The Case of the Insane Eyeball

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We haven’t had much of a winter here in Texas this year. Combine that with hideous allergies and suddenly you have a recipe for disaster for those of us who suffer from pollen issues. For the past couple weeks, my left eye has been slightly itchy and had a little tiny red spot in it. Nothing alarming or even anything that I noticed for the most part. A friend at work mentioned earlier in the week that he’d picked up a strep infection in his eye of all places, so I decided to have my issue looked at by a professional just in case.

I went to my usual eye doctor on Wednesday after work and she looked it over. She put on her magnifying goggles, dropped in some yellow drops, and cleared me of any infection. Just as I suspected she diagnosed Texas allergies and prescribed steroid drops for my eye. This, my friends, is where the story takes an evil turn. I put a drop in Wednesday night. One single drop. Honestly I forgot completely on Thursday that’s how much the redness didn’t bother me.

Yesterday morning I woke up and my eye was definitely itchier and redder than before. In went the second drop. I got to work and my eye kept getting worse and worse. Red, watery, insane itching as I’d never had before. I called the doctor around lunchtime and went back. She announced that NOW I had an infection so I needed different drops that would fix me right up. Being suspicious at this point, I asked what I should do if it got worse over the weekend. She confidently said that it wouldn’t. It would take a couple days before it was gone but it wouldn’t get worse.

Well thank goodness I had nothing to worry about. Ahem, guess where this is going. I faithfully put the drops in as directed. My eye was in agony. I decided by last night that I was done whining so I opted to wine instead. I went to bed and woke up around 5 am feeling like my eye was glued shut. I flipped the bathroom light on and was greeted with this sight (pun intended ;-))…

eye-infection

I freaked out and immediately did the web check in for urgent care so that I was first in line when they opened. It actually got worse after this and swelled almost shut. I looked like Popeye driving down the road to urgent care. You know it’s bad when the doctor gasps when she sees you. It turns out that steroids have a tendency to lower your immune system if they are used when not needed. She suspects that I actually did have allergies to start with but the steroids left me susceptible to bacteria that I wouldn’t otherwise be and I picked up a bad one.

She gave me  two quite painful shots, one in each hip, to load me up with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. I also have follow up drops and pills to take for the next week. Within a couple hours, the swelling went way down and I’m left with a slight redness but nothing near the disaster of an eye I started with. I have to laugh… She advised me to not wear my contacts for a while. Um, as if. Nope, no danger of that happening.

Definitely follow the advice of your medical teams, but be extra EXTRA vigilant in hand washing, sanitizing, and coming in contact with people with colds and flu when dealing with steroid medications. I wash my hands a lot but had I known the potential issue, I would have been even more careful. Talk about excitement for the weekend. I’ve had my share. Now I just need to warn my co-workers that they get the joy of seeing me without make up for the next week or so. That’s the real horror story.

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