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Testimonials: Autoimmune Dry Eye

Testimonial by Toril (Norway)

I’m Toril, a Norwegian girl aged 29, and I’ve got autoimmune related dry eyes. Here’s my story:

Sickness history and development of dry eyes

 As a small child I got rheumatoid arthritis, mainly in the knees and neck. Around puberty it gradually disappeared, and the disease was “silent” for 8 years, before it all of a sudden showed up again as big, swollen knees. At the age of 17 I developed Grave’s disease and was treated with subtotal thyroidectomy the same year. Due to recurrent disease I underwent treatment with radioiodine at the age of 21. Along with Grave’s disease I also gradually developed thyroid eye disease, and at the age of 20 I was treated with decompressive lateral orbiotomy on both sides. Three years later upper eyelid retraction on the left side was corrected.

I started to develop dry eyes at the age of 24/25. Most probably my eyes were dry even earlier, but at that time to a less extent and I mistakenly addressed the discomfort to my eyes to being tired, that I needed new glasses, that I had allergies, etc. My theory is that the dryness of the eyes started to develop when my rheumatism came back after all those years. At the age of 26 Sjogren’s disease was suspected, but biopsy of submandibular salivary glands was inconclusive and salvia test and blood work came out negative. I have some feeling of dryness in the mouth, some days more than others, but the saliva test is still showing normal results.

 My treatment regimen





Restasis 0,05%

Reduce inflammation

Improve surface health

Not available in Norway


Reduce inflammation, dissolve lipid clogged glands

Better tearfilm

Not used in dry eye treatment in Norway

Tear substitutes, day (Hylocomod, Thera Tears, Refresh, Tears Naturale, Artelac

Moisture and protection

Moisture and protection

All without preservatives

Tearsubstitutes, night (Celluvisc, Viscotears)

Moisture and protection

Hydration and protection

Both without preservatives

Vitamin A-salve, natt


Protection and moisture

Without preservatives

Punctal plugs

Keep tears in the eyes longer

Prolonged wetting of the eye

Little effect due to low TBUT (tears evaporate quickly)

Omega 3 (flaxeed – and fish oil)

Reduce inflammation, increase production of lipids

Improved quality of tear film

..healthy for the rest of the body as well!


Warm compresses and lid hygiene

Remove blockages in meibomian glands and increase flow of lipids

Improved quality of tear film

Procedure prescribed in  Dr. Latkanys book ”The Dry Eye Remedy”

The tear substitutes and medications mentioned in my treatment regimen are adjusted my personal needs, and should not be considered as a recommodation.


As I have found no doctor specialized in dry eyes in Norway, I decided to go to Paris January 2007 to see a dry eye specialist there. Restasis is not available in Norway, and Doxycycline is not used in dry eye treatment here, so going abroad was the only way for me to get the opportunity to try these treatments.

Impact on life

Today, at the age of 29, the Schirmer’s test shows 0 on both eyes, TBUT between 3 and 4 seconds and the discomfort is so dominating that I am no longer able to work. Discomfort is dominating the whole day and also leading to fatigue (I also have fatigue due to the rheumatism). It ‘s hard for me to be in buildings with air conditioning, work in front of a PC, go to a mall, travel with planes and I’m also very sensitive to pollen, dust and cigarette smoke. I think the only place I feel comfortable is in a humid bathroom, taking a shower. In fact, in bad days I only manage to do the most necessary daily things, like getting out of bed, eat and do things around the house. I also have big problems with sleeping due to the discomfort and pain. So, as a result of how I feel, I’m not able to work at the time being and my social life is also limited. Financially my dry eyes have also become a burden. Artificial tears are only partly being reimbursed in Norway (you have to pay big amounts yourself, and some drops are not reimbursed at all), and combining that with a low income (as I'm not able to work), it leads to financial difficulties. All together I feel I have no or very little life anymore. And I’m young, and I’m supposed to be happy living an active life! I try my best though, to still do things, to still be active and to not give up.

Remember that additional testimonials may be available in both French and Portuguese if you read any of these languages.

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