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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7906
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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why have i had conjunctivitis the same time for the last 3-4

Resolved Question:

why have i had conjunctivitis the same time for the last 3-4 years?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Do you know the name of the drop that your family MD gives you?

Dr. Rick :

What time of year do you have this issue and how long does it last?

Dr. Rick :

We have been experiencing problems with the chat system for the last few days. Our engineers are working on it. However, I'll switch over to the Q&A system. This system works a lot like 'text messaging' but an email is sent to each of us anytime something is posted to this thread. We can continue to work on your question there..... :)

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
We have been experiencing technical difficulties with the chat system. Please allow me to retype my chat here for your review:

Dr. Rick : Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.
Dr. Rick : Do you know the name of the drop that your family MD gives you?
Dr. Rick : What time of year do you have this issue and how long does it last?
Dr. Rick :


This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


This happens the begining of Jan.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
What part of the US to you live in? What I mean to say is do you get a hard winter?

Also, do you know what drop your FP gives you?

How well does the drop work for you?

Do you have any other medical problems or take any medications?

Also, does this issue come on suddenly and in both eyes at the same time? If you were not to treat it with the drops from your FP, do you think it would go away on its own after a period of time?

How many years has this been going on for?

Have you consulted with an ophthalmologist?

Please take your time and do your best to answer all the questions above....the more information I have the better I can assist you :)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What part of the US to you live in? What I mean to say is do you get a hard winter?


 


I live in Pulaski,NY (upstate) not so bad winter's for the last few years, but "wintery".


 



Also, do you know what drop your FP gives you? Not really sure of spelling or pronunc..."Visxx"


 



How well does the drop work for you? Good- I use about 4days and the infection is gone.


 



Do you have any other medical problems or take any medications?


I do not have any other medical problems - I do take daily vitamin and calcium(citracal +D) and Fluoxetine HCL caps (10 mg) sometimes 20mg.


 



Also, does this issue come on suddenly and in both eyes at the same time? If you were not to treat it with the drops from your FP, do you think it would go away on its own after a period of time?


The infection does seem to come suddenly- in both eyes. I have not gotten drops and it lates much longer and is more aggravating. I have to use hot compress in the AM and drops. Therefore, yes if I would let it continue the cycle on its own it will probally go away on its own..but I can not miss that much work and I have a coworker who has iritis.


 


 


How many years has this been going on for? 3 to 4 years during January.


 



Have you consulted with an ophthalmologist? YES they are the ones who began treating with drops and my FP follow's lead.

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
Jennifer,

Thank you for that additional information.

The drop your FP may be giving you might be vigamox, which is a broad spectrum antibiotic drop.

I am glad you have consulted with an ophthalmologist and that nothing else was found to be wrong with your eyes. I am concerned, however, that this keeps coming back. As you know, that is really not a normal thing.

From what you have posted and how well the drops work for you I believe that you may have an underlying anterior segment issue that flairs up during specific times of the year but, at other times, just smolders below the threshold of bothering you.

I think if you can start doing some simple home treatment that this cycle can be broken. If, however, things don't improve with what I am about to tell you to do, then your next step should be to consult with a cornea/external disease specialist for a complete workup and evaluation.

Here is what I think is going on and what you can do to break this yearly cycle:

Many times, for all sorts of reasons, the anterior surface of the eye starts to have difficulties. What can cause this? Well, there are a number of conditions but the most common are dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis....many times all three conditions act together to make you miserable. In order to solve your problem you need to address all of these issues at the same time.

When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.

Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.

The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.

Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.

Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.

I understand that this treatment seems a bit "too low tech" to be of value, but after 2 decades of clinical practice, I can assure you (even from personal experience :) that it, does indeed, work.

Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7906
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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