watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I've managed to get off the amitriptyline (did it in very gradual steps to avoid side-effects).  It's now pretty much definite that it is what was causing my problems with the contact lenses.

My eyes watered quite a bit at first, which clearly shows that the amitriptyline was making them dry, but more importantly, a week after I'd finally stopped taking half a tablet a day (the final step down after one tablet a day), I was able to wear my lenses for a whole day at Baycon, a board-gaming convention.

The eyes aren't 100% recovered yet, but this problem was months developing, so I'm not expecting one week to cure it totally.

However, the difference between being able to wear my lenses for a max of 10 mins and a max of one day is a vast improvement!

(I'll talk in a later post about how I'm managing to get to sleep without the sleeping tablets.)
watervole: (Eye of Horus)
I'd been getting on fairly well with my contact lenses after a relatively rough start.  I'd found a type of lens that worked for me and was starting to be able to tolerate them for longer periods.

A month or two ago, I started getting problems.  My eyes started to get irritated easily, the lenses itched (especially my left eye).  Sometimes it felt like there was grit or an eyelash caught under the lens.  I kept thinking I'd got the lens inside out, but I'd try it reversed and it didn't help the problem.  I haven't been able to wear the lenses for over half an hour for more than a month.  My eyes are starting to feel dry even when I'm not wearing them.

Eye drops (preservative free becasue I've already discovered that the preservative makes my eyes itch) help a little, but don't make it possible for me to wear the lenses.

Eventually, looking for a correlation, I realised that I'd started taking sleeping tablets not long before the trouble developed.  Sure enough, Googling for 'amitriptyline' and 'dry eyes' instantly produced hits.

Hmm.  I needed the tablets, because being awake at 2am was no fun.  On the other hand, I know the stresses that were making it so hard for me to sleep.  I'm going to have to think about this as I'm not past all of the stress yet.  But I'm also fond of my eyes.  Another known risk for amitriptyline is glaucoma, and although I don't have it myself, my mother does... (and there is a genetic factor in glaucoma)

I've used Kalms in the past, and they did the trick until the stress levels got too high.  Any suggestions for other forms of sleeping tablet that don't cause dry eyes or have a glaucoma risk?

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Judith Proctor

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