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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11353
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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This is a story. So, in October of 2013, a coworker was out

Customer Question

This is a long story. So, in October of 2013, a coworker was out with pink eye. The next day, I woke up and both of my eyes were red, dry, and there was some goop coming out of them. Great, I'll make an eye doctor appointment. Doc said I didn't have pink eye; I had "some allergy." Recommended I take an allergy medication. Started taking Allegra, didn't really help. Eyes stayed red. (An air conditioner blows pretty much directly on me at work; I started that job in July 2013, it's worth mentioning.) Half-way through 2014, I had blood in my urine, and had to be put on doxycycline. Don't remember, but think this actually may have made my eyes improve. Not positive. Got sick around Christmas, had to take ibuprofen, seemed to improve my eyes a bit. I was a contact lens wearer for years, and it's frustrating that I can't rarely wear them. I did the other day for four hours, and my eyes weren't as bad as I thought, but I still can't wear them daily. Whenever I splash my eyes with cool water, goop comes out into the corners. It's like a light to medium yellow. I'm convinced it's a bacterial infection that was never treated. What do you think? I'm kind of really needing an answer. I'm tired of dealing with this, and don't want to lose my vision. I'm slightly sensitive to light.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today. Given your symptoms and the fact that doxycycline helped I believe I know what is going on. Please allow me to explain:
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. If this does not give relief then your eyelid opening can be made smaller with surgery (lateral Tarsorrhaphy).
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 is 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.
Does this make sense to you?
Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)
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.
Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the goop coming out of the corners of my eyes is not due to a bacterial infection? Also, I just ate two carrots, and my eyes started feeling less dry. Weird.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could a vitamin A deficiency be part of the problem?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Let me go over your new questions in order:
1. That is correct. I do not believe you have a bacterial infection that would require antibiotics
2. Yup. That is weird. ;)
3. I very much doubt it.
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 can please give me the top rating in all areas. It has been a pleasure to assist you today.
Thanks in advance,
Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
My pleasure.
Don't forget to mash the positive (excellent is the most fun to push) feedback button.....without this important step on your part the funds you left on deposit are not released and my kids will spend another cold winter barefoot ;)
Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)
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.
Dr. Rick MD FACS