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Dr. Susan
Dr. Susan, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 218
Experience:  Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.
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My mother is 94 and has just started demonstrating a deep redness

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My mother is 94 and has just started demonstrating a deep redness on the lower inner eye lid. It looks like the lower eyelid is pulling away from the eye. I know the redness can be caused by other deficiencies than dryness.

Dr. Susan : Are you available to chat?
Dr. Susan : You are exactly right- as we age the eyelid does start to change and its position is no longer up against the eye itself. This is because the elastin and collagen in the eyelid are no longer as strong (just like the rest of the body tissues). This the eyelid is not as strong. Your ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon can rectify this with a simple eyelid procedure but given your mothers age, they may not want to expose her to any sort of anesthesia. What you are doing is fine-continue lubricating. I do recommend that you get a thick gel lubricant and use that instead, especially at night. It it worsens you may want to tape her eyelids at night with some surgical tape. This will help protect her from drying her corneas while sleeping. Thank you for your question.
Customer:

What causes the redness on the inside of the lower lid? Could it be conjunctivitis?

Dr. Susan : Highly unlikely to be conjunctivitis. Drying of the tissue causes it to be red and irritated. Conjunctiva needs to be lubricated and when the lid is not positioned properly the tears can't do their job! That is why you need to supplement with lubricating tears!
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