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The Eyes

To Whom it May Concern:

I hope that you will be able to answer a question...actually a few questions concerning allergies and the eyes.

My son, age 4 has had the pinkeye 10 times in the last year...We currently reside in IN. We lived in TN and in SC before moving here. I am 31 years old. I have NEVER had the pinkeye before I moved here. Now, I have had it 3 times, my husband 2 times, my daughter 3 times and as I said, my son 10 times. WHAT IS WRONG? We are very diligent about hand washing, not sharing towels...I have read enough about the illness to know all the preventative measures to take. Each of the 3 times that I had pinkeye, it was bacterial and cleared up with Ciloxan. The same is true for my husband. My daughter was treated with Tobramycin...clearing up after 1-2 days (of course, I continued the treatment per the doctor's orders). My son's problems have manifested themselves in VERY STRANGE ways.

A brief history:

--May of 97 (the month the "pinkeye devil" invaded my home): He came down with only minor redness, little to no discharge...this lasted one day. I did not treat. 1 week later someone else in the family came down with it.

The same thing happened each time my son came down with this "one day pinkeye".

Finally, in Jan/98 he came down with it again--I took him to the doctor. She did not do a swab test, but declared that it was bacterial and prescribed Tobramycin. I treated the infection (both eyes) for 5 days. This worked wonderfully. I thought we were done with it.

The saga continues...Thurs, April 3, 1998, he has a localized redness in left eye. I take him to the doctor and insist they do a swab test. The results came back negative. They also said that it was not viral. They told me that it was allergies and not contagious. However, a child friend of his comes down with the pinkeye 3 days after contact with my son. son has redness in the right eye now. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? I feel like the doctor is ignoring my pleas for assistance in this matter. I do not feel like having pinkeye 10 times in one year is normal. My entire family is pinkeye paranoid...I have been very insistent on hand washing and not TOUCHING THE EYES...yet it still haunts us on a monthly basis. My son does have allergies such as hay fever...terrible sinus problems (runny nose). But that would not account for the people around us getting the pinkeye after contact with my son. Please help. If you are unable to help, please put me in contact with someone that can help. Maybe this would be a good case study for someone. :-)

Can you explain to me how this could be happening? Does this sound like this could be allergies to you? Please, Please help me or send me in the right direction.

Thank You,
Paula T.
The only way to know for certain if allergy is present is to have allergy testing. Allergy skin testing by a Certified Allergy Specialist can help to make an accurate diagnosis.

Some people can have recurrent eye infections, but it is also possible that an allergic child who is always pawing or itching the eyes will get infections more often.

You may be able to reach an Allergist in your area by calling: 1-800-822-2762.

Hope this brief info helps.

Good luck.

Steve Kagen, M.D.