Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
It sounds like you may have a couple of things going on; dry eyes and blepharitis
Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, then temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta.
Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk.
The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on you eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.
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Please explain what is temporary punctual occlusion of the lower puncta and the remaining part of that senence.
Also the dry eye condition you called blepharitis. I am not aware of a toothpaste like sludge in or around my eyes. So are you saying that the redness and swelling are the outward signs of the sludge under the skin. The skin in this area looks normal and is not at all dry or broken. I do not feel any dryness near my eyelashes or on my eyelid area.
This is where plugs, usually made out of collagen, are put into the drainage channels for your tears. They dissolve in a week or so which gives you a chance to see if decreasing the outflow of your tears helps with your symptoms. The rest of the sentence talks about more aggressive/complete steps to take to close off your tear drainage channels is needed.
You may not see "sludge" as it may be in small amounts and getting into your tear film. Also, you may have more then blepharitis going on, however, I feel that doing the lid scrubs for a few weeks may solve your symptoms without the need of being examined by an ophthalmologist. If it doesn't then, by all means, see an eye MD.
I hope this helps. It is now safe to press that pretty green button on your screen.... ;o)