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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have problems with my eyes when looking at screens, reading

Resolved Question:

I have problems with my eyes when looking at screens, reading and driving. The symptoms have got worse over the last two months.

The best description is that it feels like someone is trying topinch my eyes closed from the bottom and the top, yet there is the sensation from inside the eye that I am trying to open my eyes as wide as possible to strain to see - and reverse the effect of them trying to close.

I am getting a feeling of travel sickness when reading - or looking at screens.

My job involves looking at screens and driving! - and I am really concerend as I am unable to carry out my duties currently. My doctors have little answers other than rest and to see the optician - which I have done.

Any suggestions?

I recently went to the opticians who said the health of my eye is fine, though there was a slight chnage to the prescription for which I now have new glasses.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
This sounds like an external eye problem, which would not be easily diagnosed by an optician. There are a number of things that can cause your symptoms: Allergies, dry eye, blepharitis, etc. I can't tell from what you have said which one(s) may be the cause of your difficulties but the good news is that one treatment takes care of them all, as outlined below:

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.

Does this make sense to you?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Many thanks for your detailed feedback. Would this explain the travel sickness feeling when reading/looking at screens - and sometimes driving (particularly at higher speeds)
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
Yes, it is possible that the intermittent blurriness from external/tear film problems could give you the travel sickness type feelings, especially if you are real sensitive to that sort of thing....