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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3063
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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For the past five or so years especially in the spring and

Resolved Question:

For the past five or so years especially in the spring and fall I've been waking up with eye mucus that gets worse for a while as I blink and then clears. In the winter months I don't get the mucus But still have the dry eye. Since the pollen count has been high this spring I've had more eye mucus than usual and even get it during the day.Sometimes it seems that blinking makes the mucus worse, as if it's coming down from under my eyelid. Lately my eyes have been burning off and on as well, not much itching and only slightly red first thing in the morning.I also get the feeling that something is in my eye when there is nothing there.This is all very annoying! Does this sound like an allergy combined with dry eye?Is there a way relieve the burning and stop the mucus?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 1 year ago.

Doctor DanB :

Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?

Customer:

yes I am

Doctor DanB :

Do you get crusting of your eyelashes in the morning?

Customer:

Never

Doctor DanB :

So is this mucus stringy or ropy?

Customer:

When I can get it out it's stringy almost sticky

Doctor DanB :

But not much itching right now?

Customer:

Rarely

Customer:

sometimes the mucus blurs my vision

Doctor DanB :

The most common reason for the eyes to be causing these symptoms is due to a dysfunctional tear film syndrome. A dysfunctional tear film can be due to many different factors. Different medicines such as psychiatric medicines, antihistamines, cold medicines and others can contribute to a dysfunctional tear film Allergies in the eyes can also contribute (and or make worse). Some people have an innate deficiency in making their own tears (these people may also have other dry mucus membranes, such as their mouth, nasal passages, or genitalia). Many people have an inflammation in the eyelids called blepharitis which causes the tear film that is supposed to coat the front of the eye to not function as well, and then the eyes dry out. People with blepharitis can have morning tearing, burning, and often eyelash mattering. Their symptoms get better as the day progresses, but then they get intermittent blurring when they use their eyes heavily in activities such as reading, watching TV, computer use or driving.

Doctor DanB :

I think your clinical picture sounds consistent with blepharitis. Because the treatment for it is relatively benign, you might consider starting this treatment, while concurrently using artificial tears. In order to treat blepharitis, everyday in the morning you should do two things: 1. hot compresses and 2. eyelid scrubs. You should do hot compresses for 5-10 minutes over each eye at the same time. It should be as hot as you can tolerate without burning your skin, massaging the eyelids while they are on there. Then, use either commercially available preparations or a dilute baby shampoo solution to scrub your eyelashes on all 4 eyelids. The commercially available preparations are called Ocusoft or Sterilid which are both over-the-counter eyelash scrubbing treatments. These cost more money but are quicker to use. Otherwise, the cheaper alternative is the dilute baby shampoo (4-5 drops Johnson's shampoo in 1/4 cup warm water), you will take the wipe (or dip a qtip in the dilute baby shampoo solution) and use that to scrub right on the eyelashes of each eyelid for 15 seconds. That will take 60 seconds when done to all 4 eyelids. The scrubbing is done right on the eyelid margin, where the eyelashes come out. After that, just splash some water on the eyes and you're done.

It does take about 3-4 weeks of doing this consistently every day before it really kicks in, so don't stop it thinking it's not working. Also the eyes are still significantly dry during this 3-4 weeks so I would recommend using artificial tears 4x/day in both eyes (one drop per application). After 4 weeks you should be able to start tapering off of the tears to as you need them.

Just doing the artificial tears, hot compresses and eyelid scrubs alone would likely start to help you after three or 4 weeks--but remember it could take this long of doing it everyday before you see a significant effect, so don't stop it thinking it's not working.

If you are a person that doesn't make their own tears very well, then you may also benefit from a prescription drop called Restasis, which actually modulates a person's immune system to help them make more of their own tears. This drop actually requires constant usage on a daily basis for up to 10-12 weeks before its effect kicks in (takes awhile to change the immune response in the body).

Because there are numerous reasons for dry eye, if not all the reasons that exist in one patient are treated, it can seem as though the ones that are being treated are providing no benefit. If you've tried these recommendations and still don't feel better then you should consider seeing a corneal specialist for a dry eye evaluation. Does all this make sense?

Customer:

Yes, thank you. I'll try this.

Doctor DanB :

You're welcome. Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?

Customer:

I'm afraid i'll get the shampoo in my eyes while washing them. How do i prevent this?

Doctor DanB :

If you use Johnson's baby shampoo and dilute it by just using 4-5 drops in a 1/4 cup of water, this won't bother your eyes at all, even if you get it in them. Just use a Qtip to dip into the solution, pull our eyelid down or up away from your eye and just scrub on the eyelashes themselves.

Customer:

ok...thank you

Doctor DanB :

My pleasure. Good luck. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. Thanks for your inquiry! If this has been helpful in addressing your concerns, please hit the ACCEPT button. This does not end our conversation, however-we can continue to discuss any of your concerns without further charges until you are satisfied.



 


My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.


Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3063
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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