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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3163
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Can antibacterial/alcohol make the cornea susceptible to opening

Customer Question

Can antibacterial/alcohol make the cornea susceptible to opening and allowing a foreign object enter the eye? About 6 months ago I used some antibacterial solution with tiny rubber bubbles. I rubbed my eyes a bit after cleaning my hands with the antibacterial solution and felt a foreign object in my eye. It felt like it could be one of the bubbles and my eye started to become irritated. I flushed my eye with water, but nothing ever came out. I have now had pressure from this foreign object in my eye since then and the discomfort (in form of pressure) appears in different areas depending where it is lodged for the day. I studied medicine and understand that it must be removed to prevent vision loss. My vision has not been affected yet, however, the pressure creates discomfort and I'm concerned of what may happen. I also, do not have insurance and don't know how much taking care of this problem or surgery might cost. I'm worried that I will not be able to afford whatever procedure may be needed or what the ophthalmologist visit will cost. What are my options here? I'm still young, attractive, and would hate to lose my eye. :/ I'm writing you know because the foreign object just moved to the upper portion of my eye for the first time and it feels odd and it's making my vision a bit weird.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Dan B. : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Dr. Dan B. : Technically, yes, alcohol on the cornea can cause an epithelial break or scratch on the cornea which can make it easier for bacteria to cause infection within the substance of the cornea. However with this likely very minor exposure to alcohol, and that it happened approximately six months ago, I do not feel That this is continuing to cause you this foreign-body sensation. By far the most common cause of an intermittent and chronic foreign-body sensation, is a dysfunctional tear film, or dry eye. Let me elaborate.
Dr. Dan B. : The front of your eyes has a layer of tears coating it called the tear film (this layer of tears is different from the tears you produce when you cry or have an irritation in your eye). The tear film normally provides a healthy environment for the front of the eye (the cornea and conjunctiva) and also contributes significantly to clear vision. When the tear film is unstable or unhealthy (there are many reasons why this can be so, which I will get to) it becomes dysfunctional and can produce uncomfortable symptoms and blurry vision. This is called a dysfunctional tear film.People with a dysfunctional tear film can have multiple different symptoms ranging from redness, dull aching or pressure, sharp or stabbing pain, morning tearing, burning, and often eyelash mattering to tearing, stinging, itching, burning, a gritty/foreign-body senstation or just intermittent vision fluctuations. Their symptoms sometimes get better as the day progresses or they can often times worsen throughout the day, but they can get intermittent blurring when they use their eyes heavily in activities such as reading, watching TV, computer use or driving. 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). Any kind of eye surgery can actually cause and/or worsen this 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.
Dr. Dan B. : I would recommend using artificial tears 4x/day in both eyes (one drop per application). it takes consistent use of the tears at this frequency on a daily basis for approximately 3 to 4 weeks before a significant effect from these tears can be found. However, this is only the baseline treatment for a dysfunctional tear film. If you are doing this, and you're not significantly better after 3 to 4 weeks, then you need to see an ophthalmologist for a dry eye evaluation because there are numerous causes for most people. Does this make sense?
Dr. Dan B. : Does this information help address your concerns? Do you have any other questions about this? 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 when I return to see if you've responded. If your concerns have been resolved...Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied. 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!
Customer:

Are you still there?

Customer:

My concern is that it feels like a foreign object did get into my eye and is somewhere between the cornea and sclera. I can literally feel it moving around, lodging, and dislodging from one side of my eye to the other. More specifically, I felt the object enter the eye (a tiny ball that breaks up) when I rubbed it with the antibacterial solution. I've never had dry eyes and my other eye is in perfect condition. Wouldn't dry eyes affect bilaterally?

Customer:

Also, I don't take any medications or natural supplements unless you count gummy vitamins (yes, the children ones because they taste good). In addition, I have no autoimmune conditions (ie. Sjogren's syndrome, etc.) or any illnesses so it's a a pretty easy/straight forward history from my end. I guess my main question is, is it possible for whatever material the bead was composed of to be floating around and creating these symptoms? I felt the "object" last move earlier today from the lateral aspect of my eye deep into the mid epicanthal fold. When I cried out of frustration from the pressure in my eye (and from potentially having to pay for an opthalmology visit, procedure, etc. without insurance), the tears came out normal (from medial aspect/lacrimal canaliculi) on my healthy eye and instead welled up on the bad eye before releasing. The affected eye also has an enlarged caruncula. The superior portion and medial portion appeared slightly swollen with a darker skin appearance on the medial portion of the eye.

Dr. Dan B. : The process that causes dry eyes usually does affect both eyes, but usually as in many other eye problems, the patient experiences the symptoms asymmetrically, meaning the one eye seems to be affected more than the other or symptoms seem to happen only in that eye versus the other, so I'm not surprised this is just a symptom in one eye.
Customer:

Thanks. I'll give the eye drops a try and hope it helps.

Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3163
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Dan B,


 


I tried the eye drops 4x/day as you advised three days ago and my eye started to feel better, however, on the third day (today) my eye got worse. I began to feel eye pain while reading, some blurriness, and 4 new red dots appeared in my iris. I, also, felt slightly nauseated,and a bit dizzy. My eye has been feeling swollen and almost bruised. I'm afraid that the 4 red dots could be from arterial bleeding or swelling perhaps from increased intraocular pressure.


 


1) Could the eye drops have increased the intraocular pressure?


 


2) And if so, should I be concerned that the condition of my eye has deteriorated or will this symptom simply lessen by tomorrow as long as I discontinue taking the eye drops?


 


3) Is this a medical emergency at this point?


 


I would greatly appreciate you answering all of the previous questions and if you can elaborate on anything regarding this matter or other differential diagnoses that may apply that would be great. I'm a bit scared.


 


Thank you!


 

Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 11 months ago.
These artificial tears would not have caused increased eye-pressure or arterial bleeding. It is much more likely you just had worsening of your symptoms, in other words an exacerbation. Artificial tears are harmless and do not cause problems like this.

I suspect your symptoms will improve with continued use of the drops. This is not a medical emergency. I think you're going to be just fine.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

So ocular arterial bleeding accompanied by ocular pressure and pain is not a medical emergency?

Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 11 months ago.
I can't examine you so I can't tell you whether what you're experiencing is a medical emergency or not, but if you're talking about 4 little red spots on the white part of the eye being a medical emergency, then no, usually this does not represent a medical emergency. However, like I said, I can't examine you so if you feel like you need to be seen by a doctor right away then you best see your eye doctor or an emergency doctor right away.

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