Eye Health & Eye Conditions
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
Eye Health & Eye Conditions
A couple years ago I was hit in the eye hard with a blunt
object. (I was playing with my one year old.) I went to the
emergency room and soon after saw an eye specialist. My eye
healed well and I'm ridiculously lucky in where it happened
(so they tell me), even though I lost my 20/20 vision as a
result. So now I have this problem that if I open that eye
too quickly from sleeping, it will rip my eye. It's an
extremely sharp pain and will take almost an entire day for
the pain to go away again. It's like the slippery layer on
the eye never healed correctly and so now it sticks to my
eye lid. I've tried putting lubricant drops in my eye before
bed, but it doesn't help (doesn't last until morning). I've
also tried the thicker stuff too, but I'm not really any
good with putting it in and keeping my eye closed until I'm
asleep. I just don't work that way. Has anybody had any
related experiences with this type of thing? Any ideas of
new ways to deal with this issue? Anything would be
This might work for you. I had lens-replacement surgery
years ago and the doctor told me to take 1-2 teaspoons of
fish oil daily on an ongoing basis to prevent dry eyes
(which had been a problem for me prior to the surgery as
well). Not only did it solve my dry, itchy eye problem, but
it makes my skin look 10 years younger. He said that he does
not know why, but his experience is that the capsules do not
work well. One must take the liquid form of the fish oil. We
use Carlson (Norwegian) which is tested for heavy metal
content and comes in various flavors (lemon, etc). It is
available in health food stores, Berkeley Bowl, and the like
(keep in refrigerator). I simply swallow a spoonful, though
my husband likes it mixed into yogurt. My surgeon also said
that the only drawback is that you are adding a few calories
to your daily diet so you need to be aware of that and, if
necessary, cut back a little elsewhere.
Google ''Recurrent Corneal Erosion''. I was recently
diagnosed with this at the UC Optometry Clinic during a
routine eye exam. Mine is not painful and does not require
treatment though it does make me sensitive to light. The
optometrist told me that cells on the surface of the cornea
are sloughing off, perhaps due to an injury, causing the
cornea to stick to the eyelid after the eyes have been
closed for a while. He said it can be very painful. There
are ointments available. Make an appointment with an
optometrist - they can tell whether this is the problem when
they examine your eyes. UC is great and I recommend it.
I hope that helps.
I don't know if this would work but what if you wore an eye patch to bed so you
couldn't open your eye suddenly in the morning. Then put in eye drops as you
first open your eye. Maybe buy some pirate pajamas to go with?
Arrgh eye pain is no fun
Go to the UC Berkeley eye clinic and see Dr. Robert
DiMartino who has trained many of the eye doctors in the
area that went to UC. If he can't help you he will know who
can. They also have a specialty clinic there for unusual eye
problems that he will refer you to for extensive testing if
deemed helpful and necessary. Dr. DiMartino is a great guy
with a good sense of humor and very very knowledgeable.
What you described is called recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) which can
be an ongoing problem after an eye injury. I'm so sorry how much pain
you have to endure. However, you really should go see an eye doctor
(corneal specialists or medically trained optometrists) because each
episode means your cornea has just been compromised with a risk of an
eye infection, which is far more serious than RCE itself. There are
numerous treatments depending on individual situations. Besides treating
the immediate episode, the doctor might suggest to use Muro128 -a 5%
solution during the day & ointment at night, ''bandage contact lens'' to
avoid erupting the layer, or opt for minor procedures such as removing the
loose problematic tissue by cotton tip or laser, or purposely create some
minor scars to anchor the outermost layer of your cornea, or something
else I'm not aware of. Meanwhile, I would suggest to gently dab/massage
the eyelids prior to open eyes, and try not to open eyes too quickly. Hope
I'd make sure to go to an ophthalmologist (M.D.) over an optometrist, not an
M.D. but someone who has expertise in glasses and contact lens
prescriptions, especially for a recurrent eye problem.
Dear Anonymous who responded that the question asker should only seek care
from an ophthalmologist (MD) because optometrists only fit glasses and
contacts: you are incorrect. Optometrists do not just fit glasses and contacts.
