Long-Term Follow-Up

Dry Eyes

Q. Are dry eyes a problem after transplant?   

Dry and painful eyes are one of the more common complaints mentioned by our LTFU patients. It can be a major problem for people after transplant, especially for those with GVHD.

Symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • itching
  • irritation
  • burning
  • redness
  • blurred vision that improves with blinking
  • discomfort after periods of concentration
  • a feeling that something is in your eyes
  • sensitivity to light

Untreated or severe forms of Dry Eye Syndrome can lead to permanent eye damage. If dry eyes are bothering you, go to an ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam including a Schirmer's test and a slit lamp exam.

Q. What can be done about my dry eyes?   

Things that you can do that may relieve dry eyes include:

  • drinking a lot of water
  • blinking frequently
  • taking frequent breaks from intense concentration
  • using preservative free eye drops
  • using a humidifier (with distilled water only)

Some situations that can make dry eyes worse are hot or dry climates, wind, living at high altitudes, cigarette smoke, dust or pollen and air-conditioning.

If dry eyes are bothering you, go to an ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam including a Schirmer's test and a slit lamp exam. The ophthalmologist will work with you to find the best treatment for your situation. Treatments that may be recommended are punctal ligation (plugs in the tear ducts to stop the tears from draining), moisture chamber glasses (glasses or goggles that trap moisture around the eyes), or sunglasses. Also gaining favor as a treatment for dry eyes is prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE), a pioneering treatment developed by Boston Foundation for Sight. PROSE uses FDA-approved custom designed and fabricated prosthetic devices to replace or support impaired ocular surface ecosystem functions that protect and enable vision. The space between the cornea and the device is used to hold a soothing pool of artificial tears against the eye.

Some web sites to visit for more information about dry eyes are: Dry eye syndrome, dry eyes and dry eye pain. In addition, there are special products available that patients have reported to be useful. The Center has no financial interest in the companies or products listed. The following web sites are provided only as an example of the type of products that patients may find helpful: Panoptx and Tranquileyes and Boston Scleral Lens.