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I have a tendency toward eye infections and...

Resolved • Response time 1 minute

1 Apr 2013

I have a tendency toward eye infections and started to take 40 mg of doxycycline once a day about a year ago. Since then I have had no infections but about 3 wks ago my left eye turned very red. I used Tobradex drops for about 2 weeks (4x a day) which cleared up the problem but as soon as I stopped using the drops the redness came back. I have no pain, practically no itching, and no change in vision. My other eye is fine. What might be going on? And what can I do about it?
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1 Apr 2013

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Eye Doctor's response
1 Apr 2013
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist
Is there any discharge from you eye? Is the entire eyeball red or is it kinda localized to one area?
1 Apr 2013
Customer reply
1 Apr 2013
The entire eyeball is red and there is a little bit of pale yellow discharge.
1 Apr 2013
Eye Doctor's response
1 Apr 2013
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ok. Thanks for that extra information. With your history it sounds like you are now suffering from an anterior segment/possibly dry eye issue. And you are right...you can't keep taking the tobradex forever....but there is a home therapy you can start that, in addition to your doxycycline (if you still want to take it) will clear things up and make you feel a lot better. Here is some information on what you can do....(not all the disease issues may apply to your current situation) 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. 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. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles. Thanks in advance, Dr. Rick MD FACS
Customer rating:
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist
Avg. question only $38
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
1 Apr 2013
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