Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Glad you didn't go the ER....you did everything correct at home for much, much,much,much less then the ER would have charged you to do the same thing :o)
Everything you have told me, from getting the rubbing alcohol in your eye, to rinsing with natural tears, saline and flushing in the shower, along with how your eye feels right now makes me believe that everything should be OK.
Are you available to chat?
I guess you have stepped away from your computer. We can switch to Q&A.
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Sorry - I have to run for now (I do have more questions) - but can you tell me if it's normal to feel that something's in the eye? The sensation comes and goes. I should add that my eyes normally alternate between being extremely dry (only when I sleep/wake-up), to normal or tearing during the day. This might make my 'recovery' a bit more difficult to gage.
Thank you for your responses - and your concern.
My eye is still burning, but I think it's somewhat better than it was. It feels less like there's something in the eye, and it doesn't look particularly red (no more than usual, anyway). Should I irrigate again with saline drops, or just leave it alone?
Although I sometimes use natural tears drops before bed, I primarily use them when I wake up (using them before bed doesn't provide any kind of overnight relief). Anytime my eyes have been closed for any period of time, they become so dry, the lids literally stick to my eyeballs. When it's time to open my eyes (even if it's to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom), I have to drip some eye drops along the lash line to pre-lubricate the eyes before I even attempt to open them (in part to prevent abrasions). Once they open a bit, I continue to add drops until they feel comfortable enough to open fully. My top and bottom eyelashes are often glued together - and my eyes are usually filled with both gooey discharge and/or dried 'gunk' (the kind that can probably scratch my cornea if I'm not careful). I've tried more viscous drops/gels at bedtime, but sometimes they appear to trigger pre-migraine type discomfort - and I don't like the blurry vision they seem to cause. My own ophthalmologist isn't terribly concerned (he's never conducted tests to measure tear production, etc.). I've wondered if perhaps I have Sjogren's Syndrome (since my mouth also gets extremely dry) - although both the dry eyes and dry mouth symptoms are generally a problem only after during/after sleeping (I suspect the dry mouth may be due to mouth breathing). However, my eyes frequently tear excessively during the day (people are always asking me if I'm crying) - and I know that this can also be a symptom of dry eyes).
Should I insist on a tear production test? I know I can also request blood tests that will indicate if Sjogren's might be present ( I gather biopsy is the only way to get a definitive diagnosis) - but shouldn't my eye doctor be a bit more proactive?
Thanks for the info. I see you're a night owl, too!
I'm not sure I agree that my dry eye issue is allergy related - since the problem seems to occur primarily when my eyes have been closed for a while. I suppose the tearing could be an allergy thing, but I suspect it isn't (although I could certainly be wrong). I don't want to take allergy meds. Most of them have side effects I can do without (including dry mouth). Other than post nasal drip and food 'intolerance,' I generally don't seem to suffer much from allergies.
Where does one locate a corneal expert? You made reference to a 'her.' Do you know a good one (you're probably not allowed to name names)? Where are you located? I'm in Chicago. I suppose I can do a Google search...
I know about the 'plug the ducts' option; I don't think I'm ready to go that route just yet (yikes, what a thought). No one had mentioned the possibility of blepharitis. Wouldn't the eyelids also be inflamed and 'sticky' during the day with this condition (rather then just at night)? I can certainly try the lid scrub. As I mentioned, I do get thick, gooey gunk in my eyes (in the morning, it often accumulates in the inner corners). During the day, I sometimes pull long, stretchy strings of if out of my eyes. It's definitely not the consistency of toothpaste; it's gelatinous (and stretchy).
Since you're so helpful, do you have any suggestions about floaters? I have a several, and at times they're like floating spider webs. Its especially annoying when I'm working on the computer or in a room with bright light and white walls. At times, it interferes when I'm reading (I guess my brain doesn't always successfully 'compensate)'. I know there's really no practical procedure to get rid of them, but is there anything I can do?
I'm curious about a few other things (I hope you don't mind): Occasionally, I go through periods where bits of eye makeup (usually from eyeliner or mascara) migrate into little indentations on the white of my eyes (like big black dots); at times, it's difficult to get them out completely without irritating my eyes. Then, the indents seem to recede - and if makeup accumulates, it's in the inner corners, which is pretty normal. What causes these little dents - and is there a way to prevent them?
Also: this has always mystified me: Sometimes, my eye make-up (like the stuff that floats into the dents) appears in my noise or mouth secretions. I know the whole system is connected, but my doctor seemed incredulous when I mentioned this. Have you ever heard of this happening? It doesn't concern me, but it is a bit freaky.
(I promise I'll click the 'accept' button; I just didn't want to close the conversation yet (which sometimes happens). Thanks for being so patient.....
Actually - some experts will hang around while the conversation is active - but are then offline for days or more. Didn't mean to deprive you of the multiple clicks you truly deserve!
But to follow-up on your response (which will be followed by a click); if you think the stringy, elastic stuff that sometimes collects in my eyes - and the tearing during the day may be part of the dry eye syndrome, then I'm a bit more concerned that I may have something like Sjogren's (even though my eyes are usually not dry during the day). I hope not....
Actually, my floaters have gotten worse over many years, even more so after I got hit on the head a few years ago (which my doesn't seem too worried about). I know the brain is supposed to compensate for the floaters - so that I'm not constantly aware of them. Most of the time, they fade into the background - but when I am aware of them, they drive me crazy. Sometimes they really do interfere if I'm trying to type, read, etc. I agree that going the surgical route is extreme - and not something I would do unless it got to a point where I couldn't function normally. I just hope I don't continue to collect any more floaters.
What's with the indentations on the white of my eyes, where make-up sometimes collects? They must come and go, because it only happens periodically (and I generally wear the same make-up every day). Is there anything I'm doing to cause them - and can they be prevented (or am I the only person to describe this)?? Could dry eyes be a factor?