Ophthalmology & Optometry/Shingles


Seven days ago I began to have symptoms (sensitivity on forehead) of what appears to be Shingles. 2 days after sensitivity 3 bumps began to appear I thought might be pimples on forehead hairline. I tried to pop one with Fingernail thinking I would release anything, but nothing there and left one bump with a little scratch. Over the next day multiple intermittent and sporadic pains shot through one side of head. Went to Dr. next day as 3 bumps were enlarging into one larger red area. Dr. believed maybe Folliculitis follicle possibly got infected and causing problem. Did not seem worried over sensitivity to touch on just one side of head and the previous shooting pains. He put me on Keflex. Next day area on forehead redder and middle of forehead puffed up. I by this time was thinking Shingles and knew if on head needed to worry about eyes. That day I returned to my Dr and again he was not ready to call it Shingles because although I had most of the symptoms but did not have blisters. Frustrated and knowing if it was Shingles  went to my eye Dr because I was worried about eye involvement starting if I was not being treated for Shingles. My eye Dr felt it probably was shingles, although it was not in eye and told him my Dr was calling it infection of a hair Folliculitis. He said he was going to protect my eye and give me eye drops of Ciprofloxin. I began them on Thursday night. He knew I was going to try to see my Doctor again but told me Valtrex is what he would expect to be prescribed. I returned to my Dr and on third time he then said was Shingles. At this time my eyelid was red and swollen in corner some and had a couple other red areas ( but still no blisters, just rash). He prescribed Valtrex Friday night. Now Saturday night my eyelid is very swollen. My question even though I started Cipro drops for two days now and Valtrex for one day, should I be getting worse. Does it take time to turn the ship and not worry about the eye swelling or could the Cipro drops I started or Valtrex actually be not working or maybe I am having a reaction? If it takes time when would eye swelling start to improve and quit getting worse? Lastly if it was getting worse due to a drug reaction how would you know? If it is a reaction and I continue the drugs and let the eye stay swollen until the seven days of Valtrex have finished have I done damage? Could Cipro drugs be doing it and again if I continue drops can reaction cause me problems, or again the Drugs have not yet been working as the Shingles was here first and would have swollen my eye anyway to where it is even with my starting the drugs.

If you've contracted Shingles, like the Chicken Pox virus, the proper treatment is to be placed on Valtrex or Famvir.  If the eye becomes infected then an anti viral eyedrop like Zovirax is recommended.  The Cipronis an antibiotic that merely covers any secondary bacterial infection but is not effective against the virus.  Give it time to work effectively- often times won't see improvement for about 5-7 days    Keep monitoring with your doctor.  Good luck.  

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Any and all questions with regard to ocular ailments, eye diseases as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, etc , eye and visual sympomatology, eyeglasses, contact lenses, low or subnormal vision, pediatric vision conditions,and special and unique ailments will be discussed.


36 years of clinical experience in opticianry and therapeutic optometry. Still in private practice with special interests in vision conditions, diagnosing and treating ocular ailments, prescibing treatment plans which include medicine, eyeglasses, and contact lenses primarily. Although surgery is not within the realm of my area of expertise, I co-manage many pre and post -op surgical cases which include Lasik and PRK procedures.

New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians American Optometric Association

B.A.,1968, Hunter College of the City University of New York B.S.,1970, Pennsylvania College of Optometry O.D.,1973, Pennsylvania College of Optometry Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Administration Certification, New Jersey 1992

Awards and Honors
Clinical Efficiency Award, 1973, Pennsylvaania College of Optometry

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