I'm frustrated - I've seen three board certified opthalmologists in the last two years and come away with a different diagnosis from all of them: scleritus, episcleritus and now, lastly, dry eye syndrome. My symptoms: The blood vessels on the inner corner of my left eye (white part only) become blood red,inflamed and painful, sometimes involving dull pain on one entire side of my head. Lubricant drops like systane and genteal help temporarily. I'm also on omega-3/flaxseed vitamins and have cut way down on caffeine and alcohol, as well as halving my Requip for restless legs (now on .25mg). The bouts of redness and pain come in cyle of about a week at a time, then go away for a few weeks, but its happening more frequently now. My eye does not itch or feel "gritty" and there is no discharge or swelling, only redness and pain. Reading and computer work makes it worse. My eye is not particularly photosensative, but I've been careful about wearing sunglasses and a hat. Steroid and anti-inflammitory drops don't seem to help much. What in the world could this be? Could it be herpes? I do get cold sores on my mouth. As I said though, its only the white of the eye, from the iris to the corner.
Herpes would be easily seen so that is probably not it. You just said that artificial tears help so I also suspect dry eye problems. You are already doing a lot of things right with the omega 3 and flaxseed oil. Restasis sounds like a good choice possibly. Punctum plugs are also a good option. You need to use tear drops more often as well. Try to treat this without steroids if you are able. Keep in close touch with an ophthalmologist. If you truly do develop scleritis - it is impressive and painful and does not improve easily. Episcleritis is much milder, much less dangerous and often difficult to truly identify. I would treat dry eyes aggresively and if a major redness problem persists in one spot could consider episcleritis and a trial of mild steroid drops like lotemax or alrex.
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