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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11270
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My question is two-fold with dermatology and chemical reaction

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My question is two-fold with dermatology and chemical reaction (or allergy) to a one time use of a botanical facial cream. My eyes were affected with a reaction on Dec. 19, 2012 and are still red, still sore, and still hurt. I have used systane eye drops and hydrocortisone 1%. Shortly after the reaction started, I rinsed my eyes with water, but to date, aside from having some of the read disappear, have had little change on how my eyes feel. I do believe my vision has also been somewhat decreased. After seeing my eye doctor for my complete regularly scheduled exam, I did not, however, get a recommendation for a significant change in lenses for my glasses. Is the Systane o.k. to continue using (in the past, I've been told that regular use can cause eye damage, as well)? What else can I do to alleviate the soreness and pain, as well as, get the dark discoloration under my eyes to dissipate. For the under eye area, I have been using ice. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
You can safely use the systane for as long as you want. It will not damage your eyes at all.
I am, however, concerned about the long duration of the redness and irritation you are having.
Were you examined by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist?
Did they give you any idea why your eyes are so irritated?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My eye Dr. is an ophthalmologist. He is telling me I am to use the Systane for dry eyes. It has been suggested I use the Systane in the past, but I have never had the level of discomfort that I am having since used the botanical cream. My condition is being referred to as an allergic reaction and most likely a chemical reaction.
It is unfortunate that it has been going on for so long.
I think you would benefit from adding some home therapy in addition to what you are already doing. Here is a handout that I put together that I think may help you.
Some of these issues may not apply to your particular circumstances, but I'd like you to pay particular attention to the home treatment. Here is the information:
It sounds like you are suffering from an anterior segment/tear film issue. Many times, for all sorts of reasons, 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, allergies and blepharitis....many times all three conditions act together to make you miserable. In order to solve your problem you need to address all of these issues at the same time.
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.
I understand that this treatment seems a bit "too low tech" to be of value, but after 2 decades of clinical practice, I can assure you (even from personal experience :) that it, does indeed, work.
Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?
I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.
Thanks in advance,
Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for formulating the response. I will begin using your suggestions right away. What you say makes sense, but I hope surgery won't be necessary.
My pleasure. I hope you feel better soon.
It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.
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