They take care of chronic problems including recurrent corneal erosions (which
often utilize contact lenses during the treatment process, but I digress), along
with other health issues related to eyes. What optometrists do not do is surgery-
-like cataract removal, or blepharoplasty, or scleral buckles for retinal
optometrist who treats recurrent corneal erosions and other eye diseases all the
I would go to the UC optometry center and get an appt with one of the the
resident teaching doctors there, not a student. It sounds a bit like you may
have either scar tissue or a small flap on the surface. My wife had a tiny
flap from an injury and they had to remove it, then they had her wear a
contact and use drops for a week and then it was better.
I have recently developed a strong sensitivity to light
causing me considerable pain/discomfort and keeping me
indoors too much. The opthamologist had no suggestion
other than saline drops. I would appreciate hearing about
any relief anyone has had from this type of problem:
homeopathic? herbal? other? thanks.
I have had this problem throughout the years. For me, I find it is much
worse when I am around a lot of indoor fluorescent lighting. The bulbs
in the fluorescent lights make a difference, and my employer has
always been good about putting the daylight kind in my office. I'm also
just super careful about always carrying sunglasses. Good luck - I
know it hurts!
hope you find relief
Make sure that your doctor checks your eye pressures for glaucoma, of which
light sensitivity is a classic symptom. If they haven't ruled out glaucoma, go get
tested right away because if you have high eye pressures, the longer you wait the
more damage is done.
My eyes have gotten a lot more light sensitive in recent
years. I have always been sensitive to light but I find that
now I can no longer tolerate overhead fluorescent lighting -
it hurts! So I keep the lighting low in my office with table
lamps instead of overhead lights and at home I have a couple
of lamps that still use incandescent lights instead of
fluorescent. I always wear dark sunglasses outside and have
an extra pair in the car. It's probably a good idea to have
an eye exam and discuss with an optometrist too. In my case,
I'm just sensitive to light.
I have been extremely sensitive to light my entire life, and
got (diagnosed) migraines for months after moving to SF from
New York City. I don't any more, so you could become
somewhat more light-tolerant. Buy the best pair of
sunglasses you can afford, wear a hat if you like the look,
get yourself some ibuprofen and take that (stronger effect
if with coffee), and plan on living with it.
People cope w much worse things
it doesn't appear you got a diagnosis for your recent light
sensitivity. have you considered the possibility that this
could be migraine? that is a classic symptom of migraine.
just a thought....
Photophobia is a symptom of many different diseases or can
be a side effect of certain drugs or medications, including
botox. If your eye doctor did not find anything physically
wrong then I'd suggest following up with a doctor to rule
out another cause such as migraines, Sjogren's disease etc.
Think of any other new symptoms going on so that you can
give a full report. After that, I'd consider seeing an
acupuncturist who will factor in subtle symptoms
holistically and be able to prescribe herbs. It might even
be due to a new food or spice you are consuming. I've
experienced this myself and finally figured out it was from
too much nutmeg (I had concurrent hypersomnia). Anything
over-done can be toxic. Most likely it is a passing problem,
I caught pink-eye for the first time in my life after my daughter had it, took
the antibiotics...but MONTHS later I still have this wierd eye issue. My eye
itches right at the lash line and sometimes the area swells, and I can
actually see fluid under the skin. Again - only at the eyelash area. And
very rarely, a tiny, tiny bit if gunk right at eyelashes.
Anyone ever experienced anything like this? What kind of care did you
get? I want it to go AWAY!
Want to wear makeup again
It sounds like you have ''blufferitis''. It is best treated by using a warm
compress on your eyes, especially in the morning. Also using a very mild
cleanser on your eye lid. This should help a lot but it can take a while to
completely go away.
Yike, sweetie!: If I were you - and probably others will say
this - I'd go to my eye doctor right away.
BTW, I went to my optometrist's a few weeks ago for dry and
irritated eyes. He gave me a special cleanser for cleaning
right at the lash line. Other advice that is good for your
situation too: hot compresses and take fish oil supplements.
