Sunday, October 18, 2015

No More Dry Eyes!

The Fix for this one is pretty simple.   

Take a good look at your caffeine intake. If it is high, either cut back, or drink more water (I recommend the Special Water me and my hubby drink). Or do both.

Let me rewind back to 1995, when I was working as a receptionist with my friend Michele. I happened to get the 6AM morning shift this particular day, and was about to make a cup of coffee for myself. I asked Michele if she wanted a cup of coffee too. She said she couldn't have any because when she  has it, her eyes get so dry, she can't put her contact lenses in. Michele wore glasses, like me, but she still had hers on and I had already put my contacts in (despite the fact that my eyes were dry, too!)

That was the first time I ever realized there might be a connection between my own dry eyes, and caffeine, which I indulged in, way more than my fair share. I thank Michele for this observation, to this day. You'd think I should have noticed this myself, but, noooo. I'm not sure why it is that it can be so hard for me to notice connections between simple things like that but once she mentioned it, it became glaringly obvious. COFFEE (lots of caffeine) was the exact reason why my eyes were so dry.

I had struggled with dry eyes in my adulthood largely because I had taken Accutane 3 times - at age 19, 22, and 24. Not only did it make my eyesight permanently worse, but it also made them very dry, to the point where I had to have a "plug" put in by a doctor, to try to make the tears stay "welled up" in my eyes.

I will never forget the day I went in to get tested for dry eyes. The scene was so ridiculous, it was like something out of a Seinfeld episode. The doctor's assistant told me she needed to put tiny strips of paper (I think they were pH strips) into my eyes, to test how dry they were.  I'm not sure when was the last time she had PIECES OF PAPER STUCK IN HER EYEBALLS, but it is so irritating it causes your eyes to start tearing up profusely!!!!

I basically told them the test was guaranteed to be inaccurate, since my now-watery eyes were in NO way a representation of how they normally were, on a day-to-day basis!  

They just took my word for it and installed the plugs but that didn't work. You'd think the doctor would have asked me at least ONE of the following questions during this visit:

1) How much caffeine are you consuming?
2) How much water are you drinking?

But no. No one asked me either of these questions, and I wasn't keen enough on how the medical industry operates, at that point, to understand that I really just needed to cut back on caffeine and drink more water. Those plugs they inserted into my eyes didn't do a damn thing, since I wasn't addressing the root cause of the problem: Serious dehydration!

In one of his "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" books, Richard Carlson (Rest in peace, he was brilliant) tells the story of how his heart rate was extremely high and he couldn't figure out what was wrong. He went to see his doctor, who wanted to prescribe medications. Luckily, a friend stepped in and said, "Richard, you're drinking too much coffee." That was all it was! 

As soon as he cut back, his issues disappeared. You'd think his doctor would have asked him, just once, if he was drinking too much coffee. But nope! It never ceases to amaze me how often highly paid doctors overlook the simplest things that could fix a person's problem, for no money.  I suppose I don't have to go into an explanation of why this is true.

To give you another example (this time with a veterinarian, not an MD)... I used to dog sit for a very sweet German shepherd named Nikki, who, sadly, was poisoned by a neighbor, because he didn't like that she barked at squirrels. This poor girl was knocking on death's door. I would go visit her on my lunch breaks. The doctors could not get her to eat. He couldn't figure out why he wouldn't eat, and suggested surgery to her guardian. There must be something wrong with her intestines, he surmised.

Well, one day, a man came by to visit his own dog in the animal hospital, and just happened to bring some rotisserie chicken with him. Nikki suddenly jumped up and LUNGED for that chicken, and woofed it down! It wasn't that she had something wrong with her intestines... it was just that she didn't like the crap food she was being given in the vet hospital!!! She completely went back to normal after she at that chicken, and was able to go home.

Again... sometimes scary looking health issues can really boil down to the simplest of things. 

About a year ago, before we got our water machine, I wound up with eye infections THREE TIMES. One day I even had to go home early from work, because my eyes hurt so bad I couldn't even open them.

I know this will sound crazy but I finally realized, there was some ingredient in Crystal Light's yummy caffeine citrus drink, that was causing it. Every time I would have it, I loved the taste and got a nice buzz from the caffeine, but.... I finally had to admit this stuff was drying my eyes out to the point where it was causing eye infections. 

I had to go see my eye doctor (who luckily was right down the street from where I worked) and she gave me some eye drops (I believe they were antibiotics). Luckily the infections did clear up, though I did run out of the drops.

Luckily, now that I am able to drink water from our special water machine, I find that I no longer get these eye infections, even when I do drink that same Crystal light drink.  It hasn't given me dry eyes ONCE, since I make it with the special water (it does make my throat feel a little dry though, but it's not as bad as it was).  This makes me very happy, since I love the taste of the stuff. I realize, I probably shouldn't be drinking it if it causes that kind of dehydration. My favorite drink was Visalus Neuro, but since I can't afford that at the moment, the Crystal Light citrus drinks are the closest substitute I can find.

As a side note, I know of two people who drank the Special Water who actually had very watery eyes, and they reported that when they drank it, their eyes stopped watering profusely! There is something about the water that seems to help to bring the body into balance.

If you have any questions about the special water or anything else, feel free to contact me through the form on the right. 

Have a great day!

Laura Ellen (Ualani)

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