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How are eye infections treated after viral infection ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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Hello. I am a 31 year old female. 5'8" 146lbs. I am currently on bystolic for blood pressure and celexa for anxiety. At the beginning of XXXXXXX I got a bad virus that doctors suspect was something similar to mono (mono test was neg). I ran a temperature for 10 days. My white blood cells were low but came back up. I also had a potassium deficiency/dehydration at this time which caused muscle weakness. During this time my doctor was also treating me for h. pylori and I was on bactrim (which I had to discontinue because of a reaction), tetracycline, and flagyl. I started getting TMJ and puffy eyes at this time. I got an extensive thrush infection from antibiotics and was put on 14 days of diflucan. I feel much better but the eye symptoms seem to be lingering. I have red, itchy, and dry eyes. I've never had dry eye before this, never had been to the eye doctor. I've seen several eye doctors who say that my eyes look healthy (a little faresighted) but they can see bumps under my eyelid, some white substance, and dry spots on my eye. They say that it looks allergy related and directed me to use natural tears 4 times a day and take fish oil. They told ask if I had any blurry vision with the dry eye. That is my major frustration right now, it seems no matter how much I use the natural tears I have some blurry vision and irritation. Could there be an underlying condition that I should have my doctor test for? I have some tingling in my hands that comes and goes since the virus. My dentist recently told me it seems that I have some dry mouth as well, though that isn't bothering me. Thank you.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 11 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.

Your question is a good one and I will try to help you with some information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

It certainly does seem like you had a viral syndrome back in XXXXXXX This may have been complicated by some kind of immune reaction which led to a depression of your white blood cell count. In an otherwise healthy patient one of the more common causes of changes in cell counts is medication related. It is possible that some of the meds you were taking for the H. Pylori may have depressed the counts a bit which made you more susceptible to the infection you experienced.

I am glad to hear that overall you are feeling better but I can sympathize with you that the eye symptoms are frustrating. When we talk about dry eyes, chronic irritation and sometimes blurring of vision we should rule out any type of underlying autoimmune disorder. While unlikely it is still worthy to test for this possibility. There is a syndrome called Sjogrens syndrome which has some symptoms which overlap with what you describe. There are now reliable blood tests for this disorder.

It might be worthwhile to have an XXXXXXX blood test drawn. If this is negative it helps rule out autoimmune disorders but if positive might prompt your doctor to extend the testing to include Sjogrens antibody testing. I am not saying you have this for sure but - worthwhile to consider.

Another possibility is that you have an allergic conjunctivitis which is causing the now chronic nature of your symptoms. There are several good prescription eyedrops for this type of things including one which I often prescribe called Optivar. It might be worthwhile to use a trial of something like this to see if it improves things for you.

The last thing is to rule out any change in your environment as a cause. This includes change in where you live, change in jobs, new pets etc.

I thank you again for submitting your query. I hope you will find my answer to be both helpful and informative. Should you have any additional followups I am available to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How are eye infections treated after viral infection ? 1 hour later
I had an XXXXXXX screen done at the end of XXXXXXX It was negative. Would it be good to have this test run again? Is there a possibility I may have developed sjogrens since then? Thank you for the information.
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 8 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query,

It's not unreasonable to have the XXXXXXX checked again. While rare it is possible that it could be falsely negative. Perhaps a consultation with an eye specialist or maybe a rheumetologist would also broaden the thinking from a medical standpoint so that additional appropriate tests could be done and good solutions could be provided to help improve the quality of your life.

I thank you again for the query and hope you find this reply to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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