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#1
Old 10-16-2015, 02:41 PM
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Swollen left eyelid - Is this an urgent care thing?

I know you're not my doctor and I'm not your patient. What I also know is that I'm a hypochondriac with anxiety and everything feels like a potential life-threatening catastrophe. So I need some advice.

I woke up this morning with my left upper eyelid swollen. Before I looked in the mirror I thought I had an eyelash stuck in there--not painful, just annoying, Then I looked and was startled by the eyelid looking like it had been blown up with a teeny tiny bicycle pump. It's mostly near the lash line.

Maybe I should mention that I slept on my side, and this eye was not the one pressed against the pillow, but open to the air. I also slept with a fan blowing (my apartment's stuffy), and that tends to make my eyes water.

Some points:

- The eye itself doesn't look especially redder than usual, I don't think. Looks about the same as the other one. So it doesn't seem like conjunctivitis (as far as I know... can one have conjunctivitis without a pink eye?).

- My nose is a bit stuffy/runny on that side, which may just be a coincidence.

- My vision isn't affected. I don't have super vision (that eye actually has a slight astigmatism) but if it weren't for the sensation that something's in there I wouldn't notice anything different.

- The whole side of my face isn't droopy--when I smile my mouth lifts symmetrically.

- I don't have allergies as far as I know.

- I don't wear contacts or glasses.

- I do have diabetes (Type II).

Anyway. I have a call in to my doctor's office and they'll get back to me (hopefully; it's a good clinic associated with NY/Weill Cornell Hospital, but they're busy and my own doctor--whom I've never seen, I just keep seeing substitutes--isn't in today).

Of course, I'm scared because I'm scared about everything. I know no one can diagnose me on a message board, but... I guess I just want to know if this is something that needs urgent care, and should I go to a walk-in clinic today, or is this more of a "wait and see" kind of thing?
#2
Old 10-16-2015, 02:49 PM
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From your description, I don't think I'd be too terribly concerned.

Seriously, it sounds like quite a minor irritation. But anxiety doesn't care about that, so if you are stressing hard about it, it may be worth going to get seen.

Hope you get some relief soon.
#3
Old 10-16-2015, 02:50 PM
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IANA whatever. It doesn't sound urgent. If you can't see your regular doctor today and it gets worse before Monday you might be able to see an optometrist over the weekend since they are often found at the eyeglass stores.

Last edited by TriPolar; 10-16-2015 at 02:50 PM.
#4
Old 10-16-2015, 03:02 PM
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Does it look like Google images of stye/hordeolum? Treatment is warm compress and topical antibiotic ointment
#5
Old 10-16-2015, 03:11 PM
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I'd apply a hot, wet compress and wait to hear back from my PCP.

Last edited by kayaker; 10-16-2015 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Speling
#6
Old 10-16-2015, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses, guys. I really appreciate it. And you're right, not what you'd expect, in that my anxiety and pessimism are very resistant/resilient.

USCDiver, I'd say the lid looks most like this (warning, big image), which is from a page on styes. Though most of the stye images I see on Google involve single, very pronounced lumps. This is more like a pretty consistently-sized swelling along the lashline. Here's another image that looks about right, except mine isn't as red.

I do see that this eye is tearing/glassier than the other. And I'm not touching it anymore, I promise.
#7
Old 10-16-2015, 03:21 PM
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Any chance you touched some poison ivy yesterday?
#8
Old 10-16-2015, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Any chance you touched some poison ivy yesterday?
Heh. Not unless it spontaneously started growing in my NYC apartment.
#9
Old 10-16-2015, 03:39 PM
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Too late for edit: Just heard back from the doctor (wow, that's pretty quick service); he recommends, as kayaker did, a warm compress--actually he mentioned microwaving rice in a sock!--and just waiting to see if it improves over the weekend. if not, he can refer me to an opthamologist.*

From the description he says probably some irritant is causing the inflammation--I guess that makes sense--though of course he said it's hard to be certain from just a conversation. Either way he doesn't think it's an emergency. Which is hopefully true.


