Can’t Stop Crying (Not Like That)
December 19, 2017 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Husband and I have been sharing a cold. He’s had it worse as my symptoms have mostly been limited to a sore throat and watery eyes. Well, now my eyes won’t stop watering.

I’ve been going to work through this thing but today when I couldn’t open my eyes in the morning because they had crusted over, I stayed home. I don’t feel that bad but I feel like it would be irresponsible to go to work if I can get others sick. I made an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow but right now my eyes are just burning and tearing which I think is making my runny nose even runnier. Any tips? Is this just the stage of illness I’m in? This sucks.

PS: Sorry I’m not more articulate right now. I think I lose like a third of my IQ points when my senses are compromised. I also just tried to post this on the blue so clearly I’m doing great.
posted by kat518 to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is weird but sometimes cold medicines can give you dry eye. And one of the symptoms of this can be excessive tearing. I live with perpetually gloopy eyes and it's annoying but usually manageable. Sometimes eyedrops (counterintuitively) can help with this. Also be really careful with makeup, rubbing/touching your eyes, screen time (just for a bit) and whatever medicines you are taking.
posted by jessamyn at 2:51 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would try a Benadryl at night or other antihistamine like Claritin that's 24 hours and won't make you drowsy.
posted by ananci at 2:53 PM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I actually haven’t been taking cold medicine because I’ve just had a sore throat and sore eyes. I’ve just been chomping on cough drops though I did just try some Sudafed.
posted by kat518 at 3:01 PM on December 19, 2017

From what you've said here, it sounds to me like based on this Mayo Clinic article it's probably just your cold and "may cause watery eyes for a few days or so."

I would be drinking hot lemon-honey-ginger tea right now. The lemon juice to replace your electrolytes (eg from your tears), honey to soothe your throat and help the lemon go down (just a little! you don't want to feed the sore throat bacteria!) and fresh ginger if you've got it for a little added flavor.

You can also call your insurance's advice nurse for tips. I've had good experiences with advice nurses.

Note: cough drops with sugar in them make my sore throats worse (after providing temporary relief).
posted by aniola at 3:05 PM on December 19, 2017

Your eyes being crusted over this morning made me think of pink eye. Are your eyes red and swollen? Do they feel scratchy at all? Are they just watery or are you having goopy discharge too?

We all have pink eye plus ear infections at my house right now so I feel like an expert somehow.
posted by beandip at 3:27 PM on December 19, 2017

Sometimes my eyes get like this due to allergies or plugged tear ducts. Your tear ducts can become plugged due to a variety reasons; mine usually get that way when lotion, oils, or make-up gets in there. Your doc can check you out to make sure you don't have pink eye or another infection, but in the meantime try lying down or reclining with a wet face towel over your entire face. Make the water as warm as you can stand it, then squeeze it out, lie down and cover your face with it. When the towel cools off, re-wet it with very warm water, and lie down again. Keep doing this throughout the day. I usually start feeling better and get the tearing under control in less than an hour, but if you're sick, it might take longer.

Give it a try. Hope you're feeling better soon!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 3:38 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can get conjunctivitis from many things. I get it from allergies! WebMD says you can get it from a common cold. My eye doctor prescribed me steroid eyedrops (Lotomax) that really helped bring down the inflammation.
posted by radioamy at 3:50 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

really, it's all a histamine reaction, which is much the same for a cold as for an allergy. go for some claritan to keep it manageable.
posted by acm at 3:56 PM on December 19, 2017

I would try an allergy pill, 12 hour allergy eye drops (I like Alaway), possibly a good decongestant to help drain the sinuses. If it is conjunctivitis (I also get it from allergies, not infection) then I get Patanol from the walk in clinic which is a non steroid eye drop. Steroid eye drops have more side effects and can affect eye pressure, etc.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:07 PM on December 19, 2017

Yeah, the same virus that gives you the cold is the most common cause of pinkeye, so if it lasts, it could be related. Or maybe you also have allergies this time of year? Mold and dust can be killer.
posted by faustian slip at 4:33 PM on December 19, 2017

Oh yeah, acm and Crystalline make a good point. OTC antihistamine eye drops will also help.
posted by radioamy at 4:57 PM on December 19, 2017

If your eyes get too dry (because low humidity, or you're reading a lot) they will overcompensate and produce more tears. The increased salt in the tears burns. How's the humidity in your bedroom? Do you have a humidifier? Are you spending a lot of time looking at screens (people blink less)?
posted by AFABulous at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2017

Hi all, thanks for your help! I don't get sick often so when I do, I don't know what to do and feel like, "why has my body betrayed me so??!" to the point where I'll be like, oh right, MEDICINE, that's a thing people take when they're sick, let me try that.

I saw my GP this morning and said, "I have that cold everyone has" and he replied, "yeah, I figured." He gave me a prescription for Cipro eye drops which I started taking. I'm annoyed because he said no contacts while I'm doing the eye drops and I feel like a loser in my glasses but not wearing eye makeup has shaved some time off my morning routine so it's not all bad news. And this is great incentive to get new glasses so I think I'm going to make an appointment for an eye exam when I get back from the holidays.

My eyes have just been drier lately which is annoying but this is a little different. Probably too much screen time and not enough sleep. But my eyes felt better when I woke up this morning so that's progress. I've had pink eye before and that was a lot worse (just my experience but it knocked me out, almost like the flu) but I realize that "pink eye" is not one thing. We do have a humidifier at home but I think everywhere else (work, etc) is dry right now.

You're all the best. If anyone has other ideas, please feel free. xoxo!
posted by kat518 at 12:55 PM on December 20, 2017

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