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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11278
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I slept with my contacts in. i woke up and couldnt open my

Resolved Question:

I slept with my contacts in. i woke up and couldnt open my eyes for 4 hours because they burned so much. It is now 9:30 pm and they still are red and hurt alot. What do i do? ive tried eyedrops they arent working
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.

Customer:

Thank you so much

Customer:

i have a problem

Dr. Rick :

Are you eyes sensitive to the light? Do they feel like they have something in them? Are both eyes affected?

Customer:

yes they are sensitive to the light. today around noon when i went outside to drive i could only open one eye. and then i couldnt have either open from the light from the watering and the burning

Dr. Rick :

Also, did you manage to get your contact lenses out? I also assume that they are soft lenses, correct? (sorry for the 20 questions :)

Customer:

yes i took them off as soon as i woke up

Customer:

one is worse than the other. one is pink the other is completly red

Customer:

it burns and the one that is completly red hurts like im having sharp pains

Dr. Rick :

Do you eyes seem to be getting a little bit better as the day has progressed or are they worse as far as you can tell?

Customer:

my right eye has gotten better through the day. my left one remains the same

Dr. Rick :

Well, the problem is that contact lenses, especially sleeping in them and waking up with problems like you are having, is the number one cause of serious, possibly vision threatening, corneal infections (ulcers).

Customer:

well that worries me

Customer:

what do i do?

Customer:

am i going to go blind?! im worried

Dr. Rick :

Because a corneal ulcer, especially if it is caused by a virulent bacteria such as pseudomonas spp., can get a lot worse in just a few hours if left untreated I think you should get your eyes checked right away.

Dr. Rick :

No. You are not going to go blind.

Dr. Rick :

It might be that you just have caused a corneal abrasion and some mild keratitis/anterior uveitis (swelling inside your eye) and thing will be OK.....however, as I discussed above I wouldn't want to risk missing a bad infection.

Customer:

so i should go to the hospital?

Dr. Rick :

It would be best if you could call your ophthalmologist and see who is on call for the office and be seen tonight. If that is not possible I would call the nearest ER and ask them if they have an ophthalmologist on call who can see you in the ER....

Dr. Rick :

Being seen by a regular ER doctor is better then not being seen at all. They can give you some antibiotic eye drops but they really don't have the training or the equipment to diagnose this very well.....

Dr. Rick :

Where are you located in the US?

Customer:

Union, NJ

Dr. Rick :

OK. What size town in Union?

Customer:

im so worried i have 20/20 vision. i was using contacts for color such a stupid thing to do\

Customer:

what size is the town of union?

Dr. Rick :

ya.....Ophthalmologists see this all the time. People don't understand the risks, nor do the folks selling them many times.....

Customer:

the nearest hospital is overlook hospital in union should i call there?

Dr. Rick :

In any event, you have caught the problem early, and you most likely don't have the worst case corneal ulcer so you will most likely be just fine. However, as you can understand, the risks of delaying diagnosis and treatment if it is (on the remote but not uncommon possibility) a serious infection, the sooner you start with antibiotic eye drops the better.

Dr. Rick :

Yes. I think that would be a good idea. Did you get the contacts from an ophthalmologist, or do you have a regular ophthalmologist you can call to see if they have an on-call doctor who can examine your eyes?

Customer:

im going to the hospital now.

Dr. Rick :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne? Do not panic. You are already doing the right thing by not ignoring this issue until the morning.....

Customer:

thank you so much for your time

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Let me know how things turn out or if I can do anything else to help you. Think positive, OK? OK.

Customer:

this is one time charge of 54 dollars correct?

Dr. Rick :

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


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Dr. Rick :

Yes. And if you want or need to talk to me more I'll be happy to do that at no additional charge :)

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