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CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
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ISnoreBadly Offline

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Machine: PR System One REMStar Pro 560
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
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Sex: Male
Location: Lawn Guyland, Noo Yawk

Post: #1
CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
Ever since I switched to the DreamWear mask I've been having issues with dry eyes. I've been using GenTeal (an OTC eye lubricant gel) and it helps a little but doesn't last for very long. Yesterday I was at my GP and asked about dry eyes, he gave me a prescription for Restasis and said it should work better than an OTC medication.

Does anybody here use it, and if so does it help? It says it's supposed to last for 12 hours, does it?

Thanks
02-23-2016 08:05 AM
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green wings Offline

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Post: #2
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
I have been using Restasis since last summer, and it has helped my tear production enormously. It took a couple of months before I noticed much of an effect. I don't know how typical that is.

Restasis is basically a drug that you're putting in your eyes (cyclosporine) to combat autoimmune dry eyes. I wouldn't say that it "lasts" 12 hours so much as that's the prescribed dosing interval.

It does have a good liquid tears carrying solution, but it's still recommended to use liquid tears along with it, but not at the same time as applying the Restasis.

I tried a CPAP mask last month that vented right at my eyes, and I could not tolerate it. There was no room to use an eye mask with it, so I had to switch to a different design.

If your dry eye problem is being caused by autoimmune issues, and this is very common, Restasis should be very helpful for you, but you probably still need to make sure that your xPAP mask isn't blowing a lot of air at your eyes.

If it is, you either need to find some sort of mechanical barrier to protect your eyes (sleep mask, scarf, eye patches) or find a different mask design.

I have a Wisp nasal mask now. It vents to the side and doesn't bother my eyes at all.

I apply Restasis first thing in the morning and at bedtime, but I find that I still need to apply liquid tears 2-3 times a day for comfort and to keep my vision from getting blurry. I think it's a little different for everyone depending on how dry their eyes are.

It's important to try to stop the mechanical irritation of air blowing at your eyes while you are sleeping, though.
(This post was last modified: 02-23-2016 09:06 AM by green wings.)
02-23-2016 09:00 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #3
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
Most of us would need a cosigner to buy a brand name Rx med. If they are advertising it on TV (and they are) it's too expensive.
I use Systane Ultra eye gel OTC.

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02-23-2016 09:02 AM
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ISnoreBadly Offline

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Posts: 117
Joined: Jul 2015

Machine: PR System One REMStar Pro 560
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: PR DreamWear Nasal Mask
Humidifier: PR System One
CPAP Pressure: 12
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

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Sex: Male
Location: Lawn Guyland, Noo Yawk

Post: #4
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
(02-23-2016 09:02 AM)justMongo Wrote:  Most of us would need a cosigner to buy a brand name Rx med. If they are advertising it on TV (and they are) it's too expensive.
I use Systane Ultra eye gel OTC.

How does Systane work for you?

When I asked my GP about a non OTC medication he said about Restasis "I saw this one on TV, it must be good if they're putting a lot of money into advertising". I said they put a lot of money into it because they want us to buy it, that doesn't mean it's good...

Thankfully my insurance covers it so I won't need a cosigner.
02-23-2016 10:32 AM
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ISnoreBadly Offline

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Posts: 117
Joined: Jul 2015

Machine: PR System One REMStar Pro 560
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: PR DreamWear Nasal Mask
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CPAP Software: SleepyHead

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Sex: Male
Location: Lawn Guyland, Noo Yawk

Post: #5
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
(02-23-2016 09:00 AM)green wings Wrote:  I have been using Restasis since last summer, and it has helped my tear production enormously. It took a couple of months before I noticed much of an effect. I don't know how typical that is.

A couple of months? I was hoping for a result within a couple of hours...

Quote:If your dry eye problem is being caused by autoimmune issues, and this is very common, Restasis should be very helpful for you, but you probably still need to make sure that your xPAP mask isn't blowing a lot of air at your eyes.

If it is, you either need to find some sort of mechanical barrier to protect your eyes (sleep mask, scarf, eye patches) or find a different mask design.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I really like the DreamWear and don't want to switch to something else just because of this issue. Maybe a combination of a barrier and Restasis (or an OTC solution) will help.
02-23-2016 10:34 AM
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green wings Offline

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Machine: Respironics System One RemStar Pro (460)
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Other Comments: using CPAP since Jan. 2016

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Post: #6
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
(02-23-2016 10:32 AM)ISnoreBadly Wrote:  I didn't try a gel type dry eye drop when I was having a problem with the mask blowing air into my eyes. I have used the Systane gel in the past. It works well, I think. My opinion is that it would work to counter-act the effect of air blowing at my eyes all night.

My eyes weren't producing tears. I could peel and chop an onion and my eyes would just sting, but no tears. It was a problem that developed over many years for me.

If your eyes produce tears and feel comfortable when you aren't using CPAP, then I would be surprised if Restasis does anything for you. Like I said, it's not really an "eye drop". It's an ophthalmic version of cyclosporine, which is best known as a drug used to prevent the body rejecting an organ after organ transplant. (My eyes were bothering me a whole lot, because I didn't really like the idea of putting that type of drug in my eyes.)

