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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11099
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I developed a red ("bloodshot") eye four days ago. Assuned

Customer Question

I developed a red ("bloodshot") eye four days ago. Assuned I had a foriegn ogject, couldn't find it, so went to the eye doc (MD) three days ago.

He examined my eyes in the lamp, with some stain, and told me that I had a viral infection. I asked if it was herpes (knew someone who had it once, knew I didn't want it!) and he said probably not, most likely some other virus. He prescribed Zirgan, which I've been using for three days.

My eyelid and the area around my eye is swollen, and I see no improvement.

I noted you advised a similar patient to discontinue Zirgan.

Can an eye doc differentiate between viruses with a visual exam?

Is there harm in using Zirgan for a non-herpes viral infection?

How long do these things take to improve?

I do get cold sores, but rarely, usually following too much sun exposure. Never had anything like this. 57, white male, no drugs, good general health, Lasik 10 years ago.

Thanks.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Were you seen by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist (eye MD)?

Dr. Rick :

Can you upload a picture of your eye using the paperclip on your screen? It is more important for the picture to be in excellent focus then to be a real close up shot as I can magnify things on my end...

Dr. Rick :

OOps....you already said MD.... :)

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

MD

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Yes. Give me a minute.

Dr. Rick :

ok

Dr. Rick :

Let me answer your questions in order:

Dr. Rick :

1. Yes, some different viral infections can be told apart, but not always. It depends on the stage of the infection, your bodies reaction to it etc.

Dr. Rick :

2. No. It will not hurt you, although it is a powerful medication and can sometimes irritate your eyeball....

Dr. Rick :

3. It depends on the virus of course, but usually a week or two.

Dr. Rick :

I'm standing by. The chat system just gave a "little burp" on my end and I just want to make sure I didn't loose you :)

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Image sent. Can redo if needed.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. It is not here yet...the internet is kinda slow. If it doesn't come through you can try sending it like this:

Save your picture on your computer, someplace easy to find it such as your desktop.

Go to www.tinypic.com

Upload your picture to the site tinypic.com by browsing for it as directed.

This opens up files on your computer. Double click on the picture you want to upload then hit open (bottom right of the screen). This will take you back to the tinypic page. Hit "upload now" then do the secret code thing and your picture will upload into the system.

Once you do that it gives you a bunch of links you can use, one of which says "direct link for layouts" It is important to use this box. It is the forth one down from the top of the page.

Copy the link from inside this box and then paste it into your justanswer dialog box and send it to your expert.

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Pic probably got caught in a "yuck filter" :-) If still I'll send again, then try alternate as you describe.

Dr. Rick :

Sounds like a good plan :)

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Full Size Image

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Think I figured it out,

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Let me know if I need to sharpen my self-portrait skills!

Dr. Rick :

got it

Dr. Rick :

let me take a look...brb

Dr. Rick :

Ya. I could see where the yuk filter would block that picture.....

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

ARRRR, Matey!

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Site says. "Awaiting Customer Action" - is it?

Dr. Rick :

Sorry...little family crisis with the grandbaby...

Dr. Rick :

That does not look like herpes but, without a slit lamp exam it is tough to tell

Dr. Rick :

There sure is a lot of inflammation (chemosos).....

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

No prob - just not real exp. w/ chat

Dr. Rick :

Are you scheduled to see the doc again Monday?

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

No, appointment is for Thursday. But I'll go earlier if needed.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. I think you are in good hands. Continue with the zirgan and also put cold compresses/ice pack on your eye.

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

I'm a pretty stoic patient. I figured the virus had to run its course. Just was on line researching it, decided a 2nd opinion was in order.

Dr. Rick :

I would not expect that this will look much better anytime soon, but as long as things are feeling a bit better -- or at least not worse -- you are on the right track.

Dr. Rick :

Good idea.

Dr. Rick :

This should not hurt your previous lasik results....

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Thanks for help. BTW - how do you get an ointment out of a tube and into your eye w/o touching your eye w/ the tip?

Dr. Rick :

Don't worry about touching your eye with the tip...that really is not as big of a deal as they make it out to be....

Dr. Rick :

but, what I do is pull down your lower lid and put in a glob and then gently let the lid go back to position

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Thanks again. Tried to get my wife to peel back my upper lid and drop a glob in there... she ran screaming!

JACUSTOMER-pxj81y31- :

Have a good day.

Dr. Rick :

Thanks for making me smile with that mental picture :)

Dr. Rick :

Just use the lower lid. I hope you feel better soon.

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

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Hi John,

I was just thinking about you and wondering how your eye was doing today. I hope it looks -- and feels -- better by now.

It is possible that your doctor will want to start a bit of a steroid drop. This is OK under careful supervision with viral infections.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help in the future. Take care.

Dr. Rick