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Dry eye treatment
Monday, July 28, 2008 1:04 PM EDT
Neal Matthews grabs a few drops of relief from his refrigerator.
Matthews has suffered three years of severe pain and vision loss from extreme dry eyes.
It's a side effect from his cancer treatments.
"At first it's just kind of scratchy and real quickly your eyes become sand blasted," said Matthews.
A cruel and disabling torture for the writer and contributing editor of popular photography magazine.
"You could use this in Guantanamo, as a torture because it's that bad. The filaments that build up on your eyes--they had to peel them off with forceps," said Matthews.
Eye drops didn't help either.
The closest his parched eyes got to moisture was through $250. Sports goggles.
"It holds whatever moisture I produce close to my eyeballs," said Matthews.
Until six months ago when he was assigned to writing this article on photography, he discovered a long lost treatment.
Using your own blood serum as eye drops.
"It's something that requires drawing the blood, freezing the blood and sending it up to a special lab for the tears to be made," said Dr. Richard Leung.
His own eye-saving serum is kept frozen until needed, which isn't as often anymore.
"I went from about 20 times a day with commercial drops to about four," Matthews said.
Tearful relief at last.
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