* My browser thinks that's spelled wrong. Be smarter, Firefox!!
#10
Old 10-16-2015, 04:07 PM
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I get something like that, called "blepharitis". It's not an emergency. It's when the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes get clogged with skin cells and/or bacteria. It's not contagious, and it can be chronic, or it can just happen once. Sometimes there's itchiness and redness and goopiness, sometimes just the inflated eyelid. (Mine's usually just the inflated eyelid at first, then an achiness and gritty feeling.)

I find the most useful remedy is a black tea bag used as a warm compress. I just make a cup of tea, let the teabag cool a bit so it doesn't burn me, and lay it on my closed eye while I'm leaning back. If it doesn't respond to that in a few days, your doctor can give you various eyedrops or ointments, including antibiotic and/or steroidal ones, depending on what's causing your issues.

http://mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...n/con-20024605
#11
Old 10-16-2015, 04:08 PM
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Oh, and if you wear mascara or eyeliner, throw it out and get new ones. Any bacteria on your eyelid may have gotten into them.
#12
Old 10-16-2015, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choie View Post
Too late for edit: Just heard back from the doctor (wow, that's pretty quick service); he recommends, as kayaker did, a warm compress--actually he mentioned microwaving rice in a sock!--and just waiting to see if it improves over the weekend. if not, he can refer me to an opthamologist.*

From the description he says probably some irritant is causing the inflammation--I guess that makes sense--though of course he said it's hard to be certain from just a conversation. Either way he doesn't think it's an emergency. Which is hopefully true.


* My browser thinks that's spelled wrong. Be smarter, Firefox!!
Based on those comparable pics, probably not a stye, more likely reaction to unknown irritant.

Also you DID spell "ophthalmologist" wrong!
#13
Old 10-16-2015, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
I get something like that, called "blepharitis". It's not an emergency. It's when the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes get clogged with skin cells and/or bacteria. It's not contagious, and it can be chronic, or it can just happen once. Sometimes there's itchiness and redness and goopiness, sometimes just the inflated eyelid. (Mine's usually just the inflated eyelid at first, then an achiness and gritty feeling.)

I find the most useful remedy is a black tea bag used as a warm compress. I just make a cup of tea, let the teabag cool a bit so it doesn't burn me, and lay it on my closed eye while I'm leaning back. If it doesn't respond to that in a few days, your doctor can give you various eyedrops or ointments, including antibiotic and/or steroidal ones, depending on what's causing your issues.

http://mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...n/con-20024605
Oh that's interesting and helpful, thank you! The images for that do look more like what I have. I hope that's not it, though, only because it says it's often chronic.

What strikes me is that it mentions that it's sometimes concomitant with rosacea, because I have had facial flushing and it's gotten worse over the past couple of weeks. Of course I've convinced myself it's carcinoid syndrome (usually fatal) rather than rosacea (not fatal), but that's a whole 'nother topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Oh, and if you wear mascara or eyeliner, throw it out and get new ones. Any bacteria on your eyelid may have gotten into them.
CRAPPLES. Mascara's not a problem, I need a new one anyway, but darn it, I just bought this $12 eyeliner that's awesome. (I've used this same type of eyeliner before, so I don't think it's an allergy to that.) Can't I just twist/cut off the actual part that touches my lid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by USCDiver View Post
Based on those comparable pics, probably not a stye, more likely reaction to unknown irritant.

Also you DID spell "ophthalmologist" wrong!
LOL, thank you, and OMG that's embarrassing. How have I never noticed the "l" in there? The funny thing is, I copied/pasted the word after being autocorrected by Google, so I just grabbed what it suggested assuming it was right. I owe my browser an apology. As usual, a PEBKAC situation.

