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Ask Dr. Dan B. Your Own Question
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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I was diagnosed with Viral Conjunctivitis 10 days ago and it

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I was diagnosed with Viral Conjunctivitis 10 days ago and it is not getting any better, if anything the pain is worse than was. Is this normal? What would you recommend to do?
Doctor DanB : Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?
Customer:

yes


Customer:

though it hurts to focus on computer screen

Doctor DanB : Are your eyes still red? Sensitive to light?
Customer:

yes


Customer:

watering

Customer:

the infection started in the right eye, spread to the left,

Customer:

the left eye is feeling better now, but the original eye is just as it was, pain worse

Customer:

very red, lots of tearing, photo sensitive


Customer:

have to take about 600-800 mg every 4 hours to keep pain tolerable


Customer:

in right eye only

Customer:

this is day 10 of infection

Doctor DanB : I suspect that your immune system may be overstimulated by the virus causing inflammation in the corne which doesn't go away usually unless you have a steroid prescription to use.
Doctor DanB : For that reason, I would recommend going to see an ophthalmologist.
Customer:

it was an ophthalmogist that diagnosed me

Customer:

told me there was nothing to do except wait it out

Customer:

why didn't he prescribe the steriod to begin with

Doctor DanB : Yes, I understand that. That is usually all that is required. However, for a small minority of patients, the immune system can cause continued inflammation and require steroids to suppress. The reason steroids aren't prescribed during the active infection is because steroids can worsen a viral infection. But after 10 days, though, the active infection has likely cleared and so, should've, your symptoms.
Customer:

so its not that I need antiviral?

Doctor DanB : No there's no antiviral that stops this.
Customer:

there is if herpes and I do have a history of herpes simplex on my mouth, though I don't have a cold sore at the moment, is it possible that I could have a break out in my eye instead of the usual location of on my mouth and therefore need acyclovir

Doctor DanB : Yes, that's absolutely possible and is something that can be ferreted out by another exam.
Doctor DanB : Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?
Customer:

Okay, well living in Canada, there is no way to see an ophthmologist until tomorrow

Doctor DanB : I see. I think that's okay; unfortunately theres not much else you can do until then.
Customer:

can a General practitioner prescribe a steroid? or would suggest I wait to see a opthamologist?

Doctor DanB : I would definitely wait for the ophthalmologist. Your GP is going to be relatively useless here.
Doctor DanB : Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?
Customer:

okay, thanks. and yes, this is part of our medical system that is not very good. Cannot get the care one wants in a timely manner even if willing to pay.

Customer:

is there anything else that you can suggest for the pain that I could get over the counter at the pharmacy

Customer:

like a local eye drop analgesic

Doctor DanB : How frustrating! Good luck to you. I hope this has been helpful. unfortunately everything you're doing is what I would recommend but instead use cool compresses instead of warm.
Doctor DanB : There is no anesthetic eye drop that you can get OTC.
Customer:

okay, thanks....have been doing both warm and cool...mostly cool.

Doctor DanB : My pleasure. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers.  If this process has been helpful, please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback; any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. This does not end our conversation, however-we can continue to discuss any of your concerns without further charges until you are satisfied.  My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.  Thanks for your inquiry! 
Customer:

okay, I am going to rate the service as okay, not because you weren't helpful, but because I already knew I had to go back to the doctor tomorrow and was hoping there was more I could do in the mean time. That is, I am frustrated and in pain, which makes it hard to say the service is good. If you could prescribe virtually, then this would be good. Just teasing, i know you cant do that...just wishful thinking.

Doctor DanB : I certainly wish I could. Unfortunately that's probably a long way off! I wish there are other measures I could suggest for you to try, but you're a very conscientious patient and are already doing most everything that can help you. I wish you luck and thank you for the positive feedback!
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