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I have bacterial conjunctivitis. It presents in both eyes…

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I have bacterial conjunctivitis...

I have bacterial conjunctivitis. It presents in both eyes with redness, itching, irritation, and green mucousa. I woke up with it and immediately went to the doctor. He stated it is bacterial conjunctivitis and prescribed antibiotic eyedrops for 5 days. I also happen to have a bacterial sinus infection at the same time for which he prescribed an oral antibiotic for 12 days. I have never had an eye infection as an adult and wanted to know how long the eye infection should take to clear up before seeking further medical help? How to keep my elderly parents from contracting it (they live with me)? And how long it is contagious by person-to-person co tact, as well as on surfaces?

Doctor's Assistant: How long have you had the symptoms? What seems to make the symptoms worse or better?

Approx. 8 hours since symptoms began. Warm compresses very temporarily help with pain. Removing green mucousa temporarily helps clear vision & matting.

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?

Just that I had a sinus infection prior to this which did not resolve W/the first round of oral antibiotics. I started a new antibiotic today after seeing the doctor for both the ongoing sinus infection and the new conjunctivitis.

Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Eye
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Answered in 1 hour by:
12/15/2016
Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 1 year ago
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 12,244
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology and retina surgery experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

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Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 1 year ago

What eye drops did he give you?

What oral antibiotics?

Do you wear contacts?

How old are you?

M/F?

Can you upload a picture of your eyes and your conjunctiva?

Do you commonly have sinus infections?

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

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.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Ciprofloxacin 0.3% OP SOL 2.5mL Eyedrops every 4hrs for 5 days.Levaquin 500mg tabs for 14 days.I wear "daily disposable" contacts. However I do NOT wear them daily. I mainly wear them in situations where glasses aren't optimal (sports activities etc). I rarely use contact cleaner. And I always use a new pair of daily contacts.35 yr old.Female.I attached a picture. I waited until the lovely green mucousa built up so you can see it clearly. I have dark circles (probably due to sinus infection), swelling, redness, scratchy sensation (as if an eyelash is in my eye), wateryness, eye-matting, bit of light-sensitivity and of course green secretions.I do have regular sinus infections about 4 times a year if I am anywhere in the Midwest. My occurrences greatly reduced while I lived more toward the west coast. I have seasonal allergies including (mild, mildew,dust, dust mites, grass, leaves, ragweed, animal dander) which cause problems about 3/4th of the year.I have no other medical issues. I take birth control, specifically LoLoestrin FE.
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Picture here:
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I should add I have an allergist. I take generic Claritin daily, but do not receive allergy shots.
Eye Doctor: Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD replied 1 year ago

Thank you for that additional information and picture.

I see what you are talking about. At this point it is hard to tell if your infection is due to bacteria or virus...but, in any event, it sounds like it is getting better on your current treatment.

I believe that there is some home therapy you can do at home that will help you to feel better. Please allow me to explain:

It sounds like, in addition to any bacterial infection you had, you are suffering from an anterior segment/tear film issue. 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 and the use of a medication called restasis to improve your 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. If this does not give relief then your eyelid opening can be made smaller with surgery (lateral Tarsorrhaphy).

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 is 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.

Does this make sense to you?

Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)

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 MD FACS

When your eyes are "dry" and irritated they make more tears....this is the "something is in my eye" mode of tear production, not the "my eye feels fine and I'm making tears to keep things moist" mode. The use of natural tears will help your eye turn off the flood of "something in my eye" tears that comes from your eyes being dry.

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