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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10885
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Is it possible to have a giardia infection in your eye? My

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Is it possible to have a giardia infection in your eye? My cats have giardia and now I have blepharitis. The doctor I work for prescribed ointment with dexamethasone & antibiotic which I just started, so no improvement yet. I have redness and swelling of left upper eyelid and some redness underneath my eye toward the inner corner. Actually have a little redness underneath right eye now. Left just feels dry. I tend to pick at my eyes a lot because i always feel like there is something in them, probably not good, I know. What if I rubbed my eye after touching the cat? Possible?

Dr. Rick :

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


Ok. Don't have a lot of time, but go ahead.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. No. Giardia do not infect the eye in any way.

Dr. Rick :

Is your doctor a GP?

Dr. Rick :

I have a deal with the local GPs where I live: I won't treat heart attacks if they won't treat eyes :)

Dr. Rick :

You will not catch this from your cat no matter how much you rub your worries there.


Ok, just wanted to make sure. He's an oncologist. So, I guess I should just continue with the ointment and see my eye doctor if no improvement. HEhe. Thanks.

Dr. Rick :

But it sounds like you are doing the wrong treatment for your blepharitis. Let me tell you what works better.



Dr. Rick :

Because blepharitis is so under-diagnosed and the treatment for it is relatively benign, you might consider starting this treatment, while concurrently continuing artificial tears. In order to treat blepharitis, everyday in the morning you should do two things: 1. hot compresses and 2. eyelid scrubs. You should do hot compresses for 5-10 minutes over each eye at the same time. It should be as hot as you can tolerate without burning your skin, massaging the eyelids while they are on there. Then, use either commercially available preparations or a dilute baby shampoo solution to scrub your eyelashes on all 4 eyelids. The commercially available preparations are called Ocusoft or Sterilid which are both over-the-counter eyelash scrubbing treatments. These cost more money but are quicker to use. Otherwise, the cheaper alternative is the dilute baby shampoo (4-5 drops Johnson's shampoo in 1/4 cup warm water), you will take the wipe (or dip a qtip in the dilute baby shampoo solution) and use that to scrub right on the eyelashes of each eyelid for 15 seconds. That will take 60 seconds when done to all 4 eyelids. The scrubbing is done right on the eyelid margin, where the eyelashes come out. After that, just splash some water on the eyes and you're done.

It does take about 3-4 weeks of doing this consistently every day before it really kicks in, so don't stop it thinking it's not working. Also the eyes are still significantly dry during this 3-4 weeks so use the artificial tears you bought 4x/day in both eyes (one drop per application). After 4 weeks you should be able to start tapering off of the tears to as you need them.

Just doing the artificial tears, hot compresses and eyelid scrubs alone would likely start to help you after three or 4 weeks--but remember it could take this long of doing it everyday before you see a significant effect, so don't stop it thinking it's not working.

Dr. Rick :

Good thing he didn't give you methotrexate lol!

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

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. You may also receive an email survey after our chat, if you don’t feel that I have earned a “10” rating in all areas, please let me know what I can do to meet your expectations.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick :

I guess you have stepped away from your computer. Have a good day. :)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, that is helpful. I will get one of those scrubs today. It's not that bad, but I was concerned because I am reading that it's hard to treat once you have it. So, I just started treatment and just got the artificial tears and haven't actually used them because I don't want to give myself eyedrops. Guess I have to get over that! My eyes have always teared a lot in the morning. I'm thinking because they have been dry?


No, no methotrexate, lol! I am actually the nurse who gives the chemo, and I know that was probably a silly question for a nurse to ask Embarassed, but just making sure!

Yes. That is entirely possible.

The only silly question is the one that goes unasked :)

I don't know that I would be able to be an oncologist or the nurse who gives the chemo....too emotional for a simple retina surgeon like myself...

Take care, keep up the good work and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I don't go up in a puff of smoke -- I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much

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My pleasure. Have a good weekend.