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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11360
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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For the past 10 months, I have had a "leaky" eye. Clear

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For the past 10 months, I have had a "leaky" eye. Clear fluid welling up in the outer corner of my left eye. It would clear up on its own for several days and then reappear for several days. As of a few days ago, it seems to be worse in the right eye. No pus, or greenish gunk. Just clear tears. My eyes do feel dry and almost grainy/like there's sand inside. They sting a little at times.
I have tried several kinds of drops: Systane lubricant, Bausch and Lomb Dry Eye Rejuvenation and Similasan Irritated Eye Relief. Granted, I haven't used them regularly, but they haven't been particularly helpful. The Systane Lubrican and Similsan Irritated Eye Relief make my eyes sting.
I noticed that when I put a warm wet wash cloth over my eye for 15 minutes, it would clear up-- but didn't last. And it seemed to temporarily move to the other eye.
I'm not sure if it's allergies, a virus, etc. I'm not sure what to do. HELP! :)
Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
This is not a virus that is good news :)
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 and the use of a medication called restasis to improve your 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?
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
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This is great information, thanks! So basically I should do a few things: natural tears 4-6x's per day. Possibly restasis (what is that?) And using baby shampoo to clean the lids. And warm compresses-- what do you use for a warm compress? If I use a warm wash cloth, it's not warm after a while. And for how long? Thanks!

Restasis is a Rx eye drop that can help your eyes to make tears. I'd try the home therapy with lid scrubs first and then, if needed, ask your eye doc for a prescription. Restasis takes a few weeks to kick in anyway....
I would use a wet warm wash towel and put it in the microwave for a bit....but not too hot :) This way you can reheat it. Try to do this for at least 10 minutes at a time as often as your schedule allows during the day.
You will feel better in a few weeks -- perhaps not 100%, but better. :)
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.
Have a good evening.
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