How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8068
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
48069651
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Dr. Rick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have something wrong w my eyes. My eye dr has diagnosed it

Customer Question

I have something wrong w my eyes. My eye dr has diagnosed it - unfortunately, i forget what it's called. Oil glands(?) plugged up- I'm on doxycycline 20mg 2x/day and hot compress on eyes for 10 min at night which is supposed to soften the oil so it will come out and normal(?) oil will flow.

When I go to dr, he expresses out lots of this solidified oil. Yuk! it kind of stings when he does it, but my eyes feel sooo much better after. And no extra tears in the morning. Then after a couple weeks, I can tell the ducts are clogged up again b/c I'm all teary again in the morning.

I'm sure it's not working b/c my left eye in particular is teary in the morning for about three hours, including after I put in my contacts.

What is this problem called? And- what else can I do to make it go away? And-- can I learn to express out the solidified oil myself?
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 :

You most likely have blepharitis. There are some home treatments you can do to help control this problem.

Dr. Rick :

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.


 

Dr. Rick :

you could also express the glands yourself by closing your eyes and pressing with the pad of your index finger along the margin of your eyelids, right below the eyelash line. This should help to get the "gunk" out.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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


I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.



 

Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. We can use the Q&A system to 'text message' each other. An email will be sent to each of us every time something is posted to this thread.


 

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
What Happens Now?

Your chat has ended, but you can still work with your Expert to get an answer to your question if you have not yet received one.

Come back to this page at any time to see additional information from your Expert.  You will also receive an email when your question is updated.  If you want to send a message to your Expert, use the box below.

If you have already received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the Accept button above.  Experts are credited for each accepted answer they provide.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry, Dr. Rick, I went to bed.

OK-- what you are saying is the same as what my eye doctor told me to do, so I guess what he siad is not as odd as I thought. -- I forgot to tell you I do the eyelid scrubs- I have a bottle of Steri-Lid scrub. But- I scrub for barely a minute- wow-- 3-5 minutes is a loooong time. I'll have to get used to it b/c I really want to get rid of this. I guess the scrubbing I've been doing hasn't been enough.

Am I going to have to do that shower scrub for the rest of my life??

And, you're right, I don't see the gunk myself, but I know my eye doctor does w the lamp. it sounds pretty gross : (

I've tried expressing the gunk out myself, after the hot compresses. I never see anything come out, so I don't think I'm successful. I feel like I would see it since it's as thick as toothpaste.

Thank you so much for your time and your very complete answer. I really appreciate it.

So tired last night, I fogot to sign my name,

Holly

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
You fingers work better then the steri scrub things....and they are Original Factory Equipment that you don't have to keep buying at the store :o)

No, not for the rest of your life, just for a few months and then again, once in while, to keep things under control.

You'd not necessarily see it when you try to express it yourself so.....keep up the good work.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you, Holly.
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8068
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks so much! I'm encouraged that I can go to a maintenance plan once I get this cleared up.

And ... I'm glad I don't have to buy those little- and pricey- bottles of Steri- Lid Scrub. Baby shampoo -- much more doable.

I guess I'll have to have faith that I'm getting gunk out even if I can't see it.

Thank you again. Now that we've 'met,' I'll have your name on record in my previous questions and I can go right to you.Best,

Best,
Holly

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
My pleasure. I look forward to helping you in the future. Keep on scrubbing lol!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Dr. Rick,
Alrighty, I am back ... same darn problem.
Clogged oil glands.
I've used the hot compresses and tried to express the glands myself w index finger pads. I also take doxycycline 20mg 2x/da- actually I just take two at once.
My left eye is worse-- keeps tearing almost all the time. It is beyond annoying. I am sooo tired of this dumb problem. Why isn't there a real solution? I mean, if there is chemotherapy for cancer patients and it is often successful, can't someone invent a successful solution to this simple problem? This has got to be easier than cancer!
-Holly
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Holly,

You've got an excellent point.....but blepharitis is a tough cookie to crack. The good news? It is not as deadly as cancer....I've never lost a patient to it (yet). :)

If you are going to take doxycycline I would suggest 100 mg tablets, take one a day for 30 days and then re-evaluate. The dose you are on seems too small to me.

