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Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 7:09 AM EDT
Mar 21 2012

As the techs were removing the test leads from my head and various body parts at the end of yesterday's sleep study debacle, I felt an irritation in my right eye. It was also slightly red. Not unusual, given my allergies. What was odd was my left eye was not similarly affected.

I had been sweating during the night, and I guessed some the goop they used to secure the electrodes to my head had probably seeped into my eye. No problem, I thought. Part of my morning routine is to instill anti-allergy eyedrops, and I assumed that would take care of it.


The irritation continued during the morning. I took a nap, expecting that would clear it up. Wrong again. I awoke after two hours with the lower portion of my right eye a lovely, oozy, pinkish mess.

I went to Jefferson Regional Medical Center's QuickCare center, where I received an eye flushing, a prescription for antihistaminic eye drops, a green apple lollipop, and validated parking. All in 48 minutes.

The physician's assistant who examined me wouldn't confirm my hypothesis that the irritation was caused by the EEG electrode paste; only that I appeared to be having an allergic reaction to something. As someone who deals with daily eye allergies, I told her it felt different- as if I had a foreign substance in my eye. EEG paste has a high salt content to insure the leads have good electrical conductance.

But the PA said she didn't see any foreign substance, so she gave me the prescription and sent me on my way. (The lollipop and validated parking required some personal initiative. Hey, I needed some compensation for the co-pay Blue Cross is going to bill me.)

Three doses of eye drops later, my eye is still red and inflamed. No vision problems, thankfully. They said to see an ophthalmologist on Friday if it doesn't clear up. Screw that. I'll check in with my physician of 40 years, Dr. Larry, who will deal with it straightaway, and then we'll have lunch at The Monkey Bar.

When I get the inevitable diagnosis of sleep apnea and return for a second sleep study to get the CPAP machine, I'm going to weat goggles. If I'm going to have to wear a mask while sleeping, I might as well look Top Gun-ish while doing it.

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