How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11411
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Dr. Rick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a 57 year old builder. Over the years I guess I have

Resolved Question:

hi I am a 57 year old builder. Over the years I guess I have had a fair share of dust etc entering my eyes. My eyes water a lot particularly in the cold or wind. Even air conditioning can make them uncomfortable. I have had a history of lower lashes curling into and rubbing the eyeball and have had these frozen (once ) which helped, but still occassionally reoccurs, particularly when I am tired. Lately I have noticed itching of my lower lids and a redness of the skin below my eyes. I do wear glasses for reading and had my eyes checked for glaucoma about 18months ago. At that stage I was told that unless I felt uncomfortable with the strength of my glasses there was probably no need to increase their strength. Can you tell me why my lids are itchy and what may be causing the redness beneath my eyes and what I could do to relieve this. Thank you David NZ
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
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 :

I know that the above treatment sounds too easy to work but, trust me, it does :)

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat. I was just in the process of answering your question.

Dr. Rick :

You must have stepped away from your computer. 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.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)

I hope that this information was helpful for you. Please, allow me get credit for my time and effort in assisting you and press the ACCEPT button for this assist. I will be glad to answer additional questions until you are satisfied. Thank you very much.

Positive Feedback and/or Bonus is welcomed and appreciated.


Thanks for that. Will the above help to return normal skin colour below the eyes as well.


what treatment does temporary punctal occlusion involve

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
You have stumped me on that one :( I don't know if your skin will return to a more natural color or not.....but your eyes will feel better :)
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Temporary punctal occlusion is where a plug made out of collagen is placed into your puncta (tear drainage channel) to stop the outflow of tears to see if this helps. The plug dissolves on it's own after a week or so.
These plugs are easily placed at the slit lamp in the ophthalmologist office.
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you