Ask an Eye Doctor and Get an Answer ASAP
Hi, I'm online now and would be happy to help you with your question. Just reply and we'll get started. Dr. Tom
Hi Dr. Tom!
It sounds like we've got to get you straightened out in a hurry. Give me a second and I'll type out some thoughts for you.
In reviewing your posting it sounds very much like you have a typical upper respiratory system infection. Most of these are viral, which means they are self-limiting. The problem is, we don't want to see a secondary bacterial component go untreated. The mucus that you described does not necessarily have to be bacterial. When our eyes are inflamed, or when there is a viral infection, the amount of mucus that our eyes produce increases. This often gives us the feelings that our eyes are stuck together. It increases the thickness of the tear film making our eyes feel a little bit sticky or oily. There is a little bit of concern about the increased swelling of your eyelids and the bloodshot nature of your conjunctiva. So there is the possibility that this could be a viral or a bacterial conjunctivitis. There are some signs that your ophthalmologist can see on his slit lamp microscopic examination that point in one direction or another, but it doesn't sound like you have time to do that before your big event tomorrow. When I am treating patients with similar presentations, we often recommend over-the-counter lubricating artificial tears such as Systane or TheraTears, used three or four times a day in conjunction with moist warm compresses. Does this make sense to you so far and what other questions come to mind.
I definitely felt like my eyes were oily, it is the strangest sensation
Yes the oiliness comes from several of the normal components of the tear film that are being kicked into overdrive in order to bring your immune system and other germ fighting components to a higher level.
The only other question I have is the following: sometimes out of nowhere ( I do know of any allergies I may have) my eyelids will swell up but itch and not get so red. I was worried maybe the cold caused that to flare up.
i do not* know of any allergies I meant
In reading your question I was not sure whether you meant to say that your eyelids itched or did not itch when your eyelids would swell. Is there ever any itching at all?
I have no idea why that occurs, and I wash my eyes carefully since I wear makeup. and it will itch. Usually benadryl takes it away.
today they did not itch at all
Will yes I think your cold could well be a factor. And quite often people do have allergic conjunctivitis, commonly associated seasonal factors. Let me give you a little more information that might be useful set you ask for a high degree of detail
You know, doctor, the weird part is that on some of the other occasions this has occured, I have been entirely indoors for one or two days.
. A couple of things that you should keep in mind. If the mucus that your tear film produces takes on a greenish color and becomes quite thick and causes your eyelashes to crust that often indicates a bacterial conjunctivitis which requires antibiotic medications prescribed by your ophthalmologist............. on the other hand if the eyes produce more of a watery sticky tear it could be either viral or allergic conjunctivitis. For the allergic component there are good over-the-counter antihistamine eyedrops. An example is Zaditor, used to a three times a day as needed. As far as viral conjunctivitis, only that caused by the herpes simplex virus is treatable by antiviral medications. The remainder of the viral conjunctivitis entities, are self-limiting and our autoimmune system kicks in to resolve the problem. Remember they are all contagious with the exception of the allergic form. Please let me know if you have any other questions as I am here until you're completely satisfied with the level of information that you requested.
I get cold sores. Does that have to do with anything? I did not actually get one this time, but I usually get one once a year or every two yrs
Well, in the scenario you have presented today there is nothing that you have said which would lead to much concern about the cold sores. We all have the viruses that cause cold sores lurking around somewhere. It's our autoimmune system that keeps these viruses in check. And when they do break through as a cold sore, it's our autoimmune system that brings them under control........ it's been a pleasure chatting with you. I hope you have received the information you were looking for. I will be here until you're completely satisfied, so is there anything else on your mind at this point
No, thank you.
You're very welcome. Best wishes. I will switch over to the Q&A format now so that you can rate our conversation.