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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10769
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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This is Eye M.D. doctor. I am a 76 years old woman in good

Customer Question

This is for an Eye M.D. doctor. I am a 76 years old woman in good health if not for my current problem with my eyes.
I have had blepharitis for years but it was under control until about 10 days ago when I got a sty on my bottom eye lid. This is now healing but last weekend my upper eye lids started getting red and swollen. They are now extremely red and swollen. I saw my eye doctor last Thursday about the sty on my bottom eye lid but this is now just about healed. He used a cotton Q tip to squeeze the white stuff out which he said will help it to heal. The day after I saw him my upper eye lids started to get more red and swollen. They were just a little red and swollen when I saw him. My eye doctor just said to use warm washcloths on my swollen and red upper eye lids. But this is not helping. He also said to try using a tea bag which I did but he then said the day I called when I first got the redness and swelling to just use the warm washcloth.
What do you recommend I do for this redness and swelling? It is now extremely red and swollen. It is tender to the touch and feels sore.
I can see good as usual with this eye but it is extremely red and swollen as is the other upper eye lid.
What do you recommend I do for the extreme redness and swelling?
What could have caused this??
Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you
XXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 1 year ago.

Hello

I recommend that you have this swabbed for the lab.

If measures such as hot compresses do not work, an antibiotic drop or ointment can be used.

This would be your next step....not over the counter measures.

OK, so that is an initial answer….

Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. When you are ready, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here daily.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Hi. My name is***** and I am online and available to help you today.

I am an Eye MD.

Thank you for your patience.

Question and answer is just one of the services I offer. I can also provide you with additional services, such as live telephone or skype consultation, at a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested.

There is some therapy you can do at home. Please allow me to explain:

It sounds like you are suffering from an anterior segment/tear film issue. Many times, for all sorts of reasons, the anterior surface of the eye starts to have difficulties. What can cause this? Well, there are a number of conditions but the most common are dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis....many times all three conditions act together to make you miserable. In order to solve your problem you need to address all of these issues at the same time.

When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production and the use of a medication called restasis to improve your tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose. If this does not give relief then your eyelid opening can be made smaller with surgery (lateral Tarsorrhaphy).

Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.

The best treatment for this condition is daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.

Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.

Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.

I understand that this treatment seems a bit "too low tech" to be of value, but after 2 decades of clinical practice, I can assure you (even from personal experience :) that it does, indeed, work.

Does this make sense to you?

Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Dr. Rick MD FACS