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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7745
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have worn contact lenses since I was 20 and am now 65. The

Resolved Question:

I have worn contact lenses since I was 20 and am now 65. The lenses I wear now are the Gas Permeable hard lense.
i am having big problems with seeing as the lenses keep fogging up. The person who I buy the lenses through said that as your eye ages it emits a strong protein or the eyelid does and that i may not be able to wear lenses anymore.
Is this correct ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

are you available to chat?

Customer :

yes

Dr. Rick :

hi

Dr. Rick :

Greetings from Wisconsin where it is Winter and 8:30 Friday nigt

Customer :

Hello Rick. Do you have any info for me

Dr. Rick :

What your eye doctor told you is true, kinda. As you age you eyes don't emit a strong protein that makes it difficult to wear hard contacts but, rather, you eyes form less tears, they become dry and the usual proteins etc made by your eyes gets "thicker" due to the lack of moisture. This is especially true as we age

Dr. Rick :

There are things you can do to try and make things better so you can continue to wear contacts. I have a "handout" that talks about allergies, dry eyes and blepharitis which I will share with you. Now, you don't have all the issues that this handout talks about but the treatment discussed should help you. Here is the handout and then, if you like, we can discuss the finer points a bit more:

Dr. Rick :

Well It sounds like you have a couple of things going on. First is allergies, second dry eyes and third blepharitis.


 


When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. 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.


 


Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.


 


Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.


 

Dr. Rick :

Let me know when you've reviewed the above data. I'll wait.

Customer :

Hi rick,

Dr. Rick :

I think if you can improve your tear film morphology, increase your tear volume and get rid of any underlying meibomium gland dysfunction (blepharitis) you should notice a marked improvement in your ability to tolerate your RGP lenses again.

Customer :

I have been using Bion Tears lubricating eye drops regularly each day. Also I have just started using Poly Visc lubricating eye ointment that you put in overnight. Neither of these is working. Bion tears used to work really well. The shower option is one I will certainly try as I have felt for some time that I may have an allergy as my eyes are constantly red & sore on the inside of the bottom eyelid and the edge of my bottom eyelid has some tiny white spots on them. I have always suffered from allergies on my face & have minor rosacea. I had my eyes checked by my eye specialist in Dec 09 and again in Oct 2010. He says my eyes are very healthy. Early in 2010 I had a minor bout of floaters but that went away quickly & hasn't reoccurred. What is punctal occlusion and who does this for you?

Dr. Rick :

Puncta are the drainage channels that remove tears from your eyes. "punctal occlusion" is where, either with temporary collagen plugs (totally reversable) or by minor surgery they are closed so what tears you make stay in your eyes longer. You might talk to your ophthalmologist about trying this. Keep up with the drops and overnight ointment

Customer :

Hi Rick,

Customer :

Thanks for the above information. I will keep using the drops while I work on the shower as well as discussing the option of the punctal occlusion Margaret

Dr. Rick :

It was my pleasure

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Enjoy the summer on your side of the planet.....it's snowing heavily outside my window right now :o)
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7745
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and 3 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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