"Bad Luck" is Cause of Some Eye Conditions

I recently had an elderly patient who had some eye lashes that started growing the wrong direction inwards toward the surface of her eye. She point blank asked me "doctor, WHY did this happen to me?" My response was "bad luck". She was dumbfounded, and somewhat miffed. "YOU MEAN YOU DON'T KNOW!!?", she replied incredulously. No, I don't know. Nobody does. "Was it my make up?" No. "Was it from rubbing my eyes?" Probably not. "Was it from allergies?" Unlikely. "So that's all you have? it's just BAD LUCK?" Yes. Sometimes there is no "reason" for some medical conditions. Some patients have a very difficult time with this concept, but it is fact. Sometimes there is no one and nothing to "blame" and there is nothing to do to "prevent" it from happening or prevent it from reoccurring. Occasionally it really, really is just bad luck.


  1. My elderly mom has a chalazion (upper eyelid, diagnosed by her family practitioner)...he recommended warm, moist compresses and to see an ophthalmologist if it doesn't get better over several weeks. I would appreciate your thoughts on how best to treat this. She is extremely anxious & is terrified of any surgical intervention unless absolutely necessary. Thanks!

  2. Well they're benign so surgery is almost never "necessary". One could always just leave it there.

    Hot compresses are the standard front line treatment for these. It rarely works. SOMETIMES it does work and its cheap, fast and easy so that's why its tried. But most of the time if you actually want it gone you end up having it excised.

    The excision is nearly painless, fast, easy and in-office (not in a surgical suite or a hospital)

    Good luck!

  3. Thank you for being available to answer our queries on here...I really appreciate it.

  4. I like your blog. While I find "bad luck" to be a reasonable answer to an ingrown hair, I personally am frustrated that it is being used in my case. I had perfect vision into my twenties, and since then I have developed worsening astigmatism that is much worse in one eye. I can't help but think that there is some underlying "cause" to this besides random weird genetics. I have yet to find a doctor who thinks it's even worth discussing. I have found a few journal articles on-line discussing astigmatism caused by the way the eyes are used (e.g. musicians who look sideways for prolonged periods), and droopy eyelids apparently can lead to it as well. So, it doesn't seem unreasonable to look for a root cause. What's your opinion?


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