A patient asked me today if his chronic red eyes really "mean anything". When I asked him what he meant, he said that his eyes feel better due to the dry eye treatment with Restasis, but that the redness had not completely resolved. This lead us to a pretty interesting discussion about red eyes, local diseases of the eye, and what systemic (whole body) problems can lead to red eyes.To put it in simplest form, redness is a sign of irritation. This can be due to dry eyes, allergies, infection, or inflammation, and can range from mild to severe. Many patients do not even feel that there is a problem, but notice redness when they look in the mirror.The first line of treatment is to use soothing lubricant drops, or artificial tears. Visine and other 'get the red out' drops are only to be used occasionally, not long-term, but tears can be used forever if they are working. If tears and other local treatments are not working, then other causes should be considered. Thyroid disease can be link
It's that season again...itchy eye season. The spring and fall are the times when our eyes are most reactive to airborn allergy elements. Pollen, grass, ragweed, hay fever....all of these can trigger allergic reactions in peoples' eyes. And let's not forget blepharitis, the most common eye problem seen in most eye doctor's offices. Many patient use over-the-counter allergy drops, but most eye doctors don't recommend them.Treatment of allergic conjunctivitis, or 'allergy eyes' is an art. Sometimes, simple application of lubricating eyedrops is all that is needed. Other times more aggressive measures are the answer. Occasionally, patients even need steroid eye drops.In general, the fist step is to apply lubricating drops during the day, and use lid hygeine in the evening. This may be all that is needed to help alleviate symptoms. If this does not work, a visit to the doctor is needed to figure out the next step.Prescription drops f
NBC's 'Nightly News' recently teased one of their stories with the statement that this year may be our worst year for allergies EVER. The story went on to explain that high levels of rain lead to more plant growth, and thus more pollen and other allergens in the air.
My staff and I can certainly lend some credence to the statements made on that TV show! We are seeing a very high frequency of allergic conjunctivitis or 'allergy eyes' in our office this spring.
Allergies cause a pretty classic set of symptoms, of which itching is the most common. Redness of the white of the eye, and eyelids is also pretty typical, along with a white discharge and some tearing. Both eyes are usually equally involved, and there may also be light sensitivity in some patients.
Treatment consists of cool compresses to ease the itching and artificial tears to rinse out the mucous and the pollens and other allergens that may be the cause of the problem. Prescription eyedrops are more effective th
In an eye doctor's office, not a day goes by without a patient complaining of itchy eyes. This is because itching is the most common way in which the eye indicates inflammation, regardless of the cause. Allergic conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and contact lens-related inflammation can all cause itching.
The most common cause of itching is blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes. Patients will often indicate that the eyelids are also slightly swollen and red. They will also have crusting or mattering at the base of the eyelashes. Some patients call this 'crystalized eyelids', and they will often need a warm washrag to clean their eyelids when they wake up in the morning.
Blepharitis may be linked to allergies, normal bacteria that we all have on our eyelids, skin conditions such as excema or rosacea, or may not have an obvious cause.
The first-line therapy for blepharitis is to cleanse the eyelids daily with a dilute solution of baby shampoo. Commerci