Dry eye syndrome has crept up on me over the years. I suppose that I just accepted that my eyes felt the way they did and didn't know any differently.
There had been certain indications of Dry Eye over the years.
Back in my early twenties I wore contact lenses for a while. However, I didn't get on with them particularly well. I found that I couldn't wear contact lenses in the evening when my eyes were tired and that I often experienced a gritty sensation, and had to take the lenses out.
"I was told to stop wearing contacts because my eyes did not produce enough tears"
After investigation by my optician at the time, I was told that I had abrasions on my corneas and that I should stop wearing contacts immediately because my eyes did not produce enough tears.
In more recent years, I have noticed that my eyes dry out very easily indoors in the winter when the heating is on, and in the summer when I am sitting out in the sun. I also don't get on at all well in air conditioned places, such as the car or the supermarket.
"My eyes are really sore - as though I've been punched in the eye"
I have also noticed that my eyes feel really uncomfortable when I am out in strong winds. I like cycling but when I return from a bike ride in cold, windy weather, my eyes are really sore - almost as though I've been punched in the eye.
I have found for many years that my eyes always felt tired in the evening. When we were due to go out for the evening, I would feel like going to sleep instead.
And when we got to our destination for the evening, my vision was affected by inconsistencies in my tear layer. One moment my eyes were dry, the next they were blurry with tears. Not ideal for example if I was at a choir practice, trying to read the musical score.
About 5 years ago, I had the normal test for dry eyes, and this did indeed show that my tears were not lubricating my eyes properly or lasting as long as they should. My optician said that I was probably suffering from Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and prescribed eye drops.
"I found that putting eye drops in was an inconvenient interruption to the day"
I found that the procedure of putting eye drops in was an inconvenient interruption to the day. I guess you get better at the mechanics of eye drop application with practice, but I tended to misfire with the drops and get them all over my face.
Anyway, I found that putting eye drops in only gave a very short term relief. My eyes were too full of tears initially but that did not last long.
I stopped using the eye drops for a few months and then I was concerned about whether they would still be sterile, so I threw the bottle away and haven't used drops since.
I have also used an MGD eye bag from time to time, to refresh my eyes in the evening and that seemed to help.
Anyway, here I am at 58, and I have got dry eyes - not really seriously, but enough to make certain times of the year and numerous activities a bit of a trial.
My job requires a lot of computer time, and I find nowadays that I can't spend very long in front of the screen before my eyes feel dry and uncomfortable.
I also suffer from hay fever, and in late May and June, my eyes get really itchy, particularly in the morning and evening. This really takes some of the pleasure out of walking and cycling in springtime and early summer.
My experience of wearing moisture chamber glasses
I have worn various moisture chamber glasses over the years, including Body Specs BSG-5, 7eye Churada, 7eye Viento and Marin, the Ziena Nereus and lately the Ziena Kai.
I found the Viento to be very good for cycling. Many of my bike rides are up or down the Exe estuary, where on most days, there is a noticeable headwind, and I found that the Viento made a big difference for wind protection and my eyes felt much less sore afterwards.
My first experience with Ziena glasses was with the Nereus, which I wore when using the computer. However, I didn't really get much benefit from these glasses because they were a bit too wide for my face and the silicone eye cup did not produce an effective enough seal for the moisture chambers to act properly.
My Kai and me
I am delighted that the Ziena Kai has now come out. It's given people like me who have a relatively narrow head and face an opportunity to derive maximum benefit from moisture chamber glasses.
As you can see in this photo, the Kai eye cup fits me like a glove, so it works really well to limit the evaporation of my tear moisture. I also find that the silicone eye cup feels so comfortable and gentle against the skin.
The Kai is brilliant for gardening. Not only does it keep out the wind, but it completely stops the itchy eyes from hay fever because the pollen cannot get through the silicone barrier.
The silicone eye cup also protects my eyes from peripheral glare from the sun.
Wearing my Kai glasses also protects my eyes when I am using garden power tools like the strimmer.
I have used my Kai when sitting outdoors in the sun, and also when cycling and walking, when using the computer and watching the TV in the evening. In fact, I've been wearing it most of the time, in work and social situations.
They are such a good all rounder, and they look very much like normal glasses, so I don't feel at all self conscious wearing them.
In conclusion, I'm still a relatively mild dry eye sufferer, but it's there, it's inconvenient and at times makes life uncomfortable.
But it was only when I started wearing my Kai glasses that I realised how good my eyes could feel.
I derived some benefit almost immediately after putting the glasses on. For example on a windy day, the glasses immediately cut out most of the wind. And it has only taken about 5 minutes from putting the glasses on for my itchy eyes due to pollen to decrease.
"It was when I took the glasses off that I realised how beneficial they had been"
Actually it was when I took the glasses off that I realised how beneficial they had been - my eyes haven't felt this good for years. They felt moisturised and comfortable, not at all sore. And I didn't feel so tired in the evening as a result.
"Anyone suffering from dry eyes should try these glasses - they could be life changing"
In conclusion, my message to all dry eye sufferers is this. If your eyes feel sore when it's windy, itchy when it's the hay fever season, or if they are very sensitive to bright sunshine - get yourself a pair of 7eye or Ziena moisture chamber glasses.
You might have to try a few different models till you get the optimum fit, but it's worth it for the improvement to your life that they can bring You may well find them life changing, as many Eyewear Accessories customers have found.