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Just got back from the ophthamologist. Told him my only

Just got back from the...
Just got back from the ophthamologist. Told him my only problem was bleary vision which cleared by blinking. He said dry eyes were common at my age, 73, and I should get over the counter artificial tears. I am Type II diabetic, controlled, and with no retinal damage.
But on reading up on dry eyes I see none of my symptoms listed, such as irritation, scratchy, redness, etc. Bleariness is not listed as a symptom.
So whas up? Did he jump to an incorrect diagnosis? Or do I need to research further.
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Answered in 4 hours by:
12/12/2011
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,656
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

I agree with your ophthalmologist. From what you have told me the most likely cause for your symptoms is dry eyes. Unfortunately this issue often goes hand in hand with other conditions such as allergies and blepharitis.

Dr. Rick :

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 :

One of the reasons that the pig eye medicine made your vision worse is because it is very thick and made to stay in the eye.

Dr. Rick :

Since it is so thick it does a great job of protecting the eye for an extended period of time....but it will make your vision worse until it works its way out.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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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.


Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
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Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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