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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11417
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have been experiencing intense eye irritation, mostly in

Resolved Question:

I have been experiencing intense eye irritation, mostly in my right eye for the last week. The symptoms cycle--that is, it will seem to improve to almost normal and then become much worse. The symptoms are itching, watering, swelling of lids, redness, a little blurring that comes and goes and an intermittent feeling that something is in the eye.
5 of 7 mornings I have woken up the the eye glued shut. On Sunday it started to affect left eye as well, but not nearly as severely. Monday I saw my family doctor who said probably conjunctivitis- either viral, bacterial or allergy. She prescribed an antibiotic eye drop and recommended naphicon-a drops for comfort. This seemed to work Monday evening a most of Tuesday. Last night eye became more irritated. I woke at about 3am with right eye glued shut, used warm water to loosen, but then was unable to go back to sleep as my eye watered continously and felt as if it had grains in it. About 6 I went back to sleep for a little over an hour and awoke to more crusting, redness and swelling in both eyes.
I am leaving on vacation tomorrow and am hoping to resolve this problem. I will call family doc when office opens, but am hoping for guidance on what to try next? Thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

I agree with your family doc on one point: You most likely have viral conjunctivitis.

Dr. Rick :

You do not,however, need antibiotic drops. As you have already learned, all they tend to do is irritate your eyes more.

Dr. Rick :

Also, those naphcon A drops only make you eye worse. Stop using them .

Dr. Rick :

Here is how you treat this issue:

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like you have viral conjuctivitis. As this is a virus no antibiotics are necessary as they only treat bacteria, not viruses. You should use cold compresses and natural tears as often as you want to soothe your eyes. This infection usually runs its course in two weeks or so.

It is also very contagious so make sure to wash your hands well, don't share towels etc. It is likely that other members of your household will catch this.....But not to worry, in the vast majority of cases the infection resolves without any residual effects.

Dr. Rick :

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

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thankyou for your quick response. I am confused by the advice to use "natural tears"? My eyes is already constantly weeping-- to the degree that the skin around the eye is red and irritated as well. Is there anything I can do to treat the symptoms so that I can enjoy my vacation?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 4 years ago.
When your eyes are "dry" and irritated they make more tears....this is the "something is in my eye" mode of tear production, not the "my eye feels fine and I'm making tears to keep things moist" mode. The use of natural tears will help your eye turn off the flood of "something in my eye" tears that comes from your eyes being dry.
As such you should use the tear replacement drops to soothe your eyes. Do not use anything that says it is for "getting the red out" as these drops contains medication that will just irritate things more.
The tear replacement drops (there are many brand names and the cheapest work just fine) and cold compresses are the best therapy.
This infection just has to run it's course but you should feel better with this therapy.
Remember, this is very contagious so don't go infecting an entire other country lol!
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.
Enjoy your vacation :-)
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