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What is the use of eye swab test?

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Practicing since : 1977
Answered : 1172 Questions
what do eye swab tests test for?
do they test for herpetic eye diseases?
if 2 viral and 2 bacteria swab tests come back negative, there is no previous shingles-cold sores-chickenpox, and no previous eye conditions= should i be diagnosed with having a previous herpetic eye disease when the scars on my eye happened after being blasted by sharp chemical laced dusts from a 545kg diesel heater blower?
Posted Tue, 21 May 2013 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. N. K. Misra 1 hour later
My Dear,
Thanks for sending your query to us.
Eye swab tests are for surface pathogens.They show bacteria,pus cells.
Viruses may most of the times be inside a cell and the test may be negative.
The previous infection produced the scar and that scar remains.
Many viruses remain dormant in the cells and flare up when your body resistance is down,like herpez simplex
I feel that i have answered your query fully,in case of any doubt ,please do get back to me.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What is the use of eye swab test? 13 minutes later
thank you for the quick reply. i feel i have been misdiagnosed by my doctor on the basis that the sharp dusts caused the eye scars. i have not had any previous eye disease. I appreciate you have said a potential virus may lay dormant.

when the eye is in the state of my picture, if you have it, where there is damage etc.... would a viral swab test taken at this stage not show up a virus?

surely a virus does not appear, do damage then while the damage is there disappear?
Answered by Dr. N. K. Misra 45 minutes later
My Dear,
Thanks for getting back to us.
The viruses may remain dormant or or may not be present in the scar tissue.
These viruses may be visible on scrapings with special staining techniques.
At this stage the virus may or may not be demonstrated.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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