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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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one of her eyes has seemingly enlarged, definitely bright red, veins

Resolved Question:

My daughter is away at college in a very small town in ny (we live in California). She went in to see an opthamologists this morning because the inner white portion of one of her eyes has seemingly enlarged, definitely bright red, veins. it does not really hurt, but she was concerned that it might need treatment as it has been this way for over a week.

The doctor has prescribed steroid eye drops, but has said the problem is damaged connective tissue due to the sun and that the condition is likely permanent and could, in fact, get worse. She told my daughter to start wearing sunglasses more frequently. My 19 year old is terrified that this might be a permanent condition. I'm trying to decide whether to fly back there to take her to another opthamologist in a larger town for a second opinion, or advise her to try the drops and see what happens.
Arger town, or just advise her to try the drops and see what happens.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

From what you are saying it sounds like your daughter has an inflamed pinguecula.

Dr. Rick :

Do you know if she was seen by and ophthalmologist or an optometrist when she was examined at her college?

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat.

Customer: She initially was referred by her student health center to a local opthamologist in town.
Customer: I wa
Dr. Rick :

ok. I bet that is what it is.....I'd tell her not to use the steroids for more then 7 days. They should clear up the redness but can have serious side effects if used too much

Customer: The opthamologist examined her and gave her the information I described. I just want to be sure that there is nothing more we should be doing urgently to help the situation and prevent it from getting worse.
Customer: Also, she's pretty upset at the "permanent situation" diagnosis and We want to know if it is, in fact, something will not go away.
Dr. Rick :

Wearing sunglasses more is a good idea but not really necessary as "the horse is already out of the barn" so I wouldn't worry too much. This is also not a cancer.

Dr. Rick :

No, they don't go away but are normally only noticeable when they get red and irritated.

Dr. Rick :

It is nothing that requires an emergent flight home.

Customer: The eye drops are Fluorometholone suspension Opthalmic, she is supposed to use them 2x daily for 2 weeks.
Dr. Rick :

here is a link to info about pinguecula and it's more aggressive cousin, the pterygium:

Dr. Rick :

I'd only use them for one week.....FML is one of the more mild steroid drops

Dr. Rick :

she could also use tear replacement drops as often as needed to soothe her eyes

Customer: Do you think I should try to get her in to see another opthamogist in a neighboring, larger town when I go back there?
Dr. Rick :

If you would like but I would expect you to get the same information. I really think she will be ok and that the diagnosis is probably correct.

Customer: so if I understand, if this is her problem her eyes will not always look as they do know--very red and aggravated. It is just that they are now inflamed?
Dr. Rick :

yes. That is correct. pinguecula, especially in an otherwise young healthy woman such as your daughter, are not very noticeable except when -- as hers has now -- they become angry and red.

Dr. Rick :

Would you say that your daughter has spent a lot of time outside in the sun over the last decade or or?

Dr. Rick :

so?

Customer: Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I sound like an overly worried mom, but to a good-looking 19 year old girl, having super red eyes for life is disconcerting. Thanks for your help.
Dr. Rick :

I have 3 daughters......been there and done that :o)

Customer: We do live in California, and she has not always been good about wearing sunglasses.
Dr. Rick :

and 2 sons, who don't care what their eyes look like lol!

Dr. Rick :

That will do it.....but, in the big picture? Nothing to really worry about.

Dr. Rick :

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


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Customer: Ok, is there anything else she should do to avoid further damage--sunglasses when sunny out and....
Dr. Rick :

Sunglasses is the only thing that she needs to do differently......but don't get crazy over it. She's not a vampire so the sun won't really hurt her that much ;)

Dr. Rick :

Does that make sense, all attempts at humor aside?

Customer: Yes, I'm just trying to scroll back so I can write down website reference you mentioned. I appreciate hum at this point. Am I able to save a transcript of our chat and/or copy it to my daughter?
Dr. Rick :

yes. You can right click, select all, copy. Then open a word processing program, right click, paste. Then you can save, email, print etc just like a normal document.

Customer: Ok, on new iPad and not sure how to do that, but will figure it out. Could you just give me the website again?
Dr. Rick :

actually when I just tried I had to left click then highlight the text, then right click to copy......

Dr. Rick :

Ya....macs are different but there must be a way to do it.

Dr. Rick :

Here is the webpage again. She can also google "pinguecula"

Dr. Rick :

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/pinguecula.htm

Customer: thank you!
Dr. Rick :

Here is another good site (wikipedia):

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. I remember how difficult it was when my first daughter moved across the country for school......and that was before cell phones with included long distance lol!

Customer: Ok, she has found something else on the Internet which looks " exactly" like what she has. We'll check that out also.
Dr. Rick :

Did she send you the link? I could hang on for a bit.....

Customer: Ok I'm asking her...
Dr. Rick :

k

Customer: Http://www.womensfitness.net/beauty/eye/pterygium.htm
Dr. Rick :

ok be right back

Dr. Rick :

hmmmmm. That only opens to the womans fitness main page for some reason and I can't find a link to the picturel

Customer: Can I forward her text to you in some way? It does open for me...
Dr. Rick :

you might be able to copy it and then past it into the space where you type to me.

Customer: It's om my phone. Anyway, is a pterygium similar to pinguecula?
Dr. Rick :

A pterygium grows across the clear part of the eye (cornea) and a pinguecula doesn't

Customer: Ok, I'll ask her about that. In any case, it sounds as though solution is similar: use artificial tears to prevent redness and wear sunglasses. I guess my only real question is: would you recommend that she try the steroid drops? How might they help.
Dr. Rick :

They will get rid of the redness and irritation and make your daughter happier.......I really don't have a problem with her using them as long as she understands that their use is not to be taXXXXX XXXXXghtly and for every time her eyes feel a little tired, red etc.

Dr. Rick :

And if she wears contacts she should not wear them while using the steroid drops.

Customer: Ok, thanks so much for your help. You've helped a worried mom sleep a little better tonight...
Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Have a good evening.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7367
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.

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