Hello and thank you for your question.
There are a couple of diagnoses that this sounds consistent with. A red eye that causes this throbbing that wakes you from sleep sounds consistent with scleritis. This is an inflammation of the white part of the eye that can often be associated with auto-immune disease.
This could also represent a chronic angle closure glaucoma scenario, where the eye becomes intermittently red, achy/throbbing and can also be associated with decreased vision and colored halos around lights.
Dry eye can be exacerbated by this inflammation in your eyelids (blepharitis) and is what you use the occusoft lid scrub for. A severe dry eye can also cause these types of symptoms.
I suspect this may be scleritis which I spoke about first. It is very important to have this looked at by an ophthalmologist as there can be profound implications to the health of the eye.
Does this help address your concerns?
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Scleritis can be a serious problem. For most people who have it, it does not cause permanent damage to the eye. However, a minority of people who have this can have thinning of the cornea and sclera which can lead to permanent damage of the eye.
If the scleritis was in an early stage, it may not have been a clear-cut diagnosis. That being said, it is never a bad idea to get a second opinion. That can give you peace of mind and either help to get the right diagnosis or treatment or reassurance that the course you've been pursuing is the right one.
Does that help?