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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My eyes feel glazed over or unfocused (or very slightly crossed )

Resolved Question:

My eyes feel "glazed over" or unfocused (or very slightly crossed?) for much of the time, and it's making me feel like I'm losing my mind!!

Here's some hx: I'm 49 YO female, physical therapist. Near-sighted since 7, had Lasik eye-surgery about 10 years ago w/excellent results. At the time I was told 1 eye was undercorrected to prepare for mono-vision later.

About 9 months ago began feeling "muscle fatigue" if I read too much (like I wanted to "stretch" and move my eyes in every direction, not really the typical move-the-paper-further-away sign), and began feeling like both my distant and close up vision were deteriorating. I saw my optometrist, and he said a) my eyes were not really corrected for mono-vision, and b) I should be wearing reading glasses religiously to avoid straining my eyes, (and that strain would cause deterioration of vision--this surprised me since I felt that "working" my muscles might keep them in shape?). I've used reading glasses since then, but near and far deterioration continued (or at least did not improve)

Past 2 weeks (or possibly longer?), noting this symptom of "glazed over/unfocused" feeling MUCH of the time, like 80% of the time. I CAN focus, especially if I keep my eyes moving so I'm looking at something new, but if I relax, my eyes will kind of zone out. I returned to my optometrist, and he kind of dismissed that symptom, and suggested that there is no such thing as "working to focus at a distance"--you can either see or you can't, you only "work to focus" up close. I do agree that when I "zone out" it's more dramatically impaired up-close, but I can and do "haze over" in the distance too.

I'm not sure of the correct verbage, but my eye exam showed: Left:needs .5 correction, Right: 1.0 correction, but with astigmatism. Reading glasses (1.25). My dominant eye is right.

This week I've tried the following:
Left only .5 correction (daily wear lens)--clearer vision, but not much help w/glazed feeling.
Right only 1.0 correction (daily)--again, clearer, but still glazed
Right only .5 correction (daily)--seems better than others, but not good enough.

I'm not sure if correcting the astigmatism too is key, or if I should tweak the up-close correction--like get glasses to use at the computer in addition to the reading glasses? I have recently increased time on the computer (moderately, not dramatically), and when on the computer I feel like neither the reading glasses nor using nothing feels correct.

Sorry for the wordiness, but it does seem like an odd symptom! Thanks for your advice!
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, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8513
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
You hit accept in the middle of my statement...I'm still here
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
...by not wearing reading glasses is a bunch of bunk. You can't hurt your eyes by wearing or not wearing your glasses
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
I would just buy some "dollar store" +1.25 or +1.50 readers. They are inexpensive so you can get a bucket full and leave them all over the house....that is what I do.

I really think this will help you.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
If you continue to have problems I would see an ophthalmologist for a complete eye examination, not an optometrist. It is possible, especially after LASIK that you are also suffering from dry eyes and mild blepharitis. I would use natural tears and baby shampoo lid scrubs like is reviewed in this allergy/dry eyes/blepharitis handout: (you don't have the things discussed in this handout, just pay attention to the lid scrub technique)
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
. 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
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything further I can help you with. You can respond to be by typing on the screen with this question, even though you paid me early :o)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry!! I'm back--I've just been hunting around to figure out how to un-do my accept!!--I was just trying to accept a conversation with you!!

So using 1.25 or 1.5 glasses, and leaving them all over the house was my approach since the first appt with him 9 months ago. The glazed over feeling is new-ish. Have you heard of that? Would "dry eyes" cause this symptom?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Yes, dry eyes could cause this problem, and any untreated blepharitis will make it worse (we all have blepharitis to some degree). I'd try the tear drops and lid scrubs for a few weeks and see how things go.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
see...you got to "chat" with me and didn't even have to un-accept your accept :o)

And, this way, my girls can get new shoes for the summer.....
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you recommend continuing to experiment with correcting the distance vision with contacts, or putting that plan on hold while I try your solution?

I do enjoy seeing more crisply in the distance, but that wasn't the primary problem I was experienceing. I just wondered if my uncorrected vision was causing my eyes to feel "lazy"
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
You can view this answer by clicking here to Register or Login and paying $3.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
OK, thank you! I'll give that a try! Now I'm not clear how this works (obviously, since I hit that "accept" button first!!)

Can I return to you to follow up on this issue if I am (or am not) having sucess with your recommendation, or do I need to start over again?

Should I hit Accept again now to end our chat, or will that result in paying twice?

Thanks again
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
No need to hit the accept button....it will debit your account and pay me twice (not such a bad thing from my side of the screen, actually) and you can come back to this page and we can talk more for no additional charge, but I'm not sure how long this question remains "open" on your screen.

Take care.

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist
5458 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest