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I had cataract surgery about two years ago. My eyes have

been bloodshot ever since. Most...
I had cataract surgery about two years ago. My eyes have been bloodshot ever since. Most afternoons, I get a low-grade headache and my eyes become very red. Within the past month, I notice a severe glare (like rays) from all light sources, including very dim ones. I am allergic to dust mites, cats, and dogs. Could all of these symptoms be related to my allergies or do you think I might have other problems?
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Answered in 56 minutes by:
1/5/2013
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3,343
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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When was the last time you saw your ophthalmologist?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
two months ago.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I had cataract surgery on my left eye in February 2011. Surgery on my right eye was in April 2012. The left eye has been red ever since. The right eye is not as bad. I brought this to the attention of my doctor and he said that it must be allergies that was causing the redness, prescribed Pataday eyedrops, and said that he would see me in 6 months.Not reassured by this and because my eyes are still red, I saw another opthamologist for a second opinion about 2 months ago.
What did the second ophthalmologist say about these problems? Do your eyes itch?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
The second doctor performed laser surgery because my vision was cloudy. This procedure worked and my vision was cleared. He had me try Lastacaft for the redness. When that did not work he tried another eyedrop (unfortunately, I could'nt find the bottle). This one did not work on the redness either. He prescribed new glasses which I purchased. He also told me that he would see me in 6 months.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
My eyes seem to be deteriorating because the redness is becomming worse. It always begins with the low-grade headache. Within the last month, I have noticed that all lights are very bright and seem to be emitting rays off them. When driving, all headlights seem to be on high-beam. My regular doctor had x-rays and a CT scan done and I've seen an ENT specialist to make sure that the problem was not caused by my sinsuses. My sinuses are fine.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
My regular doctor is in the process of scheduling me with a different Opthamologist and probably an Allergy Specialist to try and find a cause for my problems.
Unfortunately, not being able to examine you myself, I cannot say with any certainty what is causing your chronic red eyes. However, probably the most common reason for someone to have chronic red eyes after having had cataract surgery is that the eyes are dry. This can also be called a dysfunctional tear film syndrome. Let me elaborate on this. The eyes are always more dry and the tear film more dysfunctional after having eye surgery them prior to it.
People with a dysfunctional tear film can have multiple different symptoms ranging from redness, dull aching or pressure, sharp or stabbing pain, morning tearing, burning, and often eyelash mattering to tearing, stinging, itching, burning, a gritty/foreign-body senstation or just intermittent vision fluctuations. Their symptoms sometimes get better as the day progresses or they can often times worsen throughout the day, but they can get intermittent blurring when they use their eyes heavily in activities such as reading, watching TV, computer use or driving.
A dysfunctional tear film can be due to many different factors. Different medicines such as psychiatric medicines, antihistamines, cold medicines and others can contribute to a dysfunctional tear film.  Allergies in the eyes can also contribute (and or make worse). Some people have an innate deficiency in making their own tears (these people may also have other dry mucus membranes, such as their mouth, nasal passages, or genitalia). Any kind of eye surgery can actually cause and/or worsen this  Many people have an inflammation in the eyelids called blepharitis which causes the tear film that is supposed to coat the front of the eye to not function as well, and then the eyes dry out.
I would recommend  starting this treatment, while concurrently using artificial tears. everyday in the morning you should do two things: 1. hot compresses and 2. eyelid scrubs. You should do hot compresses for 5-10 minutes over each eye at the same time. It should be as hot as you can tolerate without burning your skin, massaging the eyelids while they are on there. Then, use either commercially available preparations or a dilute baby shampoo solution to scrub your eyelashes on all 4 eyelids. The commercially available preparations are called Ocusoft or Sterilid which are both over-the-counter eyelash scrubbing treatments. These cost more money but are quicker to use. Otherwise, the cheaper alternative is the dilute baby shampoo (4-5 drops Johnson's shampoo in 1/4 cup warm water), you will take the wipe (or dip a qtip in the dilute baby shampoo solution) and use that to scrub right on the eyelashes of each eyelid for 15 seconds. That will take 60 seconds when done to all 4 eyelids. The scrubbing is done right on the eyelid margin, where the eyelashes come out. After that, just splash some water on the eyes and you're done.
It does take about 3-4 weeks of doing this consistently every day before it really kicks in, so don't stop it thinking it's not working. Also the eyes are still significantly dry during this 3-4 weeks so I would recommend using artificial tears 4x/day in both eyes (one drop per application). After 4 weeks you should be able to start tapering off of the tears to as you need them.
Just doing the artificial tears, hot compresses and eyelid scrubs alone would likely start to help you after three or 4 weeks--but remember it could take this long of doing it everyday before you see a significant effect, so don't stop it thinking it's not working.
If you are a person that doesn't make their own tears very well, then you may also benefit from a prescription drop called Restasis, which actually modulates a person's immune system to help them make more of their own tears. This drop actually requires constant usage on a daily basis for at least 10-12 weeks before its effect kicks in (takes awhile to change the immune response in the body).
Because there are numerous reasons for dry eye, if not all the reasons that exist in one patient are treated, it can seem as though the ones that are being treated are providing no benefit. If you've tried these recommendations and still don't feel better then you should consider seeing a corneal specialist for a dry eye evaluation.
All of your symptoms can be from this very problem, that many times goes overlooked by eye doctors. Does that make sense?
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Thank you. I periodically us an eye lubricant, but not to this extent. I will try your solution and see how it works. You made no reference to the brighness (rays) from the lights. Will this work on that problem as well?
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I am now finding it very difficult to drive at night because of the light refraction from headlights. Even subdued light give of these rays.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I am also noticing very faint spots and wavy lines in my vision when I look at something closely like reading.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
That is about all I can tell you,
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
I will try your procedure and hopefully it works.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
will you need anything else from me?
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
waiting for reply.
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
waiting for reply
The light sensitivity and faint lines reading can also be symptoms of this tear film dysfunction so I suspect all of these would improve with these therapies. However, if you don't find sufficient improvement, I would seek an evaluation for dry eye from a corneal specialist.
I hope this has been helpful.
Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers.  Please rate your encounter with me by providing feedback; any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.  If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied.
My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Doctor Dan,
Your advice has been very helpful. In fact, it is the only informative feedback that I have been able to get about my condition. I have begun the procedures that you recommended and my eyes are feeling better even though they are still red. I will continue with these for your recommended period of time.In the meantime, am being scheduled to see a different Opthamologist as I have no confidence in the 2 that I have been with.Again, my thanks to you and hopefully this will give me some relief from my problem.Mary
I'm glad it has been helpful. I think if you continue doing these things the redness will also continue to improve as well.
Please rate your encounter with me by providing feedback; any positive feedback and/or bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated.  If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied.
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3,343
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Dr. Dan B.
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Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3,343
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