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Troy Bedinghaus, O.D.

Chronic Pink Eye?

By August 3, 2008

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A question from our forum:

I have suffered with conjunctivitis on and off since last August. 4 Weeks ago I was told I had a scratched cornea, pain was horrific, that is now better but can't get rid of pink eye and excessive watering, it is also sticky in the morning. Anybody have any idea what is causing this ongoing problem and how to get rid of it? I have tried everything.

Answer from the doctor:

Is the doctor sure that you don't have an underlying dry eye condition with perhaps blepharitis? After you finish your last round of antibiotic eye drops, try this: use artificial tears every two hours, every day. Then, use Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo and lather it up on a very warm wash cloth. Scrub your eyelid margins 20 times back and forth, every night for two weeks.

Suggested Reading:

October 7, 2008 at 3:59 am
(1) Kate says:

I’m having a second bout with conjunctivitis, 12 years ago it started as bacterial, then was allergic. Cleaning with bleach, throwing out make-up, was a full time job. It finally subsided. I was on the East Coast. Now I’m on the West Coast, and same episode. It won’t go away, I do Lysol, bleach/water, every light switch, change towels/pillow cases daily, wash hands like a compulsive, have sprayed everything I touch, and my husband wants to leave (almost). He has it too. going on 7 weeks, trying to be very diligent about hygiene, we are going crazy. What do we do? 4 weeks on Cipro drops now.

April 8, 2009 at 7:13 pm
(2) Tracy says:

My 3yr old son has had pink eye at least once a month since the day we brought him home from the hospital. Is this possible he has allergies that the dr isn’t finding due to his age? I clean and sanitize all the time. What can I do?

April 8, 2009 at 9:52 pm
(3) vision says:

Your son may have a blocked tear duct. Recurrent conjunctivitis can occur if the tear drainage system is blocked. This is fairly uncommon in a 3 year old however. This is very common in infants. The tear duct usually opens spontaneous or with massage within a few months. Those that don’t open usually have to have surgery to open it up. It is possible that your son’s never opened up and keeps getting re-infected. Now, as you said, it could also be alleriges. Even little guys can develop allergies. You should take your son to a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist and have him checked out! Thank you for the comment!

April 12, 2009 at 8:14 pm
(4) rachel says:

I have been suffering with blepharitis/pink eye/dry eye for two years. I do the drops and washes everyday. My eye is slightly swollen and the more drops I use the more irritated the skin gets around my eye. I feel like I have all three simultaneously at times and it is very frustrating because I can’t seem to get rid of it for more than a few weeks at a time and at my doctor’s it is never full blown enough to convince him to be more aggressive. The worst is the cloudy runny drainage which during the day looks disgusting. At night I can’t read or watch tv. In the morning I am so crusted over I can’t open my eye. Is it possible I have an infection like staph that is deep in the tissue and keeps coming back? Why is only one eye affected and how have I never passed it to my family? Could it be Lyme? Herpes? Help so I can try and get better treatment.

June 14, 2009 at 7:28 pm
(5) Colleen says:

I have had the same problem off and on for about 2 years I have taken all kinds of drops and was told it was anterieor scleritits Just last week was sent to a doctor in Boston who said it was pink eye my lymph nodes were swollen and I was told it was very contagious but yet this happens time and time again and nobody else in the household get it nor does it spread to the other eye I am now on predisone for the eye as soon as I started to decrease the dose it started to flare again then calm down I am also on methetrexate to try to stop the reoccurence .

October 29, 2010 at 7:01 am
(6) KFS says:

Just in case you made the mistake I did when disinfecting everything (home, doorknobs, mouse, keyboard) DON’T FORGET YOUR CELL PHONE (And Camera if you use one often).

Seriously, I can’t believe I made such an obvious mistake. I was on the ‘net this morning looking for causes/symptoms of reoccurence and why this kept coming back (costing me money in repeatedly replacing contacts and eye makeup – ugh)

I was all ???? and then, I received a text. I picked up my phone without a thought and Eureka! A light bulb went off!

So … it’s probably only part of the puzzle but I intend to wipe down the entire cell phone.

I wonder what is better to disinfect surfaces? Bleach cleaner or rubbing alcohol?

October 29, 2010 at 7:03 am
(7) KFS says:

Don’t forget to disinfect your cell phone – and camera if you used it during your infection. I think I infected my husband by handing him the camera to use right BEFORE I realized I had an infection.

March 16, 2012 at 11:32 am
(8) amwm says:

bleach/chemicals in general don’t “disinfect” a surface unless it is on there for over 10 minutes wet with it and even then it doesn’t get it all.
Just an FYI.

January 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm
(9) CH says:

I have had all the symptoms everyone is talking about (recurrent blepharitis, conjunctivitis). I’ve given up on any type of cure. Here is something you all need to take into consideration. I believe that computer, television, and cell phone usage exacerbates the problem. I am in my early thirties and do not look at a cell phone AT ALL. (thankfully I can use Siri for most tasks and to read my texts messages). But I can almost guarantee that if you cut out tv, cut down on computer and don’t look at cell phones- it will help a little. I know that’s almost impossible in 2013, but please consider it. I haven’t watched tv in my home in 8 years. It’s the only way I’ve barely survived all these years.

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