I am only 23 years old and I've worn soft contacts (Acuvue 2) without any issues for the past 8 years. Roughly 8 months ago (last May), I took a trip to Europe. The very first day I arrived, I was rubbing my right eye and a patch of my eye turned red. I didn't think anything of it but the redness persisted. Gradually over the next week or so, both my eyes started getting redder and redder -- the redness was slight for the first couple of days, but by Day 5 my eyes were turning a terrifying shade of red by the end of the day. Each time I removed my contacts and left them out for a day or two, my eyes would turn white again. I thought it may be an infection, since I have the same degree contacts in both eyes, so I don't keep track of which one goes in which eye - I use them interchangeably.
After I got home, I immediately went to the eye doctor, who prescribed Tobradex to me and told me to go a week without contacts. After the week was over, I put my contacts back in. My eyes starting looking a little bloodshot again, but nowhere near the red they had been in Europe, so I thought they were recovering. After I ran out of Tobradex, however, my eyes started getting redder and redder again.
Over the past six months, I've been to five different opthamologists. I've been told that the problem is dry eyes
(I was on rewetting drops for weeks with no avail), allergies (I tried Claritin, zyrtec, etc), GPC (giant papillary conjunctivitis....I was told to wear only glasses
for over a month and prescribed Crolom in my eyes twice daily), and blepharitis
(lid scrubs, bacitrin twice daily, and doxycycline 20mg twice daily).
The rewetting drops did nothing, the Crolom did nothing, and the doxycycline seemed to help a little but did not solve the problem (I've been on doxycycline for a little over 2 months now). My eyes are to the point where they are always slightly bloodshot regardless of whether I am wearing contacts or not. They turn especially red when I strain them, i.e. when I brush my tongue and gag, drinking, etc. The redness seems to retreat slightly when I shower and when I sleep especially long. Once in awhile, my eyelids will feel strange.....it feels almost like there is something on them, and it feels weird to try and open my eyes really wide. My current doctor has said that it is ok to have daily contacts for a couple hours daily, but I use them SPARINGLY at most, maybe one day a week for only 5 hours. For around 2 months before that, i strictly stuck to glasses but nothing improved either.
I am panicking because I fear that I will never have white eyes or be in contacts again, and my eyes have reached a point where they are ALWAYS pink and bloodshot, even without contacts. My current opth. is suggesting I use Tobradex again, but I know that long-term use is never good and it only helped for awhile the first time.
I don't use Visine very often because I know it doesn't help the actual condition, but I couldn't resist and used it the other night.....and I broke down and cried when I saw how white my eyes turned because I was not used to seeing them like that anymore and I was so desperate for an answer.
Does anyone share a similar problem or have any suggestions? I'm scared, worried, panicked, and I'm beginning to lose hope. =(