ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do about eye complications after a stroke?

Question

What can I do about eye complications after a stroke?

I have a dry, gritty feeling in my right eye only, with on and off pain around the socket. I have been to 4 eye drs trying to get a diagnosis for my eye problem. The first dr. said to take flax seed/ fish oil, (no help), next dr. said to put a hot rag on it (no help) third dr. Diagnosed oil duct not working, prescribed doxycycl and prescription eye drops (no help) 4th eye dr. Discovered that I have no feeling in my eye and prescribed gabapentin. Doesn't help my eye much but helps my left side limbs which are always numb. Had a stroke in 2008 and apparently my nerves in my eye never came back. My eye tears are fine. Please any suggestions for help. My eye is so irritating I want to rip it out some days I was also diagnosed with sjogrens syndrome, thought this may be the problem but dr said he has never heard of only one eye being effected. I reside in Mpls. St paul area.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I recommend that you discuss this with your doctor. While it is impossible for me to say without knowing more of your story, I would be concerned that your eye is not being appropriately lubricated by the tears that you say are being made. Following a stroke or any injury to the eye and the muscles that move the eye, it is imperative to make sure that the eye is still being protected by full closure of the lids as well as appropriate lubrication. One of the first possible explanations would be that there may be some defect in this protective mechanism. Common causes of the symptoms that you describe include inadequate closure of the eye, especially at night, which can lead to trauma and dryness that can injure the eye and are very complicated. While it sounds simple, covering the affected eye with appropriate eye ointments and lubricants as well as plastic wrap to keep the moisture in while a person sleeps can be beneficial to many people. This of course implies that you have problems closing your eye, which it doesn't sound like is known yet. Please speak with your doctor about your condition, as there are many other possible solutions and diagnosis. An ophthalmologist or otolaryngologist should be able to help.

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