My mom got conjunctivitis at her ophthalmologist's office

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by The Real Bev, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. The Real Bev

    The Real Bev Guest

    That's the only thing we can figure. She sees very few people, none of
    them intimately. She visited her ophthalmologist on a Tuesday for
    "granulated eyelid" diagnosis/treatment and was given a prescription for
    some kind of stuff to use. Friday her eyes were bright red and teary
    and her vision was degraded. She visited him the following Tuesday and
    was told she had some sort of antibiotic-resistant infection and was
    given a prescription for some brand new antibiotic which seems to have
    improved things. No more pus, but still red. She went in again
    yesterday and was told she has conjunctivitis, for which he gave her a
    prescription for some steroid drops. And so it goes.

    How do you get conjunctivitis? Toilet seats? Medical office
    doorknobs? Is it the same as pinkeye or different? We just can't
    figure out where else she could have got it.
    The Real Bev, Nov 12, 2003
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  2. The Real Bev

    Ann Guest

    Was an allergic reaction considered?

    Ann, Nov 12, 2003
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  3. The Real Bev

    Dan Abel Guest

    Many years ago I got pinkeye. I went to the doctor, and he asked if my
    kids had just had xyz (I don't remember what it was, but it wasn't
    pinkeye). I said that they had, and how did he know? Turns out it was
    the same bug, but kids got xyz and adults got pinkeye!

    I have no clue whether this has anything to do with your mother, but it's
    a good story.
    Dan Abel, Nov 12, 2003
  4. The Real Bev

    The Real Bev Guest

    No, other than thinking 'hey, maybe it's an allergy.' She's 86 and has
    never had any sort of allergy at all, just rosacea.
    The Real Bev, Nov 12, 2003
  5. The Real Bev

    Ann Guest

    I'm not a doctor, just a patient but I have found that most eye drops
    make my eye go red and sore. Also it's easy to introduce bacteria
    when using drops or creams in or around the eye. I can't think that
    I've ever picked up an infection from the hospital though.

    Ann, Nov 12, 2003
  6. I would imagine that conjunctivitis-causing bacteria are more
    prevalent in a ophthalmologist's office than in any other kind of
    office or public place, simply because so many people with the
    condition visit doctors for diagnosis and treatment. The bacteria
    have got to be on doorknobs, sink handles, pens at the receptionists
    desks, etc., all over their offices (thus transmitted through no fault
    of the doctors). I'd be very interested in seeing a study (or
    anecdotal comments from docs here) showing whether people who work in
    OMD/OD offices tend to get more eye infections (per capita) than the
    general public.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 12, 2003
  7. The Real Bev

    drfrank21 Guest

    Just a gut feeling but I doubt it. I've never have had any type of
    bacterial or viral conjunctivitis in my years of practice nor has my
    staff. . My staff is pretty conscientitious about wiping down my
    equipment between patients and I use the "no rinse" hand disinfectant
    between patients as well (more so to prevent any uri's from shaking

    On a side note, it always suprises me how sick some people are with
    bad colds and the like and they still show up for their exam, hacking
    and coughing away. Or I"m seeing a child and the mother brings
    in the rest of the brood and the kiddies are all coughing, wiping
    noses with their hands, etc. (mom insisting they all watch in the exam
    room). It wasn't that long ago that a mom
    brought in her ill son with a stomach virus - during the middle part
    of the exam the poor kid puked all over himself AND the chair AND the
    floor- what a mess!!

    Anyway, I think Francine nailed it pretty well- Bev's mom could have
    picked it up anywhere. ;(

    drfrank21, Nov 13, 2003
  8. Thanks for the anecdote, Frank--that was very enlightening! I've also
    wondered over the years if general practitioners get more colds and
    other contagious illnesses than most people do. I'm sure doctors are
    very careful about washing their hands frequently, but there's not
    much that can be done against airborne pathogens (if a patient coughs
    in your face while you are examining their throat, or their eyes for
    that matter).
    Oh no!! I think you doctors deserve every penny that you get for
    examining potentially infectious patients!

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 13, 2003
  9. Well, so much for my theory then! Well, I wonder how many *patients*
    get illnesses after visiting doctor's offices, hospitals, clinics,
    etc., knowing that most people aren't as careful about washing their
    hands and avoiding touching their eyes and noses with unclean hands as
    health providers are. Every time I enter a doctor's office, it is
    always on the back of my mind that I could be exposing myself to
    whatever the last really sick person was in the office for (even
    though I am extremely fastidious about washing my hands frequently).
    This is of course nothing at all against doctors' offices--it's simply
    a matter of where sick people tend to congregate the most.

    Lothar of the Hill People, Nov 13, 2003
  10. The Real Bev

    The Real Bev Guest

    Only previous experience we've had is my son getting it from a public
    swimming pool when he was 5 or 6. Crusty and nasty rather than red and
    In some cases the appointment was made months ago; if they miss the
    appointment it will be several more months before they can get in.
    Under those circumstances I would yell loudly if they couldn't squeeze
    me in, possibly threatening to come in and sneeze all over everybody in
    the office, but a lot of people aren't willing to do that. If you push,
    they can almost always squeeze you in. Why not, they book 6 patients
    every 15 minutes anyway :-(
    Yuck. If they can't get baby sitters, they should just wedge the extra
    kids behind the piano. OTOH, what can the doctor do when the patient is
    really sick with something that he normally treats? Some doctors will
    prescribe over the phone if the symptoms are clear-cut and the reciter
    thereof is deemed to be trustworthy, but a lot won't.
    Probably, but since the only place she'd gone was the doc's office...
    Neither of us is particularly religious about washing our hands and/or
    keeping them away from our faces and her resistance may have been
    lowered from a possible cold a month previously.

    There was a discussion in another newsgroup about getting out of a
    public restroom without touching anything after washing and drying your
    hands. Someone suggested using the paper towel (or toilet paper) to
    cover the doorknob and then tossing the paper into the trashcan -- or
    dropping it on the floor where management SHOULD put a trashcan.
    The Real Bev, Nov 13, 2003
  11. The Real Bev

    Ann Guest

    Also, I had many eye infections in an enucleated socket over many
    years (13 years) prior to recent plastic surgery, and never once did
    my remaining eye get infected.

    Ann, Nov 13, 2003
  12. I've only looked at the beginning of this thread, but your question caught
    my attention. It's one of those google was made for. Try the following:


    2)based on a search at the LA Cnty Dept of Hlth Services website:,bio,faqs,pubs,media,wwwfile

    Gene Goldenfeld, Nov 13, 2003
  13. The Real Bev

    The Real Bev Guest

    You were an only child too, right? I didn't get it until I was 22, and
    had measles 3 years previous to that. It's hard to apply for serious
    jobs when you have to explain that it's just CP and you're not
    contagious any more and HONEST it will go away.
    The Real Bev, Nov 15, 2003
  14. The Real Bev

    The Real Bev Guest

    Very good. The photo was especially nice, and looks exactly right :)
    I'm ashamed that I didn't google before posting.
    The Real Bev, Nov 15, 2003
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