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Dr Dansingani
Dr Dansingani, Ophthalmic Surgeon
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 15
Experience:  BA, MA (Cambridge) MB,BS (London) FRCOphth (London)
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My husband has been examined by an eye specialist and told

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My husband has been examined by an eye specialist and told that he has viral conjunctivitis. It started when he got some timber dust in his eyes about 10 to 12 weeks ago. His eyes have been itchy, feeling like there is something in them, very swollen and bruised looking, blurred vision etc. At the same time he has had small itchy spots similar to mosquito bites appear all over his body (only about 6 to ten at a time). His eyes were getting better and the spots disappeared until he got a flu last week. Now his eyes are very swollen and sore again, his vision is very blurred and the itchy spots are back. Is this typical of viral conjunctivitis? The specialist said it would clear in a couple of weeks and that was 3 weeks ago now and they are no better than when we saw him. Do you have any advise or information that may explain his situation?

Hi there.

The cluster of findings you describe are certainly consistent with viral conjunctivitis, in terms of eye findings and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. However, the spots/rash on the skin do raise concern about the overall diagnosis. On the one hand, this could be a self-limiting viral flu-like condition. On the other, there are odd infections that can cause rash, flu-like symptoms, headache and conjunctivitis. (May require oral aantibiotics.)

As far as the eyes are concerned, it would be worth showing them to an ophthalmologist if there is any redness of the white of the eyes, or if the vision has deteriorated. I think that in any case it would be worth getting checked out my your family physician, especially if there is a temperature.

I hope it all resolves soon. If the advice is helpful, kindly click the 'accept' link.

Best wishes.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Have already taken 2 lots of antibiotics and used antibiotic eye drops, seen 4 different physicians, and 1 ophthalmologist. Received the following diagnosis from them: bacterial infection, allergy, viral infection, viral conjunctivitis, sty, will clear in a couple of weeks. Have had it for 3 months and still don't know what it is or why it won't clear up.
Viral and allergic phenomena are not alleviated by antibiotics. Antibiotics will only resolve the condition if it is due to bacterial infection.

Please consider the following as accurately as possible:
  1. Are the whites of the eyes red?
  2. Are the eyes predominantly itchy or gritty?
  3. Is there any discharge? If so is it yellow, white or watery?
  4. What do the allergic skin spots look like? Are they flat? Are they blisters?
  5. Are eye swab results available?
  6. Are blood test results available (CBC, inflammatory markers, renal and liver function)?
  7. Any insect bites?
  8. Any pets in the house?
  9. Anything new in the immediate environment
  10. Any temperature?
  11. Has the flu resolved?

Another concern that comes to mind is whether this could be a drug reaction. Does your husband take any regular meds? Have any of them been changed recently?

I do not have much experience with rickettsial illnesses, (they are not so common here) but that is another possibility that comes to mind.

It is possible that your husband has been unlucky in acquiring one infection after another. On the other hand I get the feeling that the eyes may not be the primary problem but there may be a systemic explanation. This seems like a difficult one to solve without seeing him in person.
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