But don't rely on that; get it checked out! (And take pre
and pro-biotics for after those antibiotics - your surrogate
mum speaking here, lol)
Yep, blepharitis. You can gently clean your lashes and lids with baby shampoo
on a Q-tip or washcloth. If it's real bad you might need antibiotic drops, But to
keep it from coming back it's the eyelash/lid cleaning that counts.
For the last 5 years I have had pterygium in my eye and it has
been growing into my cornea. I have been seeing an
opthalmologist who is considering surgically removing the growth
but he mentioned that there is a 50% chance that the pterygium
will return. Does anyone have experience with the surgery and
did the pterygium come back? I am an active mom of 2 and I'm
concerned that this will affect my vision as it is affecting my
way of life with chronic eye irritation and redness. Any advice
will be extremely helpful.
My eye is always red
My husband has pterygium in both of his eyes. His first surgery
was in the early 1990 s with an eye specialist in El Cerrito.
Unfortunately, his pterygium grew back almost immediately. We
saw Dr. Daniel Goodman in San Francisco a few years later. He s
a cornea specialist which is so important when you re dealing
with something like pterygium. My husband had another surgery
with him and this time it didn t grow back. A few years later,
he had surgery on the other eye and unfortunately it did grow
back and he'll probably go back in for another surgery. So it s
hard to say. I understand pterygirum can be pretty aggressive
little boogers. It s not bothering his vision, which is the
most important thing, but like you, his eyes are always red. If
your insurance can cover it, I would recommend at least a visit
to Dr. Goodman to discuss your situation further with him. He s
the best in his field. Good luck!
yes, it could grow back, but it might not. if it is causing you
significant discomfort, have it removed.
Hello! Yes, pterygiums have a very high rate of recurrence post-
surgery. There are certain surgical techniques that are supposed
to increase chances of non-recurrence, but there are mixed
opinions about these. My question to you is: are you doing
everything possible to prevent growth/redness? You need to be
lubricating your eye a lot--Artificial tears during the day.
Systane or Soothe is best if you don't wear contacts. Ophthalmic
ointment at bedtime. No Visine or anything to try to get the red
out of your eyes. Always wear sunglasses when outside--wrap
around is best. Always protect your eyes from sun and wind
exposure (use sunglasses, cap with visor, etc.) If your
pterygium isn't that big, and you can get it to settle down, and
you don't mind it cosmetically, you wouldn't need surgery.
I've heard that various types of eye exercises, such as the
natural eye sight system, have been successful in building up eye
muscles and improving eye sight. Does anyone have advice on such
systems or recommendations about clinics/practitioners who
specialize in eye exercises?
Eye exercises do really work. you might want to contact Meir Schneider
of '' School for Self Healing'' in SF.( www.self- healing.org ) aside
from doing consultations, he teaches ''Yoga for the eyes'' based on Dr.
I'm a former student of Meir and know for a fact that eye exercises are
helpful in relaxing the eyes, improving vision and helping in other
conditions as macular degeneration, cataracts, etc...
3-year-old's eyes water like CRAZY sometimes
OK, no lectures about letting our child watch TV please, but
here's my question: Sometimes when my 3-year-old boy watches
TV, his eyes tear up and water like CRAZY. It seems to only
happen sometimes, not all the time, when watching TV. I'm
working on a theory that it's when it's something he really
likes (Wild Kratts on PBS, Toy Story movies) and he forgets
to blink or something. But I don't know. Has anyone ever
experienced this? It just seems so weird. I'm not overly
concerned about it because he's not camped out in front of
the TV constantly anyway, but it is just so strange and I've
never heard of this happening and it doesn't seem to have
been asked in this forum before.
--TV is not evil, though it has its lacrimal challenges
Everyone's blink reflex goes down when doing a visually demanding task like
working on a computer, playing a video game, or watching TV. If the eyes get
dry enough, they can 'reflex tear'' meaning that the lacrimal gland will
overproduce tears for a while to compensate for the dry eye. It should be easy
to convince yourself that this is what is going on with your child--just count
the number of times he blinks during one of the shows you mention usually
brings it on. kids usually blink fewer times per minute than adults anyway.