The irritant (if that's what it is) could indeed be anything. Yesterday was the first day in a long time I've opened my window and had the fan on simultaneously (my building's a.c. turns off every year on Oct. 15th). Maybe some of the incessant road work being done on my block--a project involving drilling, digging, tarring etc. and not due to finish until 2016--caused more dust than usual. Ah, Manhattan life.

Thanks so much, folks.

P.S. Forgot one more data point that the doc asked me: is the eyelid warm to the touch? The answer is yes, more so than the right eye. But as I said, I have a lot of flushing that comes and goes so I'm not entirely sure if it's related. (Of course now that I've pressed a warm towel on it--no rice or teabags, alas--the eye is blurry too.)
#14
Old 10-16-2015, 06:00 PM
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Do you have other allergies at all? My eyes have been itchy and watery this week so maybe something new is out!
#15
Old 10-16-2015, 06:17 PM
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Hi gigi. Nope, no allergies (as yet), but you never know!

My doctor apparently sent a prescription for something called PATADAY solution, which I believe are eyedrops, to my pharmacy (pretty expensive if you ask me, I kinda wish he'd waited on that until we see if the warm compress worked!).
#16
Old 10-16-2015, 06:33 PM
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The new liner could be contaminated.
#17
Old 10-16-2015, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choie View Post
Hi gigi. Nope, no allergies (as yet), but you never know!

My doctor apparently sent a prescription for something called PATADAY solution, which I believe are eyedrops, to my pharmacy (pretty expensive if you ask me, I kinda wish he'd waited on that until we see if the warm compress worked!).
Just 'cause he sent it doesn't mean you have to have it filled. It's entirely your call whether you want to see if the warm compress works.

PATADAY is an antihistamine, anticholinergic, and mast cell stabilizer, often used for itchy red teary eyes due to allergic inflammation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by choie View Post
) Can't I just twist/cut off the actual part that touches my lid?
You CAN do anything you like, sweetie. If you're asking me if, assuming the eyeliner is contaminated with bacteria (which it may or may not be), will twist/cutting it off get rid of the bacteria and make it safe to use... Unfortunately, no. Eyeliners are soft enough that the bacteria can travel down all the way through the useful product.
#18
Old 10-16-2015, 08:04 PM
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i remember that happening to me a couple of times when I used benzoyl peroxide lotion on my face- of course I didn't put it on my eyelids but could have had residue on my fingers when I applied makeup. I think not scrupulously removing makeup before sleep can cause problems too. It hasn't happened to me again in a long time - I hope it will be the same for you.
#19
Old 10-16-2015, 08:53 PM
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Another thought:
Quote:
Originally Posted by choie View Post
CRAPPLES. Mascara's not a problem, I need a new one anyway, but darn it, I just bought this $12 eyeliner that's awesome. (I've used this same type of eyeliner before, so I don't think it's an allergy to that.) Can't I just twist/cut off the actual part that touches my lid?
I wouldn't be too sure it's not the new eyeliner. Manufacturers change their ingredients all the time, and it's possible they're using something now that's irritating your eyelid that they didn't use the last time you bought it.

Heck, it's even possible there's a problem with that manufacturing run, and there's some bacteria or mold in it. Food isn't the only thing that sometimes has oopses and should be recalled.
#20
Old 10-16-2015, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choie View Post
actually he mentioned microwaving rice in a sock!!
I have a sock full of rice sitting on my coffee table next to me, for use on my jaw. It's a good plan.
#21
Old 10-16-2015, 10:25 PM
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Socks full of rice are great when microwaved and used for heat therapy!

If this is an infection, yes, I'd dump the eyeliner and your mascara. If it's not an infection, I wouldn't, but that's just me. I get occasional (like maybe every 2 years) styes and have pretty serious pollen allergies. BUT, that is just what I do and IANAD, etc.

