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March 5, 2007

Aches and Pains, Other

Question from Cape Coral, Florida, USA:

My six-year-old daughter was treated three weeks ago for a mild eye infection and prescribed eye drops. We followed the doctor's instructions to a T, but she is still crying and whining about her eyes and gets upset if I don't put non-prescription drops in her eyes. She seems depressed and doesn't even want to do anything fun. When she is busy and having fun, she doesn't even mention her eyes. Would an eye infection be constant discomfort or does it come and go? Not sure if it's a cry for attention or something seriously wrong.


Your daughter should be re-evaluated by her eye doctor as soon as possible. The duration of an eye infection depends on the particular micro-organism (bacteria or virus) causing the infection. Bacterial infections of the eye’s mucus membrane, called “conjunctivitis,” typically resolve in a week on antibiotic eye drop therapy, whereas viral eye infections may take several weeks to resolve. Viral eye infections are commonly associated with discomfort (especially light sensitivity and a scratchy sensation) that may come and go and do not respond to antibiotics. The bottom line is that if your daughter is complaining, she needs to be checked again and the correct diagnosis reconfirmed.