However, a ''normal'' blink rate should be somewhere around 15 blinks per
minute (in an adult) and reduces to about 5 if doing something visually
Now, what can you do to get your kid to blink more--ha! tell me if you come
up with something. Here's a better question--does it hurt his eyes somehow
to blink less and then reflex tear? No.
Only other thing to point out is that it is somewhat unusual for a child to
such dry eyes from non-blinking that they reflex tear. You may want to look
at the environment too--is he sitting right under a vent of some sort which is
causing the eye to dry out even more. Also, some people have drier eyes than
others and sometimes for reasons that can be fixable--may want to get your
child a routine eye exam.
My 2-year-old does the same. I often wonder if maybe her
sight is bad? It's worth getting an eye test just to be sure.
Could be blepharitis. It's due to waxy oils blocking the
outlets that normally drain ones normally constantly
flowing tears. Sometimes washing the eyelids (with them
closed) with baby shampoo can cure it. Also warm
compresses are good.
My eyes pour water at random times
My eyes will pour out water at seemingly random times, as though
I'm crying, but it often seems unrelated to anything-not even
because my eyes are stinging. It can be a bit much, and I'll
need to dab my eyes constantly for 30 minutes or more, otherwise
I'll look like I've been sobbing nonstop. Does anybody have any
ideas of how to stop this? or is this something I should be
worried about? The optometrist I went to (who was not very
attentive) dismissed it. Thanks!
I think you need a new eye doctor. Check out these sites for
I have a small white raised bump on the side of my nose up by my
eye. I thought is was a white head, tried to pop it, nothing
happened. I've had it for about a month now and someone told me
it could be a calcium deposit. What is a calcium deposit? Does
anyone know what I can do to get rid of it and prevent others
from showing up?
It is probably a milia. You can poke it with a sterilized pin and
squeeze the contents out (keratin, not calcium). It won't come back.
They can't be prevented but are super easy to get rid of. If you don't
feel comfortable treating it yourself, your primary care doctor can do
it. Of course, the usual disclaimer applies - without seeing it I can't
know what it is, but milia are very common, especially on the face
around the eyes, and appear just as you describe - tiny white bumps that
look a bit like pimples, but without the inflammation. They are not
dangerous. Check out
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001367.htm, a google
search will find you several other web sites also. I couldn't find one
with a picure.
My 3-1/2 yo son's right eye is noticeably smaller than his left
eye. The size difference seems to be getting more noticeable as
he grows. When I asked his pediatrician about the difference at
his 3yo well-child checkup, she said it was not a medical
concern unless the lid was overhanging the pupil and interfering
with his sight, which it is not. For obvious reasons, though, I
am worried even if the size difference doesn't present a medical
problem. Has anyone's child had the same problem? If so, did
s/he outgrow it? I assume nothing can be done to rectify the
problem. Thanks for any responses.
Our daughter has one eye that is slightly smaller than the
other. Our pediatrician also said it was nothing to worry
about. I took her to the UC Berkeley pediatric eye clinic to
get her eyes checked and the person there said it could be an
indicator of a sight problem. I can't remember what exactly,
and there was little evidence that our daughter had any
problems with her eyes, but she recommended I get routine eye
exams just to monitor the situation. They are great there! An
exam costs about $80 -- unless your insurance covers it. I
felt fortunate to have such a wonderful resource in our
This child needs to be seen by a Pediatric Ophthalmologist right
away (within two months). You might be describing a condition
known as congenital ptosis (where the upper lid is a little
droopy). This condition is known to cause astigmatism in one eye
which can lead to amblyopia (''lazy eye''). There are other
serious problems that can look like ptosis on the surface (such
as neurofibromatosis). Occasionally the problem is not with the
eye which looks smaller, but rather, the problem is in what you
think is the normal eye. Lid retraction or exophthalmos in one
eye can be interpreted as a smaller eye on the other side. These
conditions could be caused by many things including orbital
tumors, optic nerve gliomas, and more. Please have the child
fully examined by a Pediatric Ophthalmologist. The most
superlative one in the Bay area is Dr. William Good. He has
offices in San Ramon, Walnut Creek, and San Francisco. If the
child has any of these conditions, you have only a limited time
to intervene before he could go blind or worse. If it proves to
be nothing more than a cosmetic idiopathic ptosis, this is easily
repaired if desired.
If you are so inclined, please post that you saw this posting.
And, as an aside, general pediatricians have very little exposure
to ophthalmology in both their medical school and residency
training, so a consultation with a specialist is always ide
General Ophthalmologist Who Knows His Stuff
My 2.5 year old daughter has, apparently, developed allergies recently.
About two months ago she started rubbing her eyes now and then, and since
then she has gotten more and more frantic about it, rubbing with both fists
over and over again all day long. The result is two VERY swollen and red
eyelids, dark circles under her eyes, and red blotches on her cheeks that
last all day long. It looks terribly uncomfortable, and seems to be
affecting her behavior, which is getting more and more punchy each day. She
is acting and looking as if she hasn't slept in days, though she has. It's
awful. Her doctors say it is "textbook" allergies, most likely to dust
mites and pollen, and that there really isn't much we can do other than try
to make her comfortable, and perhaps alleviate her symptoms with medication.
Benadryl does nothing for her. We have tried eye drops, in particular
Naphcon-A, which does nothing but scare the heck out of her when we try to
give it to her. Just recently we started prescription Claritin syrup, and
that too is doing nothing for her. We have also been washing her hands
meticulously, vacuuming, dusting, replacing our heater filters, and
basically trying to reduce our household irritants. Meanwhile, she is
looking terrible, and having more and more difficulty enjoying her classes
and play dates. This happens in our house, and out in the world, and at her
school and gym. She is now asking to just "stay home" all the time. One
minute she'll look OK, and the next minute her face is swollen, and her face
looks as if she has been punched in each eye. We're starting to get a
little desperate, and are wondering if anybody else has seen this kind of
allergic symptom in their children before. If so, do you have any advice,
or recommendations for specific medications, diets, herbal remedies, or
otherwise?? We could use some help.
The doctor is probably going by what he sees in the office. It reads
like there's more going on there than just the allergy and eye rubbing.
This behavior may have evolved from an allergic reaction into a coping
mechanism. You mentioned classes and play dates. Is the rubbing
related to the transitions to and from activities outside the home?
Transitions to and from the home can be stressful especially to a 2.5
year old. Try spreading the engagements out over time or eliminating
them for a few weeks and see what happens. There may be other
stressors, too. Make a note of when the eye rubbing commences. Does
it happen right after vacuum cleaning? After certain foods are eaten?
Parents coming and going? Is there a particular time of day when it's
my advice is to not give up on the eyedrops. there
are some prescription drops much better than
naphcon-A. drops get right to the site of the problem
rather than having to wait for medicine to work
systemically. it is difficult to administer the drops
to a toddler. maybe your eye doctor can coach you.
you have to be fast. and you have to be persistent for
them to work. once your daughter starts to feel
relief she may be more accommodating to taking the
drops. also try cool compresses (another toughie with
a toddler). be patient because controlling allergies
can be difficult. itching causes rubbing which causes
inflammation which causes irritation which causes
itching... it is a cycle.
Medicine is a "practice" and sometimes you have to go through a lot of
different medications until you find the right one. Your doctor should send
her to an allergist to test her for allergies to find out exactly what is
causing her to have such a reaction. If you can pinpoint it more closely, a
more suitable drug could be found. Saying your daughter has textbook
allergies and knowing exactly what those allergies are is two very
different things. She could also be allergic to a food. Get her tested
before you try anything else.
When I had the allergy tests, they would not stop with the grass tests. The
redness continued to creep up my arm and they had to give me a shot of
adrenaline to make it stop. Your daughter is very allergic to something and
until you find out what it is, she will stay miserable and you along with
To make eyedrops easier to administer to a young child, try warming up
the bottle in your hand or armpit for a few minutes first. Then it's
not so shocking going it, and kids won't fight it so much. While my
children never had the distressing allergies yours is suffering, it
really helped when they had pink eye and needed drops several times
this page was last updated: Aug 29, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network