponderance of floaters and floaters don’t have anything to do with fibromyalgia. But before they dilated my eyes, they cauterized my remaining tear ducts shut. And THAT has a connection to fibromyalgia. I just stabbed myself in the face with a straw I forgot was in my cup… People may be staring, but I wouldn’t know.
Here’s the scoop. Dry eyes syndrome (yes, there’s a syndrome for everything) is a fairly common disorder. I’ve had problems with dry eyes now for a few years. For awhile, my CPAP was blamed in case my mask was getting askew and blowing air on me at night, but that’s been ruled out. A couple years ago, the tear ducts at the top of my eyes were cauterized (sealing shut by burning). I know – I had the same reaction. Isn’t that opposite of what I needed? No, tear ducts actually suck the tears out of your eyes and into your nasal cavity, which is why your nose runs. When you cry, you’re just producing more tears than your tear ducts can handle. When someone has dry eyes syndrome, they aren’t producing enough tears, and the tear ducts are sucking the eyeballs dry. So you eliminate the tear ducts and the tears actually can coat your eyes. I still had problems after sealing the top ducts, so we tried bandage contacts – large sized contacts that just cover the eyes with no prescription. Those were horrible because I didn’t have enough moisture in my eyes to float the contact. So the doctor tried to plug the lower ducts with little plastic plugs, but my ducts bend kind of funny, and they hurt. I ran into the doctor’s office screaming for them to get those things OUT of me. They did. Since then I’ve been putting up with the burning and blurriness that comes with dry eyes. Until today. The last of the tear ducts (the little suckers) are closed. I can feel moisture on my eyeballs, but it’s not dripping down my face (the only potential side effect is crying unintentionally).
And what does this have to do with fibro? I recently found an article (Vehof et al, see library) about how people with dry eyes syndrome often have chronic pain of some sort. The article wasn’t really making a physiological connection. If you solve dry eyes, you won’t solve chronic pain. The article, instead, was pointing out to eye doctors that just because they may not perceive much severity of dry eyes syndrome in patients with chronic pain, it doesn’t mean that we’re faking it. Our nerves are hypersensitized, and they should help as they can to make us more comfortable. My doctor acknowledged that today without me mentioning the article. I almost fell out of the exam chair! It was a good experience, and indicative that fibro is becoming better understood and better embraced by physicians across specialties. For the better.