For most of my life, I was an athlete. I ran marathons, cross-country, played football and almost all sports. I was always outside, and I did get sweat in my eye sometime, but it was no big deal. When I finished college, I started becoming out of shape, so I was not outside much anymore. When I went outside and started sweating, I would always get sweat in my eyes and it would hurt more than usual. I would go inside and clean my eyes with water and I would feel better. However, If I was ever outside sweating for longer than 30 minutes my eyes would become so irritated I would have to wash out with water and rest my eyes for about 3 days, and then I could eventually so normal. About 10 years ago, I was doing lawn work for about two hours. The sweat got in my eye about 20 minutes in to my work and it hurt. I ran inside about 6 times to wash my eyes out after this until I finished with my work. That night my eyes were red with unbearable pain and I had blurred vision. I went to the optometrist and he said I had tears all over my eyes. He patched the eye that was the worst and gave me some antibiotic ointment and rewetting drops. I followed what he said and it got better in a few days. When I told him it was sweat that got in my eyes, he said I was wrong because sweat could not have caused my eyes to have tears in it. During the three days I rested I thought of everything. Could it have been an allergic reaction, could I have got grass or leaving clippings in my eyes?
About two years after that eye problem, and many small irritations of the eye from sweat, I decided I was extremely out of shape, so I decide to start working out. On the second week of my training, I went outside for the first time to do track work. Since I knew sweat was going to get in my eye, I bought a sweat band, pulled my hair back, had a bottle of water to put in my eyes as soon as it happen. I started by doing a three-mile walk. My eyes were okay because there was no sweat yet in them. Then I did a quarter mile run, my eyes started burning, put water in them, waited a few minutes, did another quarter mile, eyes burning extremely bad. I put water in them again, and decided to do a mile cool-down. When I was done my eyes were hurting so bad they became blurry. When I got home I had my mother drive me to the same optometrist. I could only guess what he was going to say, but it was much worst this time. He said that some of the scratches had reached the bowman. He asked how this happen and I told him, and he said something rude and sarcastic, and said you have to be truthful. So I said someone scratched it with his or her nails. This time I had hydrocodone for 10 days, a patch on the worst eye, and had to see him everyday for the first 5 days. This time it took about a month before I could see, and I really think in one eye it still never came back to normal.
I became very depressed over the next couple of years because of this.
I looked everything I could on the Internet, checked out books in the library, an asked many people. I went to two different ophthalmologists after the problem. Basically I was told not do what cause it. I even asked my uncle who is an optometrist and he said he never heard of that. To be honest it felt like the doctors did not believe me.
Some of the suggestion, Wash face with baby shampoo before going outside. One doctor had me putting Vaseline over my eyebrows. I even decide to try something new that I have never heard of anyone doing. I decided to put Drysol Solution, a prescription antiperspirant on my forehead. I read it contains Aluminum Chloride, which prevents sweat. Guess what it worked a lot, but if you do not use it all the time, it will stop working. Also, it becomes less effective overtime for sweating. Also, I have to tell my general doctor I have an underarm sweating problem, which I do not. So, this product does help.
Anyways about 8 months ago I had a flat tire on the road, and you could guess what happen. Oh yeah!!! I had not used drysol in like 5 years at this point, always trying to avoid going outside and doing anything that cause me to sweat. My new girlfriend would never understand this, but after I fixed the flat tire I had to go to a new optometrist. Hear we go again, scratches in my eye, but this time he said he thinks I may have a fungus in my eye because of white particles he sees in some of the scratches. He refers me to an ophthalmologist. I had blurred vision for about a week this time. The ophthalmologist treats my eye for 12 straight days until the white particles and the scratches go away. He thought I probably scratched my eye while I was replacing the tire.
For the last few years I having been watching a show called Mystery Diagnosis, which tells the stories of millions of Americans who fall prey to real- life medical mysteries. I have yet to find anyone who can figure this out. I really hate telling people I cannot get sweat in my eye because they either think I am a wimp or I love when they explain to me what to do, or a doctor explain how it is not sweat. I know that Ammonia and urea are left over when your body breaks down protein; I know sweat has salt, which is sodium chloride. I have changed my diet to almost no sodium with any result, consumed lots of water, supplemented with almost everything at different times. By far my favorite is: I know exactly what you are talking about. (I get excited for about 5 seconds), and then they say I got sunscreen, makeup, or something else in my eye.
Sometimes people explain it is a toughness problem. I must have a low pain tolerance. I laugh because I have been in a few life-threating situation in my life. One time I was in a motorcycle accident. I broken 11 bones, torn 8 ligaments, slipped 6 disc, 3 and 4 degree burns (road rash) on 40 percent of my body that has never healed, and had to have multiple operations to even walk normal. So, I do understand pain. Since, I am not as active as I once was, I am not worried as much, but I worry about emergencies when I start sweating, or maybe I just want to enjoy life I like I use to as a child. I wish I could even find someone who has had this problem and I bet there is somewhere. Sorry for boring anyome!
Did you ever resolve this problem? I have a similar problem--many times after I bike or exercise, if I let sweat roll in my eyes, or even if I rub my eyes, they sting like hell. Washing my eyes with eye wash or eye drops don't really help much. I've discovered that if I use a lubricant eye gel called Genteal in my eye and wipe the excess off it helps relieve the stinging within a few minutes.
I am absolutely sure the stinging is due to the sweat getting in my eyes.
Several years ago when I was on a very low sodium diet, I did not have this problem.
I'm very curious if you've found any help for this problem. I;ve recently started having the same problem. I suffer for days when I get sweat in my eyes. The problem is that my job involves a lot of sweating. I haven't been to the eye doctor because it sounds like I'm being a weenie, but it actually is very serious to me. It is a very recent development for me, yet I've had the same sweaty job for a few years. Now I stop constantly to wipe the sweat from my face, but this is going to start annoying people....and me. But the days I keep the sweat out of my eyes things are fine. Get sweat in my eyes and it's terrible and takes days to recover.
stop being a weenie and get in to see an eye MD ophthalmologist. Normal sweat should not irritate you eye that bad. If you have tear quality problem your tears may be hypertonic (too much saline) and you might try regular use (3-4 times/day) of some drops like Hypotears, Soothe, Retaine, Refresh Liquigel, or Systane.
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