You could call your doctor and ask what he thinks.
#22
Old 10-17-2015, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choie View Post
LOL, thank you, and OMG that's embarrassing. How have I never noticed the "l" in there? The funny thing is, I copied/pasted the word after being autocorrected by Google, so I just grabbed what it suggested assuming it was right. I owe my browser an apology. As usual, a PEBKAC situation.
You also missed the first "h"... For future reference.
#23
Old 10-17-2015, 01:05 AM
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Hey guys, thanks for continuing to help! I used a warm compress a couple of times and am using one now. (Alas, I don't have rice or a microwave. Bad timing as I just tossed out my old one and am shopping around for a replacement. Stupid question, though: that is uncooked rice, right? Because the image of filling a sock with wet rice is kinda cracking me up and feels more like a prank than a cure.)

Oddly, the swelling seems to have gone down somewhat since this a.m. When I woke up this morning my left eye looked about 75% the size of my right. (Admittedly that eye is usually a tiny bit smaller. Damn asymmetrical features!) But now I'd say it's about 90%. Similarly, this morning it was noticeably awkward to open my eye, as I mentioned--felt like something was blocking it from opening all the way. Now I don't feel anything unusual.

If it's an infection that's a darn quick result for just a warm compress. But I don't want to jinx anything; I'll wait and see what tomorrow brings. If it's better maybe it was just some grit or something that inflamed the lid, and the makeup is safe after all. But if not, I'll toss both items. Not worth the risk.

WhyNot, I know I sound very wimpy, don't I? That's only because I totally am. Called the pharmacy and asked if I could wait on picking up the prescription and fortunately they hadn't sent it yet. (Usually the Walgreens fills my prescriptions automatically and delivers them, but in this case I got lucky.) Hopefully I won't need to pick it up again.

Oh gosh, I just had a thought. All this talk about makeup... I just remembered one thing I did differently last night, or I should say two nights ago by now: I used an eye-makeup remover that I haven't used in a very long time, probably about six months? Maybe longer? OTOH I used it on both eyes but only one was irritated, so maybe there's no connection. Possible some got under my eyelid and I didn't realize it? Who knows.

Finally, USCDiver, that's embarrassing. I shall choose to believe that my spelling was so terrible, and my proofreading too, because I was grievously handicapped due to my eyelid being a bit swollen. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'll be back in 8 hours or so to let you know the enthralling continuation (or hopefully conclusion) of this health crisis. I know y'all are on tenterhooks!

Seriously, thanks, I really mean it. It takes almost nothing to make my nutty brain go from "what is this uncomfortable feeling?" to "omg it must be life-threatening!" so it was helpful to get some reasonable and quick responses.

Last edited by choie; 10-17-2015 at 01:08 AM.
#24
Old 10-17-2015, 08:25 AM
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Any (semi-) liquid personal care product can become contaminated.

You might also strip the bed and thoroughly vacuum and dust the room in case there's a biting insect or spider in there.
#25
Old 10-17-2015, 08:31 AM
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Good point, j666. But, dang, why is there always housework in everything?
#26
Old 10-17-2015, 02:26 PM
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Hmmmmm interesting, j666. It didn't feel like a bite--there never was any pain or itchiness from it. But I do have some spiders in the apartment (haven't been able to get rid of them over the years). Can't hurt to do my regular laundry anyway.

My eye is basically about 98% back to normal today. In fact I'm not sure it's not normal--the lid looks a little larger/eye looks smaller than the right side, but as I said, it always does. But no sense of discomfort and no redness/tearing.

Hopefully just a fluke due to that makeup remover. I'll wait a day to make sure this issue is still gone tomorrow, and then get rid of it.

Now if I could just rid of my neuroses just as easily, so I could stop thinking "stroke" or "brain tumor" when my eyelid gets a little puffy...

Thanks y'all.
#27
Old 10-17-2015, 03:15 PM
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Yes, uncooked rice Similar to the neckwraps they'll sell you to ease your neck and shoulders -- you can always make your own.

I hope it is feeling better! I share your panic about anything eye-related.
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