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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11164
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My grandaughter is three and has had several episodes of conjunctivitis

Resolved Question:

My grandaughter is three and has had several episodes of conjunctivitis - which is not unusual. But quite often she complains of very sudden eye pain and will refuse to open one or both eyes.She may go one to three days without opening her eyes - she will eat and play with her eyes closed, because it causes pain to open them. These episodes don't have the classic conjunctivitis signs, like discharge or redness. The episodes are very sudden and will occur while she is happy and playing. Doctors say there is nothing wrong, but this occurs 1-2 times a month (sometimes only for a few hours, other times for a few days).
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

There are a number of possibilities that come to mind that may cause this type of behavior. Recurrent corneal erosion from a possible congenital corneal problem, maybe inflammation inside the eye, although I wouldn't think that this would resolve spontaneously, perhaps allergies.....hard to tell.

Dr. Rick :

I would suggest having her seen, if possible during one of her "playing with her eyes closed" episodes, by a pediatric ophthalmologist for a complete eye exam. If she is in pain it might be necessary for her to be examined under sedation.

Dr. Rick :

Of course, this type of exam would require coordination with a pediatric ophthalmologist prior to your granddaughter becoming symptomatic so that she can be seen at a moments notice and sedation (and in extreme cases, planning for exam under anesthesia) can ready and available.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to chat. I see you are typing....I will standby....

Customer:

Although this sounds ideal, it is impossible as it always takes 4-6 weeks just to get an appointment. Getting an expert to assess during an episode is extremely problematic. By the time she went last time there was nothing to see and the problem wasn't evident - she is normally extremely healthy and happy.

Dr. Rick :

Some type of corneal problem that could cause recurrent corneal erosions would act exactly like you are saying....by the time she gets in to see the eye doctor (if not a pediatric ophthalmologist I would not put much stock in the completeness of the exam by the way.....) everything would be normal.

Dr. Rick :

At least you do know from the exam that she doesn't have any serious damage to her eyes at the time of the exam. That being said, I do not feel it is normal for a 3yo to say that her eyes hurt too much to even open them while she plays........I agree with you: This should be investigated until all possible causes of her symptoms have been ruled out. And to do this may require an exam scenario as noted above.

Dr. Rick :

You might try to get her seen at a University Hospital where sub-specialty Professors of Ophthalmology may take an interest in her case and push an exhaustive workup through the medical red tape.

Dr. Rick :

Has she been examined by an ophthalmologist (MD)? And if so was this doctor a pediatric eye specialist?

Dr. Rick :

I guess that you have stepped away from your comptuter. We can use the Q&A system to 'text message' each other. An email will be sent to each of us every time something is posted to this thread.


 

Dr. Rick :

If I've answered you question to your satisfaction.......

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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
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