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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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My eyes have begun getting increasingly red, starting about

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Hello - My eyes have begun getting increasingly red, starting about a year ago.
There is no pain, itchiness, swelling, discharge or blurred vision - just the redness. I have slight rosacea on my face and have recently learned that there is such a thing as rosacea of the eye, which should be treated quickly before it worsens. I've also heard that untreated uveitis can do major damage if left untreated. I also
had a full thyroidectomy in late 2005 and have been on a high, 200mcg daily cancer suppressive dose of Synthroid ever since, simulating hypothyroidism as a hedge against cancer regrowth. Even though I know natural hypothyroidism can cause Grave's disease, with redness of the eye, (with or without bulging), I don't know if artificially-induced hypothyroidism can do the same - - - I've had no eye redness presenting until last year, 2010 - so I'm wondering if my high dose of Synthroid is cumulatively damaging to my eyes, in a way similar to Grave's disease. I'm also having a difficult peri-menopause. I'm almost 53 yrs. old and my hormones are fluctuating a lot. Hot flashes are terrible, but have subsided sporadically whenever my body resumes menstruation, every 3 to 5 months. Between the hot flashes and the high Synthroid, my blood pressure fluxuates between normal and stage 1 hypertension every day - high in the morning, then fluxuates between normal and med. high the rest of the day. It may be that my during-sleep bp is even further off, (too high or too low, as per AION or NAION possibly occuring while I sleep). I also have untreated sleep apnea which could greatly contribute to AION or NAION, if either are present in my case. To try to improve my apnea and my overall health, I've been losing weight, very healthfully, (lemon juice and water detox for 2 hours each morning, then normal meals the rest of the day. Do balanced cardio/strength training and take nature walks 2 days on, 1 day recovery). Have gone down from 240lbs to 225lbs in 6 weeks - (my frame is 5'8" tall - fine-boned). Because I'm losing weight, even though slowly and healthfully, I'm wondering if the slow, mild lemon juice and water detox I do each morning, specifically, and/or the weight loss, in general, could be causing toxins to be released for removal so quickly that my liver is stressed - or that parasites might be experiencing a die-off or a migration. (Even though my eyes began getting red a year ago, they've gotten worse faster since I began eating more healthfully and losing weight slowly and safely!!) There's also the possibility that my improperly metabolized estrogen is clogging my liver. I know that the rosacea, sleep apnea, occassinally medium high blood pressure and the high Synthroid dose might also play a role in my eyes becoming redder by the day - but I'd like to know which of these many potential causes, in your opinion, is the most reponsible for my eye redness? Looking forward to your answer, thanks - Sarah, Los Angeles
Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

I see that you are offline. We can use the Q&A system to 'text message' each other. An email will be sent to each of us every time something is posted to this thread.

I am still here and available to work on your question.
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Hi. You accepted too soon! I am still here so let's get working on an excellent answer for you, ok?
First off, I do not believe that your high dose of synthroid is damaging your eyes as Graves disease would. Graves is an autoimmune disease and is not caused by the level of thyroid hormone in your blood.
AION and NAION do not cause external redness of the eye, so I think you are OK on this issue also.....
I am glad you are loosing weight and exercising, but lemon juice and water "detox" is not stressing your liver and I very much doubt that you have parasites that are dying during migration around your body.
I am sorry you are not happy with my service and gave me negative feedback. As you can see, since your post is rather long and involved, I am trying to go through your issues one at a time and am posting my thoughts right now.....
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Dr. Rick - it wasn't that I wasn't happy with your service, it was just that the way the site is constructed seemed to elude me - I'm highly, highly low tech - pretty smart, but my smarts are mainly in high CONCEPT, low tech - - - so, from how I was able to navigate this site, I wasn't able to see an answer from you other than that you were willing to chat more about it - but felt the site was coralling me into 'accepting' an answer when, so far, the answer hadn't really been given to me. I don't think this is your fault at all - just a matter of a not-completely-user-friendly site, from my end, and doing the best I could to let you know I wasn't accepting an offer of chat as a full answer, yet was still trying to keep our lines of communication open, in the hopes that a fuller answer was pending. Didn't know how else to do that but to 'accept' an answer, so I could move to the next phase, but also to post a negative, only to confirm that I hadn't really received an answer, per se. THANK YOU for responding now, though - as you have done. Yes, my issues seem many, but are probably no more in number than the average 53 year old peri-menopausal woman, post-thyroidectomy - it's just that perhaps I'm more atuned than the average person to the many things going on in my body - all simultaneously - and how they might individually, or in the aggregate, cause a problem like the red eyes I'm experiencing. I understand that because I've listed so many of the things I've already researched that could be causing this alarming symptom, it may take you a while to sort out which of them might be most responsible for my red eyes. Thank you for your willingness to continue reviewing those possible underlying causes, and I am willing to become a paying member on this site, whenever that phase necessitating payment, is reached. I can't tell from the site info whether I've been charged yet or not - don't mind being charged, but it would be better if the site were more clear on exactly when - at what phase of discourse with a Dr. - I will be charged. Anyway, guess I'll find out sooner or later - happy to pay, in any case - in the meantime, I really appreciate you researching my sypmptom in terms of so many single-root, or combination-root causes there might be. Thanks again, so much - looking forward to your next, more in-depth reply - Sarah from Los Angeles
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** When you said I 'accepted too soon' - I see now that you're right, but I didn't know how else to move to the next phase, while still keeping our lines of communication open. I felt sort of coralled, not by you, but by how this site is constructed, to 'accept' an answer, when really the only answer I'd been given, to that point, was that there wasn't an answer yet, but that you'd be available to chat. So, I tried to move to the chat phase by 'accepting' - waited an hour for a chat response, then finally had to go to bed, and now it's about 10 hours later. Sorry - I know this is my fault - I'm highly, highly low tech - pretty smart, but my smarts are in high CONCEPT, low tech, so my fecklessness at properly navigating this site is, I'm sure, the source of most of our communication problems. I do appreciate that the many issues I'm facing right now, all of which could effect my eyes, seem many - but probably are no more numerous than the average 53-year old, peri-menopausal, post-thyroidectomy woman. It may just be that I'm more atuned, aware and better-researched than the average person regarding the many issues I'm facing that could effect my eyes - and I know this makes my notes to you longer and harder to slog through, but ultimately, gives you more info to work with and more info upon which to base a really good opinion. Don't mind paying or waiting for your answers - just wish I knew how to better navigate this website. I'd rather pay for a monthly plan, than pay for each question you answer and that I accept, individually - as I'm now worried might be taking place. Should I join as a monthly member now, to prevent the latter from happening, or are we still at the no-charge phase? Please advise. In any case, thank you so much for your research so far on my issues, and I eagerly await more responses from you. I've ready some of your responses about what you think the root causes might not be, still hoping to hear some opinions from you as to what root causes might be causing my red eyes. Thanks again, so much! Sarah, Los Angeles, CA