A some of you may recall from my previous post – “Note to self – always wear safety goggles when around both of my children!” I had been poked in the eye by the finger of my son J just before giving birth to Little Tulip, E. This has led to to unpredictable attacks of severe pain, light sensitivity, watering, redness and blurred vision usually, upon waking but, these attacks have also taken place when my eyes have become severely dry such, when sitting in front of an open fire, increasing the temperature of the radiators when it becomes colder etc. These symptoms are know as RES – corneal recurrent erosion syndrome.
On seeing my G.P for transient, mobile facial pain – which I was thought was due to a sinus infection but, I wanted to make sure that it was not linked to the eye problem, she referred me to the outpatients eye clinic at my local hospital. I was told by the consultant that I saw that I had RES – corneal recurrent erosion syndrome – which I had developed due to being poked in the eye but, was also in part due to the severe sleep deprivation that I have been experiencing as a result of feeding little E on demand.
On further research into this condition – this is what I discovered –
- RES is a common syndrome.
- It affects the surface of the eye once the epithelial layer has been damaged through a scratch from a finger nail or other sharp object.
- The scar from the scratch heals but, the scar sticks to the inside of the eyelid when sleeping or in dry, dusty environments [this was exactly the type of environment that led me to visit Bridgend A & E whilst visiting relatives in Wales.]
- When the eye is opened the scar remains attached to the eyelid and is peeled away from the cornea.
- This is what causes the severe pain first thing in the morning or on when awakening from sleep.
There is a hierarchy of treatments for RES. At the moment – I am glad to say, I am on the bottom rung and Mr H, the consultant has prescribed me sodium chloride eye ointment having used Lacrilube artificial tears for three months now with some success. He also informed me that if this did not solve the problem then a contacts lens bandage would be used and then if this did not work I would have to have laser surgery on the eye to remove the scar tissue – which is very, very painful! So, as I am sure you are aware – I am hoping that the ointment does work as I really do not want to have laser surgery on my eye. This ointment has to be taken for a year and if at any point I experience the symptoms again the year’s medication programme has to begin again, as the pain indicates that the scar tissue has been removed.
So, I will reiterate, my advice to you is wear goggles around your children at all time unless you want to risk developing RES – in fact that reminds me, little E nearly poked me in the eye again this morning whilst I was breast feeding her in bed – thankfully I managed to dodge her little but, long fingers with the oh so sharp nails, that I cut every day! I am glad that I am not alone though – even though I would not wish this syndrome on anyone – on talking to friends some of them have been poked in the eye by their children with a variety of objects! These include anything from a crayon to a spoon! So, when playing with your children remain vigilant at all times as believe you me, you really do not want RES!