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: 11363
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

My mom's eyes are so painful, burning and slightly itchy

Customer Question

My mom's eyes are so painful, burning and slightly itchy that starts around 4 pm and gets better when it's dark, around 8 pm. Is this serious? Can she possibly loose her vision? What is the remedy? She is afraid she might be blind.
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 :

I do not believe, from what you have posted, that your mother has to worry about going blind from this.

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like she is suffering from an anterior segment/tear film issue. Many times, as we get older and especially after eye surgery the anterior surface of the eye starts to have difficulties. What can cause this? Well, there are a number of conditions but the most common are dry eyes (sounds like you are getting some treatment for this already) allergies and blepharitis....many times all three conditions act together to make you miserable. In order to solve her problem she needs to address all of these issues at the same time.

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. She may not be able to see this “gunk” herself, 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 she is waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect she can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.

Should her symptoms get worse, her vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so she should have a complete eye examination by her local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of her symptoms.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

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.

Dr. Rick :

I see you are in the chat room but I am unable to see anything you may be typing. It is possible that there is a problem with the chat function; we can switch to Q&A and continue our discussion there.

Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Are there any other concerns or issues you would like addressed on this topic?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
I am still here and available to discuss things further if you so desire. If not, please push the accept button.
Thanks :)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
is it a good idea to take her ER when tha pain comes so they can get an opthalmologist on call or we can wait for the office hours of ophthalmologist.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Going to the ER will be of very little value unless, as you stated, an ophthalmologist on-call can come and see her right away.
That being said, I don't think it is necessary to have an emergency exam....waiting for an office visit should be fine as any pathology that would cause pain will still be visible when the pain is not there.
Give the lid scrubs etc a chance and see how things go :)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you Dr. Rick. I appreciate your response.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
My pleasure. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.