nasty eye carnage *not for the faint of heart* - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-18-2005   #1
student/ kayaker
Join Date: Oct 2003
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nasty eye carnage *not for the faint of heart*

After paddling the poudre thursday night I noticed my eye was kind of bugging me, but it wasn't bad so I passed it off as allergies. When I woke up this morning, the (inside) corner of my eye was sore as a mofo to the touch, but paddling was on the agenda so I wrote it off (the poudre is running 4 feet- priorities). By the time I got home, it was hurting really bad, and upon a closer inspection I realized that either my tear duct had an infection or I had a stye (sp?) very close to my tear duct. Being an idiot and not wanting to wait until monday morning to see a doctor eventually led to me pulling out an eyelash that appeared to grow out of the problem spot, this created enough of an opening that all the pressure could escape and sure enough the thing erupted in puss. Incase you were wondering, it hurt like f*%$. If you're still reading this, hopefully you can answer my question: did this have anything to do with paddling and if so is there anything I can do about it? I did notice that I got an unusualy high amount of water in my eyes thursday, so I'm wondering if something in the water might have done me in. Is there something I can wash my eyes out with after I paddle? I wear contacts, if that makes a difference. Please help my if you know anything about it because it really sucks but there's no way in hell I'm going to stop kayaking because it makes my eyes hurt.

p.s.- thought this was pretty funny: my old man's advice when I told him about it was to "keep an eye on it." Gee thanks dad.

The attendant at Ted's Place: "And from now on if I'm working when you come in here, you take as much Nacho Cheese for your burrito as you want- it's on me (wink)."
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Old 06-18-2005   #2
Arvada, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
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keep an eye on it!!!

As well as your eye problem ... I recommend looking into having that horn removed from your ass...awesome photo!!!! Dude ...forget boating until that eye is looked at ...there will always be rivers!!
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Old 06-18-2005   #3
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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I'm no optomologist (I'm a dentist) but you probably have a small infection of the lacrimal duct. I've had these before and before I paddled dirty rivers. I believe it occurs when there is a blockage that obstructs the normal flow of lubricant that exits this duct. That's not to say the pathogen didn't come from the river. After paddling the Black in New York (dirty!) and the Ottawa (not so dirty) for a week a couple summers ago I had the worst middle ear infection ever. It sucked. It took the morons at the ER three tries before they finally gave me something broad-spectrum enough to wipe it out. Anyway, relieving the pressure may have been enough to allow your body to do the rest and fight off the infection...which could be a pretty slow process. If you can wait until monday to see an MD great but if it gets worse go the ER. If it blows up there's an outside chance it could threaten your eyesite. Either way I'd get ahold of some antibiotics...and there's only one way to do that. But keep paddling, of course.
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Old 06-19-2005   #4
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I always have a bottle of eye wash in my truck. It has a little cup that you fill and then look into the solution. It feels great, and is perfect for post boating eye funk. You can get them at any pharmacy.

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Old 06-19-2005   #5
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I also am not an opthamologist and I agree with the dentist's assessment-pus means bacteria which usually mean antibioics so you should probably see somebody. This is not really a sty as they are usually on the upper lid more latterally; however it is possible to have an intenall sty that presents where your pain is. The question is--how swollen is the lid and the area around the eye. Is the eye itself injected meaning lost it's white color and turned red because this could also be bacterial "pink eye" or conjunctivitis; most of what we see is viral.
Blockage of the lacrimal gland usually only happens in children and people over 40 (I don' know how old you are) and catching something really wouldn' thave anything to do with the river b/c the bugs that cause it come from your own skin. But the river could have put something in there that blocked the duct which really seems likely given your story of pulling something out and getting the junk out.
So---you can keep boating. It is much easier of you go in while it is still producing pus b/c then they can culture it and find out what bug it is and what antibiotics it's sensitive to--kill it the first time round. If you have ANY changes in vision in that eye or trouble moving that eye you need to go right then, even if your int he middle of the poudre--you have a chance of losing your eyesight if you don't.
Watch out for spreading swelling over the eyelid and down the cheek as this can be a sign of a migrating skin infection that could come from some of thje possible causes and this is also a medical emergency and you need to go imediately.
Good luck and I hope this helps
P.S. I had a great book that told me most of this stuff since I'm not an opthamologist--so you can trust it.
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Old 06-19-2005   #6
Join Date: Jan 2005
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People laugh but this is one of the reasons I wear goggles. (stuff in the water)
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Old 06-19-2005   #7
Denver, Colorado
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Did you take a picture? Can we see it?
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Old 06-20-2005   #8
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Systems & Process Design, Colorado
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Nasty eye carnage? Yeah... let's see a picture.
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Old 06-20-2005   #9
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Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
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me too...

I've been paddling the poudre a lot lately (4-6 day per week) and have gotten minor infections in both my eyes. Coincidence?[/i]
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Old 06-20-2005   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
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1. This has nothing to do with the lacrimal duct. It is almost unheard of to have a problem with the lacrimal duct unless you are a new-born baby, or have a misplaced punctal plug. This duct simply drains tears from your eye to your nose.

2. Sounds like a typical stye (internal hordeolum). You have about 30 meibomian glands (oil glands for your tear film) on your upper lid, and about 20 on your lower lid. If one of these gets clogged and infected, just like on your face, you get a pimple. Of course on the eye lid the oil glands are bigger, deeper, and have many more nerves so it will seem like the worst pimple of your life. They typically occur near eyelash follicles, so epilating a lash will help them drain. Hot compresses will also help them progress. In rare cases I prescribe oral antibiotics if the infection spreads to the whole lid, but this is rare.

This has nothing to do with boating anymore that getting a pimple on your chin does. It just happens sometimes.

3. Boating with contacts CAN put you at risk for getting a serious infection (corneal ulcer) if a microorganism gets a hold of your contact lens and you don't clean and/or change them after boating. Especially if you sleep in your contacts after boating! This will be on your eyeball, not eye lid. See an eye doc. if this happens.
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