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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10788
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My mother is 88 years old.She has been having severe eye pain

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My mother is 88 years old.She has been having severe eye pain for several weeks..primarily at night.She said the pain radiates to her ear.She was checked by an opthamologist [not her own but in the same group] about 2 weeks ago and he found nothing.He said her pressure [she has glaucoma and uses Lumigan] was fine.He suggested hot compresses in addition to the Tylenol and Hydrochodone she has been using for relief.This helped somewhat but now the pain is not only occuring at night,it's daily too.She lives in a house that is very weather tight..we have put a large pot of water on the hearth for moisture thinking perhaps it was sinus related but it doesn't seem to help.I have tried to persuade her to use a humidifier but she complains about them....do you have any idea what we are dealing with?Thank you for your help!Karen

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

The fact that she was checked by an ophthalmologist when she was having the pain makes me comfortable that it is not related to ocular disease. Since the pain has become worse, now lasting into the day, I would recommend that she be seen by her internal medicine physician, tomorrow, if possible.

Dr. Rick :

Her internist may want to do imaging studies, perhaps an MRI, to closely evaluate her sinus, orbit and auditory canals for any pathology. Also he would be well equipped to prescribe any needed meds to address the issues. Two weeks is much too long to be in so much discomfort.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to the chat room

Customer :

yes...I have been leaning that way...what other possiblities could it be if not sinus?She doesn't seem to have a stuffy nose.Should it be her internal med Dr or should I get her opthamoligist to refer her?Her primary dr is not attentive and tends to not pay enought attention to her.

Dr. Rick :

I am sorry to hear that about her internal medicine MD. The causes of pain around the eye and orbit in an 88 year old person, once ocular causes have been ruled out, consists of a long list. It could be anything from neuralgia, inner ear problems, sinus inflammation/infection, orbital mass, mastoid air cell inflammation/mass etc. The list, as you can see, is long. The best way to get to the bottom of things is to do a complete history, physical exam and then order appropriate imaging studies and/or lab tests.

Dr. Rick :

I don't think her ophthalmologist is the person best suited to coordinate these efforts. If her internal medicine MD is not that interested perhaps another MD in the group or referred by a friend would be a good choice

Customer :

Thanks very much for your input,Dr Rick....I'll do my best to get her into see someone tomorrow!Good night!

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. I hope she feels better soon. Have a good evening.

Dr. Rick :

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