Talk to Others

Does Anyone Else Have Eyes That Hurt As Much As Mine?

Yes! Unfortunately, the number of people experiencing dry eye pain, including people who experience excruciating pain, grows every year.

For some people, on-going contact with other people who experience the same severe pain (and similar practical and logistical problems) is essential to their well-being. For others, one or two contacts with "somebody out there who is like me" reassures them that they are neither crazy nor lazy nor exaggerating the pain that they feel.

Here are some options:

When talking to other people in a support group or online about dry eyes, remember to tell them about us! Surviving Dry Eye Pain at http://www.dryeyepain.com.

Find a local support group

If you join the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation (SSF), you will receive their newsletter, "The Moisture Seekers," which (along with other information) provides and updates a list of contacts for support groups located in most of the 50 U.S. states and in several provinces of Canada. It also lists Spanish-speaking contacts, a contact for people in the U.S. armed forces, contacts for men with Sjogren's Syndrome, and contacts for young people (under age 39) with Sjogren's Syndrome.

The Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation also provides a more limited list of support groups online on the SSF Support Groups page.

Find people online

Online Resource for People with Dry Eye Caused by Sjogren's Syndrome

The Sjogren's World (SjogrensWorld.org) Web site provides online contact with other people with Sjogren's Syndrome through the following methods:

  • Live chats
  • E-pals
  • Instant messaging
  • Discussion forums

Visit their site to access links to those resources.

Online Resource for People with Dry Eye Who Do Not Have Sjogren's Syndrome

An online resource for people with dry eye pain with or without Sjogren's is HealthBoards.com. Scroll down to Eye & Vision, and then click that link. You can read what other people have written without registering on HealthBoards.com. If you want to post messages yourself, you can register for free.

What if I'm not in the U.S.?

For links to non-U.S. organizations, see the following link to international Sjogren's Syndrome organizations: Organizations for Sjogren's Syndrome. Some of these organizations might contain information about support groups or online chat groups.

What if my family or friends are unsympathetic?

Ask family or friends who react to your efforts to explain that you have a serious problem by dismissing your concerns as trivial to read the [Home] page of this Web site. Explain that chronic dry eye, if ignored, can cause excruciating pain — an eyeball without tears is like a ball bearing without grease. Depending on the cause and severity of your dry eye condition, failing to protect your eyes might eventually cause you to develop ulcers on the surface of your eyes.

Be aware that some people are incapable of empathy. They cannot imagine what you are experiencing if they have not had the same experience themselves. If this type of indifference persists despite your efforts at explanation, the only practical course of action might be to face the fact that some individuals are just not going to "get it" no matter what you say. Use this as a learning experience so that you don't treat someone else with a different illness with the same callousness that someone showed towards you — the next time you encounter someone with, for example, asthma or diabetes, who says "I have to do X" or "I cannot do Y" due to their illness, accept what they say and be supportive.

DISCLAIMER: Do not use any tip described on these pages without first consulting your physician.
All content on this Web site is for informational purposes only; it is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment; and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published on this Web site is not intended to replace, supplant, or augment a consultation with an eye care professional regarding the user's/viewer's medical care. Every effort has been made to present accurate and safe information, but the creator of the Web site is not a health care professional, does not warrant the correctness of the information, and is not liable for any direct or consequential injury or other damages that could result from the use of the information obtained from this site. Products are mentioned as examples only. No mention of a product constitutes an endorsement for that product; other products may be successfully used for dry eye and other conditions described here. It is not the intent of this Web site to promote any eye care products, procedures, or medications.