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One of my eyes tears non-stop all day for a couple of weeks

One of my eyes tears...

One of my eyes tears non-stop all day for a couple of weeks now and it seems the other eye is starting to do the same. I wake up and both eyes are crusty and caked. The eyelid near the eyelash is red and swollen on one and and slightly on the other. Both eyes are bloodshot and drops seem to do nothing. I actually went to a dr to get drops to treat what might have been pink eye but they did nothing. I've also gotten a tiny whitehead on my eyelid at the eyelash line as well. What gives?

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Answered in 16 minutes by:
4/11/2013
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,657
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
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.
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. Does this make sense?
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. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.
Thanks in advance,
Dr. Rick MD FACS
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,657
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I understand what you are saying. The "something in my eye feeling" occurs just about daily at night. The tearing is more pronounced during the day but don't really have that feeling much. I've read about blepharitis symptoms and that sounded pretty accurate. I've seen sterilid or ocusoft recommended as well. Any preference between these or the baby shampoo?

Jeff,
You know, after 20 years of practice I think baby shampoo on your wet fingers works a lot better then either of those products -- and your fingers are already paid in full :)
But if those products would be more convenient for you, they both are about the same so....buy the least expensive one.
Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me ;)
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.
I hope you feel better soon.
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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
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Satisfied Customers: 11,657
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