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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8326
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Background: Im 60 yrs. old, have diabetes, congestive heart

Resolved Question:

Background: I'm 60 yrs. old, have diabetes, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation (constant), sleep apnea, diabetic neuropathy, and my doctor recently said my (something) count (which is supposed to be 150) is at 30 and that at 15 they start talking dialysis. I take many vitamins and supplements and have just begun several things to try to help my kidneys. I had an eye exam a couple of months ago with my opthalmologist who said my only problem was that my eye pressure was at the top number that qualifies as normal rather than high (I think it was 20, but I really don't remember).
The other evening I wasn't feeling quite 'right', so I went in to lay down. When my husband flipped off the light, instead of going to dark, everything was as if I was looking through a red lens or filter. I felt as though I were laying under one of those red lamps the restaurant uses to keep food warm! Of course, I did the expected -- blinked, shifted my gaze all around, tried not to panic (though it didn't help that my heart was being especially erratic and jumping around!), but I didn't rub my eyes as I wasn't sure that would be a good idea. It faded away after about 2 or 3 minutes - but it really freaked me out.
I've tried 'googling' red eyes and red vision, but didn't find anything even close.
Do you have any ideas? Thanks so much.
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 :

You do not have to worry that you were experiencing anything serious, such as an angle closure glaucoma attack.

Dr. Rick :

It is more likely that you were having an anterior segment/tear film problem. Also, it is not unusual for there to be a "after image" after the light is turned out.....once again, nothing to panic about.

Dr. Rick :

Let me tell you a little bit about tear film problems such as allergies, dry eye and blepharitis. While I don't believe that this is the complete cause of your episode, it could have contributed to it and, since the treatment is very easy and can be done at home, it won't hurt to learn about this.....

Dr. Rick :

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 :

So, in addition to the above "extra" information, what is the take home message?

Dr. Rick :

First. Don't worry.

Dr. Rick :

Second. Try the above treatment and see if you can improve your tear film

Dr. Rick :

Third. Have a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist in the near future (not an emergency) just to make sure everything is OK with your eyes and....

Dr. Rick :

Fourth. Don't worry :)

Dr. Rick :

Dose this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

My system shows you are online and in the chat room.....are you available?

Dr. Rick :

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


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Dr. Rick :

I guess you have stepped away from your computer. I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)


 

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss pertaining to this issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your time and trouble. I'm not overly concerned about the itching - like I said it's been a life-long thing. But are you saying that allergies are what caused the 'red-glow' effect? I don't exactly understand the correlation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I'm not much concerned about the itching, but I AM concerned about the 'red incident'. It seems odd to me that allergies could/would be responsible for it.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
I agree. I do not believe that your anterior segment/dry eye etc issues were the complete cause of the episode you had. That being said, it could have contributed to the persistent red image you had once the lights went off.

While it is not uncommon to have persistent visual images after a light goes off I still believe a complete exam by an ophthalmologist is indicated in the near future.

Does this make sense?
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8326
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Eye Doctor
8326 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest