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Ask Dr. Dan B. Your Own Question
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Accidentally fell asleep in contact lenses the other night,

Customer Question

Accidentally fell asleep in contact lenses the other night, took the contacts out soon as I got up, within a hour or two, my left eye got really red and very sensitive to light, started to water during the day every 15 min or so. I didn't get any sleep last night except for 2 hours due to my eye burning whenever I closed it. Today my left eye is a little red & is blurry... I've heard of "CLARE"
Contact Lense Acute Red Eye. Please help, what do I need to do for treatment. I've already thrown out my contacts lenses & am wearing my glasses. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question. The most important thing for you to do, to stay out of your contact lenses for now, you've already done. I would recommend using preservative free artificial tears such as Refresh or Systane every hour while you're awake. A cool compress can help your eye feel better as well as ibuprofen and or Tylenol. However, it's very likely that there is some inflammation or possibly even infection accounting for your symptoms; contact lens related infections can be very serious. For this reason I would make sure to go see an ophthalmologist as soon as you're able. Does this make sense? I will be in and out of surgery cases all day long so I will check back with you in a few minutes to see if you responded or if you have any other questions.
I am happy to be able to help you today. If you need any clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns as you voice them. If your concerns have been resolved...
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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!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So basically, I need to go back to my eye doctor where I received the exam & contacts?
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 2 years ago.
Hmmm...Probably not so much. I'm assuming the eye doctor that gave you the exam and contact lenses was an optometrist, with the letters OD after his name. For these contact lens related infections, you really need to see and ophthalmologist, with the letters MD after their name. I am such an ophthalmologist and I went to medical school and this is the type of thing retreat all day long. The optometrist almost universally does not have the experience to properly treat these infections. For complex medical problems of the eye you really need to be treated by an ophthalmologist.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So you recommend going to see an opthamologist?.
that sounds expensive, could I go see my Doctor instead?
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 2 years ago.
I hope it wouldn't be too expensive. However, while you can certainly go see your regular primary care doctor or optometrist, I can tell you with virtual certainty that neither of them have the experience necessary to handle the complexities of a contact lens infection and there's a very realistic chance you would put your vision and eye at risk of permanent vision loss and damage if you did. Sorry to sound so drastic, it is normally not in my nature. However if you were my family member I would absolutely insist. There is just too much at stake and these can be very serious infections.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just got back from the Opthamologist and he prescribed 2 different medicated eyedrops, one of which I instill 1 drop every hour & the other drops I instill 1 drop every 2 hours. I forgot to ask him one question though.
Will it clear up my blurryness in the left eye???
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
2 long 2 reply
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately that's difficult to tell. It sounds like he put you on an antibiotic (hourly drop) and then a cycloplegic (dilating drop) to help with pain twice daily. If the blurriness was there before you started taking the twice daily drop, then it's likely because of the infection that your vision is blurry. If the infection is in the more central part of the cornea and the infection completely resolves without scarring, then yes, the blurriness would be expected to resolve. If the vision didn't get blurry until after you started the twice daily drop, then I would certainly expect it to resolve because that dilating drop blues the vision reliably and that stops once the drop is stopped. It is possible, though, that the blurriness could be from the area of the infection occupying a central part of the cornea and if the infection scars over through thr healing process, this could potentially permanently blur the vision.