Best of luck and thanks for the update.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Dr. Rick,
I agree that the dose is too small. I even said that to my eye doctor, but he wouldn't change the strength. The strength I'm on seemed pretty pointless. Somehow, I get the feeling that he just wants to keep me on the hook since I don't have vision insurance now and I pay for each visit. (Tho he is never going to get rich from my visits as they only charge $60, but still...)
Maybe I need a new eye doctor.
How about you? Would you fax me a script? My only allergy is erythromycin.
Or are by some miracle locted near where I live which is Princeton, NJ area?
Thanks,
Holly
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Holly,

I'd love to fax you a script but then I would run the risk of loosing my medical license.....the Feds (not to mention JustAnswer) get real uppidy about that sort of thing...something about actually having a physician/patient relationships among other things :)

That being said, doxycycline 20 mg, twice daily is too low. If you are going to do anything at all use 100 mg/day for 30 days and re-evaluate.

Is this eye "doctor" an optometrist? Didn't think they could prescribe oral meds but you never know nowadays what "rights" their licensing board has given them.....

I'm just a short hike down the road from you: Northern Wisconsin -- about 1,300 miles per google maps. But I really don't think you need the services of a retina specialist at this point ;)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hey, c'mon, we have a physician/patient relationship. Besides, I was born and raised in IL and vacationed every summer in northern Wisconsin. Rhinelander, Minoqua, muskie fishing etc, just so you know I'm credible.

Well, I knew you really couldn't give me an Rx. That's too easy.

My dr's degree is called Dr of Optometry. Should I start loking for an opthalmologist?
Or a particular specialty?

Wish I could write myself a script since I know what I want.

I'll bet what I have is what the oldsters have who have those red rimmed eyes that are sort of glistening wet looking! Looking at them always makes my eyes hurt. Yikes! I sure don't want to become those persons!

Soo- my question is ... what kind of eye doctor should I look for?
Thanks,
Holly

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Ya....an ophthalmologist would be better; I don't think you need any sub-specialist at this point.... Here is the difference between the two:


An Optometrist is to an Ophthalmologist as an Eagle Scout is to a Sgt. Major of the Marine Corps. They both are experts in their area however one of them has a lot more training, ability and experience.

An ophthalmologist is a full fledged MD who does surgery and has at least 12 years of training post HS; an optometrist does glasses and has some basic knowledge of eye diseases. They are not MDs and do not do surgery.

I've heard that the Woodruff, Rhinelander, Three Lakes area is pretty nice....when it's not sleeting out that is :)

Getting old is not that bad, at least when your think of what the alternative is ;)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for the help. We were only up north in July so pretty much avoided the sleet Cool

Soo- when you have patients w blepharitis, are you able to cure them? Do you prescribe the 100mg doxycycline? Other than that- the shower eye scrubbing, index finger expressing of the glands and hot compresses?

And ... just one last question ... does this problem come from using the dreaded
M word ... mascara? (Evin tho I was it off every night)
Holly
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Holly,

Yup. I've got blepharitis patients and yes, the treatments we've discussed work. The doxycycline I only use in selected, difficult cases. Cure? Usually not. Control and make feel back to normal? Yup. Can do that.....

Keep using the mascara....it really doesn't make a difference.

I bet it has sleeted here in June at least once in Recorded History lol!
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8068
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks so much, Dr. Rick. You've really been helpful!
Best,
Holly
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Holly,

It has been my pleasure.

I'll be here if you have any questions in the future.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
< Last | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DoctorDanB/2010-6-7_6228_just_answer_profile_picture_60_pixels.jpg Dr. Dan B.'s Avatar

    Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/anupamadesai/2010-04-13_122313_Dr._A.S.Desai_new_photo.jpg Dr. A.S. Desai's Avatar

    Dr. A.S. Desai

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1903
    MS Ophthalmology with 11 years of surgical expereince
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsokoye/2009-10-28_181751_Dr._Stan.JPG Dr. Stan's Avatar

    Dr. Stan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    895
    Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/eyemd/2009-04-07_180315_pic.jpg Dr. Stevens's Avatar

    Dr. Stevens

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    629
    Board Certified Ophthalmologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CorneaDoc/2012-2-18_0390_photo6.64x64.jpg Dr. Susan's Avatar

    Dr. Susan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    217
    Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neuph94/2009-10-11_164729_gif_pic.GIF Dr. JP's Avatar

    Dr. JP

    Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Surgery

    Satisfied Customers:

    28
    Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Eye and Ear
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjcufyksv/2012-3-13_44825_crop3.64x64.jpg Dr-Trace's Avatar

    Dr-Trace

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    26
    Board Certified in General Ophthalmology