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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11357
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have what feels like a foreign body at the top of my left

Customer Question

I have what feels like a foreign body at the top of my left eye (inside). It hurts and aches and my eye is sensitive to light. It may be a coincidence that I splashed some bath water with Oilatum emollient in two days ago. I see that it says keep away from eyes on the bottle.
How can I wash it out? Might it be something quite different? I am 75, on inbuprofen.
Have not experienced this before. Don't want to bother the doctor unneccessarily.
Sally Jarman
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I can help you this morning.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

It is possible that the Oilatum emollient has caused a corneal abrasion. This loss of the skin on your cornea would give a foreign body sensation and light sensitivity. You could try getting some eye ointment at the pharmacy or store, goop up your eye and keep it closed. This would allow the epithelial defect to heal, usually in a day or so. In the USA a brand name for this ointment is refresh PM or lacrilube.

Dr. Rick :

On the other hand, since this happened two days ago, it is possible that you have an infection, or corneal ulcer, starting in the area where the skin came off. In this case it would be important for you to see an ophthalmologist and start antibiotic eye drops. Since you are not available to chat, and I can't actually see your eye, either scenario is possible given your symptoms.

Dr. Rick :

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I want to rule out the possibility of glaucoma as my half sister suffered from this.

However annual checks have not shown any symptoms for me.

Would it be a good idea to wear dark glasses?

If the pain remains after several days do I assume that it might be a corneal ulcer?

Thanks for your help so far.

Sally Jarman

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
your symptoms are not suggestive of glaucoma. Dark glasses will help with the photophobia.

If your eye is not improved by tomorrow morning, or seems to be getting worse during the day today, I would see an ophthalmologist. It is best to treat a corneal ulcer sooner rather then later.

Any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.