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Hello and thanks for your question. Mr. Davidson, do you have any of the following symptoms: eye redness, pain, discharge, itching, burning, tearing, light-sensitivity, foreign-body or gritty sensation, mattering of eyelashes upon waking or blurry vision?
As you are currently offline and not in the chat room, I will speak to what I suspect may be happening with you and hope that when you re-visit the chat room you can help lend clarity to your situation. One of the most common problems that is happening when someone suspects they may have an infection is, instead, a problem with their tear film, or layer of tears that coats their eye.
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 but they can also have these symptoms throughout the day to also include tearing, stinging, itching, burning, a gritty/foreign-body senstation or just intermittent vision fluctuations . 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. Because blepharitis is so common and 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 this make sense? Does this information help address your concerns?
Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?
It appears as though you are not in the chat room currently. I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need. If you would like to ask further questions or clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns.
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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. Thanks for your inquiry!
The only sympton I have from your list is slight redness and slightly gritty sensation,and sometimes a slight ache in my right eye nothing else. What do you mean by artificial tears?will I get Ocusoft andSterilid in the U.K.?I have started the treatment you recomend, and meanwhile Thank-you Brian Davidson, nice to talk to you.
Brian, artificial tears are just lubricant eye drops--there's no medicine in them, just lubrication. Any drug store should have some of these. The brand name you buy is your choice, but just don't buy the kind that says get-the-red-out or redness-reliever. I'm really not sure whether you'll be able to find Ocusoft and Sterilid as brand name products in the U.K., but I'm quite sure you'd be able to find baby shampoo, so I would use that if you can't find those products. It sounds like your symptoms are mild and so hopefully doing this baseline therapy will help your symptoms resolve. Do you have any other questions that I can help you with about this topic?
o.k. for the moment, you have been very helpful, and attentive and I am now proceeding with your recomendations, Thank-you for your help Brian D.