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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10571
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I wake up with a lot matter in my eyes in the morning. I also

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I wake up with a lot matter in my eyes in the morning. I also will tear once in awhile for no apparent reason. My left eye seems to be where the tearing occurs but my right eye seems to be getting the same symptoms. What could be causing this?

Dr. Rick :

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

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. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.


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 :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

The sudden tearing for no reason is most likely related to plugging of your tear ducts. Many times with severe blepharitis the puncta (openings to the tear drainage channels) swells closed. This can cause tears to drip down your face for no apparent reason.

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

I see that you are typing and that could mean a couple of things: 1. you are actually typing or, 2, the chat system has frozen up. I'll give it a few more minutes and if I've not seen anything from you I'll switch over to the Q&A system. That system works a lot like 'text messaging' but, unlike the chat system, it almost never freezes up. We can continue to work on your question there. :o)


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