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BTD Forums  /  Live Right 4 Your Type  /  I got eye surgery, now halogen lights kill me.
Posted by: Sky, Friday, March 5, 2010, 9:20am
So, some background:

I come from a poor part of the country, that is also mostly desert. Some of the classes had lots of open windows, others less so. But there was almost always some natural light that would come in. But being from a desert, many of us would stay indoors most of the time.

I go thru college, which featured more rooms with no windows or very few windows, but do not notice much difference.

Then I join the Army. Two years in, I get PRK eye surgery (where they scrape your eyeball with a hard sponge, then lazer the iris, put a contact over that to heal. I would notice "stars" around lights, but after a while that seemed to go away.

I worked shifts in an office environment with lots of computers. After a few months, we moved to a new location and I started noticing that I could not look up, I had to look at the ground. My eyes were uncomfortable. I could not make much sense of it. When we went to a new location months later, same thing seemed to happen with my eyes suffering.

I leave the Army, go home for a few months, then get a job working in an office environment, enclosed room with no windows, lots of computers. And the same thing happens.

So, after a day or two, I have to squint and look down. By day three, I have to keep my eyes closed and the discomfort is very palpable. (I even tried wearing sunglasses for a day or two.) After a week, the discomfort seems to lift and I feel better.

After I left this job, I did not notice any issues till one day I happened to be at a meeting in a bank. There was a large window to the outside on one wall, but after a few minutes being in that room, my eyes really began to suffer, I became very uncomfortable, and even had to leave twice.

Now, flash forward to three months ago: I start a new job, enclosed office environment, no windows, computers everywhere. By this point, I know that halogen lights have a flicker, and this "effect" does me ill. I also know that my eyes will dry out regularly, and I should ideally put drops in at least once a day.

Some more information about me, I am to the point where I have trained myself to put pain out of my mind. I just bare it, ignore it, don't think about it, whatever. I learn to handle things. (When you suffer shin-splints for a year, while wearing Army boots, you learn to do a lot with your mind....) I also rarely get headaches, and think that sometimes I will get a headache, but don't think or notice it, and the headache still affects me, even though I do not feel pain/discomfort in my head.

So, thru some trial and error at this new job, I think I have come to a few conclusions.

One, that the lights may actually cause me a migraine, and this is intensified by things, such as me drinking various teas. I would drink the gingseng/ginko green tea to help with stress and keep me mentally sharp, but I think that dialated my eyes, thus enhancing the problem. Also, ginger seemed to cause me harm. Plus, St John's Wort can make a person light sensitive.

Second, I bought a lamp that had a different wave length, supposed to mimic natural light (the bulb has four rods). I turned this on one day, and realized I had been squinting. The muscles around my eyes relaxed within a minute.

Third, I bought some computer glasses from Staples. They feature a tinted lense, and these have a slight magnification. Out of everything, these really seem to help the most, and I have felt a sanity return to me.

Fourth, I think halogen lights have been affecting me well before I got eye surgery. I think for years now, I have acted "wacky" and had difficulty concentrating (right now, it was like I was suffering a severe form of ADD) and I think all of that was brought about by the lights. I am shocked, surprised, embarrassed, and kind of glad to realize this, actually. It explains some of my behaviors in the past.

So, I think I am screwed for life now.

I have made an appointment with the Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles, and will have them see what can be done. Starting with my eyes and work the way in. Maybe I can make a disability claim....

What also sucks is that I go thru life wearing glasses, finally get surgery and don't have to wear them any more, and now I am back to wearing them. Cruel irony!

Anyone have any advice, by the way? :)
Posted by: Possum, Friday, March 5, 2010, 9:33am; Reply: 1
Quoted from Sky
I am shocked, surprised, embarrassed, and kind of glad to realize this, actually. It explains some of my behaviors in the past.

So, I think I am screwed for life now.

I have made an appointment with the Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles, and will have them see what can be done. Starting with my eyes and work the way in. Maybe I can make a disability claim....

What also sucks is that I go thru life wearing glasses, finally get surgery and don't have to wear them any more, and now I am back to wearing them. Cruel irony!

Anyone have any advice, by the way? :)
I don't have any actual advise, except to say, don't be embarrassed & good luck with the Vets Affairs!!
Yeah kinda cruel irony - but at least you are not totally dependent on the glasses now in the way you may have been before surgery??!! :-/ If you can get out of the harsh environment, & with BTD/GTD your eyes will most probably heal/adjust!!
Posted by: Ribbit, Friday, March 5, 2010, 3:15pm; Reply: 2
Wow, Sky.  I'm so sorry about all this. :(
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Friday, March 5, 2010, 3:22pm; Reply: 3
Sky..other than TMI, sorry about your problem. Looks like you'll have to get a job working outside due to your problem with inside environments.  Home and Garden store?  I had Lasik in 2000. Sometimes at night I have a little difficulty focusing but for the most part I have great sight.  I also recommend taking vitamin A 10,000 units a day along with Vitamin D. Vitamin A is for all mucous membranes..sinus, eyes, mouth.
Posted by: LovetoRead, Friday, March 5, 2010, 10:49pm; Reply: 4
I've always believed everything happens for a reason.....sometimes the most difficult things turn out to be blessings and I hope this will be true for you as well.  I'm sure this is all quite difficult for you, but maybe you ARE meant to be doing a job outdoors.  I was laid off from my company after 10 years and I had two babies at the time.  I had to completely change my life, go back to school...start over....and it was TOUGH!  But I am so glad I did...now I am where I am meant to be and if I didn't have the kick in the butt to get out of there, I never would have done it on my own.  Anyway, I don't have any advice other than to go with it for now and see where it takes you.  I don't think you are meant to put up with pain like that.....you should pay attention to it because it is trying to tell you something.  I would also go see an eye specialist because I don't think a general MD would be able to help you at all.  Take care and keep searching for an answer......
Posted by: grey rabbit, Friday, March 5, 2010, 11:45pm; Reply: 5
All of the above Sky, migraines suck even if you don't feel the pain they do weird things to you. An outdoor job might be the way to go.

We don't always get what we want, but sometimes we get what we need.

Good luck with the VA, you have a right to any and all help they can give you, be persistent.
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, March 6, 2010, 2:21am; Reply: 6
Quoted from LovetoRead
I've always believed everything happens for a reason...sometimes the most difficult things turn out to be blessings and I hope this will be true for you as well.  I'm sure this is all quite difficult for you, but maybe you ARE meant to be doing a job outdoors.
I always believe this too!! It ain't natural to be cooped up like that day in day out, in artificial lighting...My sister & I have both had problems re effects of sunlight on our eyes, after each spending just one school year in a new "hi-tech" (designed by an architect) college with no outside lighting getting in...Goodluck & hope this leads to better things for you??!!

Posted by: proto, Monday, March 8, 2010, 6:51pm; Reply: 7
Yes it's hard to escape the flicker but it's coming from cheaply executed fluorescent tube lightning not halogen bulbs. Halogen lights can however produce glare as its mostly used in spots.
Posted by: paul clucas, Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 8:25am; Reply: 8
I have suffered from laser surgery also Sky.

My eyes have been cut twice.  When the steroid drops failed to stop my eyes from healing back into myopia, the same surgeon did a touch up free.  I would advise anyone considering elective eye surgery to get a secretor test and consult with a practitioner about the post cut drugs.  Since the surgery was known to "not work" in about 10% of cases, it might be the Nonnie in me.  It could potentially be correlated with some other factor.

I wish I had remembered my father's carpentry advice; “Measure twice, cut once."  Applied a little differently, it is true.  My eyes are definitely more sensitive since.  Now, night driving is simply painful.  Of course my glasses have a smaller correction than before.

If I had known ....
Posted by: Sky, Tuesday, March 9, 2010, 4:30pm; Reply: 9
Ouch. Sorry to hear that.
Posted by: Lola, Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 1:34am; Reply: 10
my Lasik Laser eye surgery was very successful, sorry you had such bad experiences!
Posted by: LovetoRead, Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 10:05pm; Reply: 11
Mine was very successful as well and I am a nonnie.....however, I did have it done by doctor who had helped invent the procedure many years ago so he has been doing it a long, long time.  There are lots of doctors out there who are not very experienced, despite what they say about themselves.  I would not go to someone who was advertising the procedure cheaply......just for anyone who is considering doing it.  I spent alot of money on my procedure, but it was worth it.
Posted by: mpca66, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 6:40pm; Reply: 12
Your may want to check out the Dry Eye Talk board:

http://www.dryeyezone.com/talk/index.php

Monica.
Posted by: 815 (Guest), Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 7:21pm; Reply: 13
After working in Medical for a whole lot of years, I learned from the doctors that if you're having surgery that's new or intricate done, to go into the city to have it done because the docs in the city are more experienced, having worked on many more people than docs in the suburbs.  I went into Manhattan to have my lasik done and to Philly to have my hip surgery.  
Posted by: Sky, Friday, May 7, 2010, 3:09am; Reply: 14
The funny thing: I just went and had the optometrist check my eyes (in the Veteran Administration hospital in Los Angeles) and my eyes are absolutely fine.

So the issue is internal, not external. :(
Posted by: paul clucas, Saturday, May 8, 2010, 12:31am; Reply: 15
Apart from your secretor status, how much do you know about your epigenetic individuality, Sky?
Posted by: Sky, Thursday, May 13, 2010, 11:43pm; Reply: 16
I need to look that up. :)

Right now, I have a lot of time to catch up on reading, and so have been reading the Reiki guidebook. I also have limited internet access. :(
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