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Pink Eye

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:35pm
Parents are always concerned when their child, and subsequently themselves, come down with a case of pink eye. Viral conjunctivitis, which accounts for over 90% of cases of this contagion, must run its course until our own immune system fights off this invader. While antibiotics are often prescribed, there is no greater waste of the treatment because they are absolutely useless. When I tell parents this they often get a false sense of security and respond, "Well that's ok, I just wanted to make sure they aren't contagious." They are then horrified when I explain that there this is highly contagious illness and yet medicine still has not come up with a cure.

Much of the to do around pink eye is just that it is so obvious compared to other similar viral infections. There is no hiding behind a kleenex or an over-the-counter decongestant during, but must live with the social stigma of the pink eye. Schools and day cares quickly diagnose kids and send them home.

I currently have one of the nastiest cases of pink eye I've seen in some time. I'm not sure exactly where I got it, but I think this may have been from a patient (when I get sick it is much more common for the source to be my own children) Classic for viral conjunctivitis, it started out in my right eye with an associated runny nose and cough, and now has spread to the left. So bloodshot are both of my eyes right now I look as though I am some sort of devil-man. My eyes have been matted shut with thick mucus for the last three mornings and drain periodically throughout the day.

I have to say this really is miserable. Not that I feel so bad, but because I just don't want to leave the house. I mean this looks really bad. I'm supposed to work tomorrow, but if I don't get better I'm a little worried I'd scare some children and parents will be appalled that I would set foot in my office (even though they really wouldn't care if I just had a runny nose only type of cold).

Well I guess I better just heed my own advice when it comes to getting over viral infections--orange juice, chicken soup, and park myself on the couch.

The Country Doctor
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