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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8513
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My right eye has had a lump in the corner for many years, which

Resolved Question:

My right eye has had a lump in the corner for many years, which doctors have said is a blocked tear duct and is not a problem. Recently, when I come back from a long walk outside my lower lid has become very swollen during my walk. I take an antihistamine and eyedrops and the swelling disappears within 24 hours. This does not happen when I stay indoors, and it does not happen every time I walk. Sometimes, when it is really cold and windy I am fine. Yesterday there was no swelling when I walked outside for two hours. Today, when the temperature was above zero, the swelling was the most extreme yet and I could feel the swelling for the last 20 minutes of my walk. I look terrible and it actually hurts. (Previously there was no pain.) What should I do? I love walking and need to continue for health reasons (osteoporosis), so refraining from walking in not a good answer.....Can you help?
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 :

Where on your lower eyelid is this lump located? Near your nose?

Customer:

Yes

Dr. Rick :

Well, first off....don't give up the walking outside, especially since Spring in on the horizon :)

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, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.


 


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 your 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 :

I don't think that you problem is so much dry eyes, as discussed above, but more so consists of allergies combined with blepharitis. This is very common and responds well to the above treatment.

Dr. Rick :

But it is not an instant fix....I'd give it at least 4 weeks to "kick in" before giving up and going to see an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Are you still there?

Customer:

I can certainly try the natural tears and eyelid scrubs. However, I haven't noticed toothepaste-like gunk in my eye.

Dr. Rick :

I understand. It is common not to notice the gunk all the time. It is easily seen during the slit lamp exam but can go unnoticed otherwise.

Dr. Rick :

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


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Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer:

Thanks very much for your very speedy and kind help.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8513
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist
5458 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest