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Plugs helping one eye only

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  • Plugs helping one eye only

    My story is very long, but to make it as short as possible... I have tried everything to eliminate the burning + redness in my eyes (Warm Compresses, Omega 3's, eyelid scrubs, pataday, lotemax, artificial tears,humidifier, gallons of water ). Nothing seemed to work.
    My left eye has always been WAY worse than my right. I got plugs and now my right eye is fine (though it was never that bad in the first place). However, my left eye is horrible everyday. Bloodshot, burning, heavy sensation. Opthamologist said it was a combination of not producing enough tears, oils, rapid tear evaporation AND mild allergies.

    I'm not really sure what to do anymore. Is it normal to have ONE eye with all the problems? My right eye is fine 90% of the time. Restasis is the next step, but I'm not even sure if that's the right way to go.

    I'm pretty miserable every day at this point and HATE doing anything since my eye is so bloodshot and swollen all the time.

  • #2
    I have the same problem, left eye much worse than right but my symptoms are degraded vision in that eye and not so much the swelling and discomfort you describe. How is the vision in that eye only?

    I assume when you are talking plugs that just the bottom duct in each eye is occluded? If so, you may consider getting a second plug, or flow controller in the bad eye, upper duct. It may have the unplesant side effect of welling up and tear overflow, but often the benefits outweigh the side effects. For me, a single plug does very little and I need both ducts blocked to make enough difference to matter in my left eye.

    I've had plugs in a few times as they occassionally pop out. In most cases I found it took a few days for the improvements to take effect, sort of like the eye needed to stablize a bit. Like you, I have tried everything else and there is no silver bullet except getting into a more humid environment which, of course, is not really an option.


    • #3
      Hi LVNatalie,

      Please make a note of which side you prefer to sleep on. It is common for people to have asymmetry in their symptoms of discomfort and pain if they prefer to sleep on the side of the worse eye. Laxity of eyelids may lead to eyelid eversion and its subsequent rubbing against the pillow which lead to the symptoms you described. In other words, if your eyelid is loose, it may turn out and leave your eye open. Open or slightly open eye may rub against the surface of the bedding and cause your symptoms.

      Check if you have side preference in your sleep and ask your doctor to check for "Floppy Eyelid Syndrome." The treatment plan would then depend on the findings.

      People who are overweight and women are more predisposed to this condition. It may also be associated with sleep apnea so please let your primary care doctor know about it if your eye doctor confirms it.

      Sincerely, Irina Ganelis, M.D.
      Los Angeles Eye Institute


      • #4
        Thanks for you response. I do tend to prefer one side over the other when I sleep, but I do wear an eye mask and TRY to sleep on my back. I have started a steroid/Restasis regiment, but the steroids (Prednisolone Acetate) haven't helped with the inflammation at all.
        I know the Restasis takes quite some time, but after more than a week I know the steroids SHOULD be helping.
        They're not.