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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8060
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My left eye started itching on a 1.5 hour flight last night.

Customer Question

My left eye started itching on a 1.5 hour flight last night. By the time i landed, it was very red and itchy. By the time i got to the hotel below my eye was very swollen and my eye was blood red. It was late, I went to bed and woke up in the same condition 8 hours later. It does not hurt but can tell it is swollen. I put in visine, but the swelling is still there. only one eye...
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'll be happy to help you with your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available for chat?

Customer :

yes

Dr. Rick :

Do you wear contacts and is your eye painful or sensitive to the light?

Customer :

no, and no

Customer :

my eye just feels slightly heavy..meaning I can feel it is swollen...looks worse than it feels.

Dr. Rick :

Does the white of your eye look red, like a chunk of raw meat?

Customer :

it did before i put in visine..it is not as red as it was...

Customer :

i am in meetings all day today..presenting...and used visine to minimize the distraction

Dr. Rick :

visine causes a temporary constriction of blood vessels and then the redness comes back in about 30min. It sounds like you have two processes going on. The first, which started on the flight, is some type of allergy.

Customer :

and that can happen in just one eye? ok...

Dr. Rick :

if the white part of your eye is dark red, like raw meat, then you broke a small blood vessel when you rubbed it.

Customer :

should i not use visine?

Dr. Rick :

sure can happen in just one eye

Dr. Rick :

no, but it won't hurt to use for your meeting. after that use natural tears.

Customer :

it looked like that last night and this morning.

Dr. Rick :

the redness is like a bruise anywhere else on your body but the skin on the eye is so thin that it is not purple but red.

Customer :

should i use benedryl or something for allergies maybe

Dr. Rick :

it will take a few weeks to go all the way away, it may spread a little but it will cause no damage.

Customer :

what about the swollen under the eye

Dr. Rick :

yes, 50 mg benedryl would work or one of the OTC allergy meds like zirtec

Customer :

is there fluid in there or something...

Dr. Rick :

the eyelid swelling is from fluid leaking due to the allergy reaction. When you have an allergic reaction chemicals are released, histamine etc, that make the blood vessels in the skin leak....and tissue swells. Cold compress can help to take down some of the swelling.

Customer :

will the benadryl help the swelling too? ice it?

Dr. Rick :

Ice, benadryl will only help with itching etc, not with swelling that has already happened.

Customer :

thank you. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Please press 'accept' so I may receive credit for assisting you today. Have a good meeting and a safe flight home.

Customer :

okay..so the i should just expect the swelling to go away over time?


 

Customer :

thank yoiu ...will do

Customer :

thank yoiu ...will do

Dr. Rick :

Yes, since it is likely that the allergen was on the plane and you are no longer being exposed to it

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8060
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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