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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11303
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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For 4-5 yrs. I get a leaky left eye off and on. It seems to

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For 4-5 yrs. I get a leaky left eye off and on. It seems to come and go overnite..usually lasts several weeks and then is gone for maybe weeks and then shows up. It leaks from the outer corner and gets crusty under my eyelashes and then my skin gets very tender from dabbing it with Q tips..If I push on the skin/eyeball there is soreness. I get a slight cream colored puss in the corner of my eye where the tear duct is, by the end of the day and the next morning. It happens in various locations and seasons, and I've changed makeup and lotions, etc. which doesn't seem to make a difference. I've used warm washcloths and rubbed my eye and after a few days of it, it sometimes helps. Is this just a clogged tear duct or could it be blepharitis, which I've read about. Sometimes I do get some blurred vision or a scratchy feeling, like something in my eye, but there isn't. If I rub it enough it clears up. I have not seen a doctor for this. Thank you. Carolynn
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Well It sounds like you have a couple of things going on. First is allergies, second dry eyes and third blepharitis.

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, 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.

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 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.

Dr. Rick :

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Are there any other concerns or issues you would like addressed on this topic?
Customer: replied 6 years ago. if this could be an allergy, why doesn't it affect my right eye?
That is a very good question and, all I can tell you is that I've seen it many times. I know it doesn't make sense, but it happens. Life is like that at times :)
Also, since your symptoms may not be due to just one thing perhaps the combination is "worse" in one eye then the other.....
Give the treatment a good 3 or 4 weeks before giving up. I hope you feel better soon.