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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11316
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I am 85 years old. Last Monday, in the heat I walked several

Customer Question

I am 85 years old. Last Monday, in the heat I walked several blocks after washing my hair and it was windy. I am susceptible to wind on my head and when I got home I started having symptoms of a sinus infection. It got steadily worse on Tuesday with only a 99.0 temp once with normal temp since. I have heavy pressure on my nose and sore throat under the roof of my mount and some in the throat, severe until today but still with some residue. Wednesday I had discharge from both eyes which was white when liquid but dried in the corner. Today, both eyes are very bloodshot. The pressure on the nose with itchy feelings in the sinuses on either side of the nose, itchy eyes and the blood shot appearance. How is it determined if the redness is conjunctivitas or from a virus or sinus?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
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’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.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can a case of dry eyes come on that fast?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Can a case of dry eyes come on that fast
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 6 years ago.
You have a very good point. And, no, dry eyes don't just "come on" fast like that. What does happen, however, is that you can be just on the edge of having symptoms from the issues discussed above when something comes along -- like a strong wind -- and shoves you over the cliff into a world of symptoms.
Does this make sense?
Try the above treatments for at least 3 or 4 weeks every day.....I bet you will see some improvement :)