Anyway, you can always give it a try. Maybe it doesn't always take two months to work. There's a forum for people with "chronic dry eye" that could probably answer your questions. I don't know what it's called, but a search would probably turn up the name.

If I ever end up with the blowing air situation again, I'll probably buy two of those black "pirate" eye patches from Walmart and go with that.

(02-23-2016 09:02 AM)justMongo Wrote:  Most of us would need a cosigner to buy a brand name Rx med. If they are advertising it on TV (and they are) it's too expensive.
I use Systane Ultra eye gel OTC.

How does Systane work for you?

When I asked my GP about a non OTC medication he said about Restasis "I saw this one on TV, it must be good if they're putting a lot of money into advertising". I said they put a lot of money into it because they want us to buy it, that doesn't mean it's good...

Thankfully my insurance covers it so I won't need a cosigner.
02-23-2016 12:19 PM
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robertbuckley Offline

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Post: #7
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
We need to break this into several parts in working toward an answer, and also parse out some facts and information.
For background, I have used Restasis for 2+ years with some success. It is a fairly expensive drug, does not work immediately and in fact may take months for full effectiveness. The complaint that I had was excessive tearing of my eyes in certain situations, with a burn to the tears, and consequently irritation of the lower lid. Dr. Dxed that the tearing was actually in reaction to "dry" eye. First treatment was using liquid tears. Helped some. Then Rxed the Restasis, which, as the Dr. said, won't fully reduce the tearing, but will improve the quality of the tears (burning and irritation).
Now, to your situation. First - no drug (Rx or not) is going to solve the problem if you have a mask that is blowing air into your eyes. So, you need to solve that problem. No matter how much you like the mask, you should not use it if it is blowing air into your eyes.
Now, if you have dry eyes caused by something that is other than the blown air, then Restasis may be appropriate, but first I would treat using the liquid tears and see the extent to which that helps. It also could be allergies. Does it occur seasonally? There are drops that are antihistamines available for the eyes. Also the liquid tears help flush allergens out of the eyes.
Restasis really should only be used if the rest all fails, or if you have some auto-immune markers that you already know about. It also takes a long time to be fully effective - up to 6 months and more.
There is no silver bullet, and it is called the practice of medicine because they practice on us until they get it perfect (well, almost).
Good luck, and while the wind in your hair is nice, blowing air into your eyes is not.
02-23-2016 03:28 PM
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ISnoreBadly Offline

Advisory Members

Posts: 117
Joined: Jul 2015

Machine: PR System One REMStar Pro 560
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: PR DreamWear Nasal Mask
Humidifier: PR System One
CPAP Pressure: 12
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments:

Sex: Male
Location: Lawn Guyland, Noo Yawk

Post: #8
RE: CPAP, dry eyes and Restasis
(02-23-2016 03:28 PM)robertbuckley Wrote:  We need to break this into several parts in working toward an answer, and also parse out some facts and information.
For background, I have used Restasis for 2+ years with some success. It is a fairly expensive drug, does not work immediately and in fact may take months for full effectiveness. The complaint that I had was excessive tearing of my eyes in certain situations, with a burn to the tears, and consequently irritation of the lower lid. Dr. Dxed that the tearing was actually in reaction to "dry" eye. First treatment was using liquid tears. Helped some. Then Rxed the Restasis, which, as the Dr. said, won't fully reduce the tearing, but will improve the quality of the tears (burning and irritation).
Now, to your situation. First - no drug (Rx or not) is going to solve the problem if you have a mask that is blowing air into your eyes. So, you need to solve that problem. No matter how much you like the mask, you should not use it if it is blowing air into your eyes.
Now, if you have dry eyes caused by something that is other than the blown air, then Restasis may be appropriate, but first I would treat using the liquid tears and see the extent to which that helps. It also could be allergies. Does it occur seasonally? There are drops that are antihistamines available for the eyes. Also the liquid tears help flush allergens out of the eyes.
Restasis really should only be used if the rest all fails, or if you have some auto-immune markers that you already know about. It also takes a long time to be fully effective - up to 6 months and more.
There is no silver bullet, and it is called the practice of medicine because they practice on us until they get it perfect (well, almost).

That last line is how I feel with my GP. He doesn't seem to put much thought in his answers to me, I told him I was using an OTC eye gel and asked if a prescription one would be better and he only offered Restasis.

I don't know if it's a seasonal issue, I've never really had it before and it seemed to start when I started using this particular mask. So I just assumed (yeah, I know) that was the cause. I'll see what I can do about stopping my mask from blowing air around my eyes

I don't have any allergies that I'm aware of.

I think - but am not positive - that the gel that I'm using now is the store brand version of Systane Ultra. I'll have to check when I get home. If it's not I'll going to give that a shot as people seem to like it. And I guess I'll have to find a way to stop the air from blowing in my face.
02-23-2016 03:38 PM
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