I had never heard of a condition known as 'dry eyes' until I got it four years ago. In this condition, the eyes do not produce good quality tears and the delibitating result is that the eyes become dry, inflamed and excrutiatingly painful. At its worst, the condition can cause permanent damage to the cornea and possibly lead to blindness. I thought I was going to loose my sight because my eyes got so bad I could hardly get through the day. I was in constant pain and my eyes were always red and itchy.
I saw some of the best eye specialists in Nairobi at the time and all they did was to put me on medication that made my eyes worse. I had allergic reactions to all available eye drops that could have eased my sufferings and so I had to look elsewhere for a rememdy: the internet. I stopped going to doctors and found help mostly in testimonies (such as this one) of people who had learnt to manage or gotten over their dry eye condition.
I changed my diet, drank more water, slept more and tried to worry a bit less about the problem. Slowly, little by little, my eyes improved. I could get through half the day without feeling depressed and I bought really cool eyewear to protect my eyes and boost my very low self esteem at the time. After three very tough years I finally got a breakthrough. (I have so much to say about dry eyes that I could start another blog).
In the past one year I have gotten better and better and now I even sometimes forget that I have a condition. I still have to take care of my eyes and when I become frivolous and vain (which is often), I look back to this trying period of my life and I count my blessings. Most of all I am grateful that I can make art again which I had all but lost hope of ever doing.
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor but I would make a damn good one).
Labels: dry eyes, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca