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Dry eye, redness, crusty eyes, on medication for eye infection. Is it due to alcohol consumption?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
For months I have had occasional symptoms of "eye allergys" dry eye, redness and copious amounts of drainage. I have visited my eye doctor and have been on several prescription eye medications for infection, dry eye and allergys. At first we thought it might be a mold in our camper I was allergic too. Now I am having the same problem at home. Dried crusty eyes in the morning, dryness and redness. We usually socially drink at the camgground and everyday I would wake with the problem, now if I drink at home on the weekend, I have the same problem? Could it be the alcohol that is causing this? Or something else. I have tried every drop to cure it and my eyes stay red all the time, but only the drainage on the weekends when we socially drink. I have changed all my cosmetics twice, thinking maybe it was that, no luck. The drainage goes away during the week, but the redness stays all the time. My opth. Md is at a loss and just tells me I have "bad allergies" So I walk around looking like I have "red eye" all the time.
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 44 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

You have provided a very good information, but I would like to know some more details to guide you better.

Kindly reply to the following questions.

1)     Did the red, swollen eyelid appear all of a sudden?

2)     Is the drainage yellow, thick, pus like or clear?

3)     Is there presence of any lump or tenderness on the eyelid?

4)     Is there any accompanying loss of vision?

From the symptoms and history, two important possibilities are coming to my mind. One is of any allergic reaction and the second is of Blepharitis. Blepharitis is an inflammation of the upper eyelid in response to any infection or allergy. Dietary factors in some individuals (caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, tobacco) may also cause Blepharitis.

Apply warm compresses on the eyelid and keep the area clean with frequent washing. Also avoid applying any eye makeup till the symptoms get resolved.

If there is no visible improvement, antibiotic ointments may need to be prescribed. I suggest you to discuss this option with your ophthalmologist.

Hope this answers your query.

Please do get back with these answers so that we can help you in a better way.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Dry eye, redness, crusty eyes, on medication for eye infection. Is it due to alcohol consumption? 1 hour later
I have done all that you have suggested. As I mentioned I have been on every eye medication for allergys, and infection, including antibiotic drops for weeks.. The symptoms keep coming back over and over again. And as I mentioned, my ophthalmologist has made all the suggestions you have and still having redness daily, my eyes are dry no matter how much artificial tears I use. And yes my vision is blurred and he says that is due to the dry eye. But again this is not all the time. My concern was mainly the drainage(green and thick) that keeps appearing randomly, and the constant red eye. I also tried the no makeup, that did nothing. And yes, swelling of bottom and top lids, at times so much so that at times I appear as I have been stung by a bee!!! but this is only when the drainage is there. This is all very strange and I have been dealing with it for months on end. I need a resolution.
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 23 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Bacterial conjunctivitis often produces a thicker, yellow-green discharge. Both viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be associated with colds or with symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a sore throat.

Also I suggest you to get the discharge cultured and also get the possibilities of dacrocystitis and chronic nasolacrimal duct obstruction rule out. Dacryocystitis is an infection of the nasolacrimal sac, frequently caused by nasolacrimal duct obstruction and may cause swelling, redness over the lacrimal sac, crusting and yellowish discharge.

I am trying to understand if you have any other problems like generalized fatigue, low grade fever, joint pains, frequent infections etc. I wish you better rule out other systems examinations by an XXXXXXX Medicinist at a tertiary care centre where an Ophthalmologist is also present for mutual consult. Check with Hemogram, ESR and CRP tests. I think your problem may not be simpler as it is by its outlook because of its duration and non responsive treatment and healthy measures. While I am not trying to scare you but help you with much needed diagnosis for complete resolution of symptoms.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
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