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Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 263
Experience:  30 years experience treating patients with eye problems
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I am a casual drinker. However, after I have had a few drinks

Customer Question

I am a casual drinker. However, after I have had a few drinks at night, I sometimes wake up with a terrible feeling in one (or the other) of my eyes. It is as though I scratched it but did not. My eyes will also be watering and looked a little swelled. What is causing this condition and what can I do to make sure it doesn't happen again?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Hi, I'm online now and would be happy to help you with your problem. Just reply and we'll get started. Dr. Tom

Dr. Tom-Eye :

There are a couple of questions I'd like to ask about your history before we get started. Is your watery and scratchy feeling limited to one of your eyes or is it both? Can you remember any time in the past when you might have had a severe corneal abrasion? Have you ever been told by an ophthalmologist that you had dry eye syndrome?

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Just let me know if you're still online and would like to continue the conversation now, or pick up on it later?

Dr. Tom-Eye :

I see that you are standing by, so I take it that you're busy at the moment and can't enter the chat. So I'll just go ahead and give you some thoughts that I think might be informative as well as something you could consider doing.

Customer:

It is not limited to one eye. It is usually one or the other but has never been both. I don't ever remember any corneal abrasion. My ophthalmologist told me I have slight dry eye syndrome and recommended I take a drop or two Alaway Eye Itch Relief each morning which I have been doing. Other than that, outside of normal aging, he said my eyes look great.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Without being able to examine your eye in the office with our microscope slit lamps, people with symptoms like yours often have small microscopic dry spots that develop on the cornea. We can go to sleep feeling fine but wake up and when we open our eyes feel as though there is sand or as though there is a scratch. This is because tiny nerve endings are temporarily exposed. People with small dry eye syndrome can be pushed over into these little dry spots for all kinds of reasons. Mild dehydration from alcohol might be related in your case.

Customer:

Is there something I can do to avoid that? And/or, is there something I can take to avoid it? It really, really hurts for about four hours when I get it.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Okay now I see that you have had a diagnosis of dry eye syndrome. One of the things that I frequently recommend to my patients who are having nocturnal pain and symptoms as you described is to pick up a tube of over-the-counter lubricant, such as Lacrilube or Duratears. By adding a little extra lubrication prior to going to sleep most people get excellent relief. Does this make sense so far .

Customer:

Yes, do I need to do this every night?

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Great Question. But as you can imagine, this is more of a trial and error approach. But given your past history, your good report from your ophthalmologist and no history of previous corneal abrasions, I would be inclined to suggest using an appointment or gel every night for a couple of weeks. If you are symptom-free after doing that, you could begin backing off to determine how frequently you need the extra lubrication. Do you have any other thoughts or concerns about this?

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Sorry, I said appointment when I meant an ointment.

Customer:

Can you recommend a type of ointment or jel? And, if it works, would it be harmful to my eyes if I just keep using it as my eyes water just about every morning pretty back. Also, I forgot to mention that I stare at a computer some days as many as 12 hours in a row.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Yes of course, Lacrilube or Duratears Ointment....or even a lubricating gel, like Systane Ultra...all over the counter. It will be be hrmful to use it frequently... And thanks for mentioning the constant staring at a computer screen. The screen is not hurting your eyes, but it is typical for our blink rate to go down somewhat when we're concentrating. Try a little of the Systane drops for a few days while you're at the computer or on long commercial air flights where the humidity is reduced. I think you're going to be well-equipped to take care of yourself with this. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and if not, may I say it has been a pleasure chatting with you today.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Sorry, I made the mistake of saying that it would be harmful to use the drops frequently. That was in me miss typing. I left out the word not. So I'll repeat, it would not hurt your eyes to use the medications frequently.

Customer:

Great, thanks for answering my questions Dr. Tom.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

You bet, come back to my JA site if you have any other vision related problems. Best of luck.

Dr. Tom-Eye :

And please don't forget to rate the service. Again best wishes.

Dr. Tom, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 263
Experience: 30 years experience treating patients with eye problems
Dr. Tom and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I gave you an excellent rating and a tip so I am not sure why I keep getting messages that appear to be of the contrary.

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. There is no way to be sure why the follow-up communications with you were generated by JA. The best I can say, is just disregard them. Yours is the first time I have heard of this happening, and none of us want to annoy you. I hope that's the last that you will get, and I hope your eyes are feeling better on the increased lubrication. Best wishes.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, the ointment make a huge difference on the first day so I am very pleased about that.

Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Roger that !
Expert:  Dr. Tom replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Damian. I am sorry about this. But I'm getting the same notices you are. I know you have already given me a wonderful rating but I have a feeling that we might have switched over to the question-and-answer section in the middle of your rating. I think if you would go ahead and re-rate using the click button it would probably clear this up. (You're not going to get billed twice I assure you). If that doesn't solve it I'll pose a question to our section monitor. Don't worry, we'll work this out. I'm just sorry that is inconveniencing you.

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Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom
Eye Doctor
263 Satisfied Customers
30 years experience treating patients with eye problems