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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have been taking Equate (Walmart Brand) eye allergy relief

Resolved Question:

I have been taking Equate (Walmart Brand) eye allergy relief for about 12 years and now I constantly have trouble with my eyes being bloodshot. I would like to get over this and have a solution that doesn't have a bad reverse effect and this is the only drop that keeps my eyes from being red. I eat healthy, exercise daily and sleep for 6-7 hours nightly. What are your thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Well, first off -- and I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this -- you have to throw out all those equate eye drops and stop using them cold turkey. All those drops do is temporarily shrink the blood vessels to make your eyes look less red. Then, when the drops effects wear off -- boom -- your eyes are redder then before. A vicious cycle for your eyes but an excellent cycle for selling more drops.

So what should you do after you go through the expected increase in redness when you stop the drops? Well, there is a home therapy you can do that will address the three most common causes of bloodshot eyes: Allergies, dry eyes and blepharitis.

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.

Does this make sense to you?


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Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8345
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
other thing, I am in the public alot and with red eyes that won't play out well. Is there any sort of custom scelara type contact that can mask the redness around the eyes as I go through this transition? or aything you would suggest here?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
That is an excellent question and I'm sure that there is some type of cosmetic lens that may cover the entire globe so the redness wouldn't be seen. I know that the movie studio's used to use them a lot before computer special effects came along. You might talk to an optometrist and see what is available. These lenses may, however, irritate your eye as it tries to get over not using the drops anymore.

Can't you just explain to anyone who really matters why your eyes are red until things settle down?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Being that I make public appearance politically some one will try to throw the bullshit flag and say I was partying or something stupid. Politics is like a game amongst 4th graders so anything I can do to cover it up will be important.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
You decided to become a politician......welcome to the game. And, if the worst things your opponents can throw at you is that your eyes are red and you might be a party animal, I'll see you at your Presidential Inauguration Party someday soon....just to remember to send me an invitation :o)
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8345
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Eye Doctor
8345 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest