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Child with fever, cold like symptoms, and massive eye swelling
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dubsiren posted:
My son is 6 years old. For the past 6 months or so, he has repeatedly had episodes of cold-like symptoms with massive swelling of BOTH eye balls. Usually starts with a fever (100-103), followed by severe runny noise (major sneezing fits and clear, gluey fluid literally pouring from his nose), then comes the eyeball swelling. The eyeball swelling is hard to totally describe accurately. It is bilateral, and happens quickly, usually lasting a full day or two. He gets large bags under his eyes, and the white part of his eyeball (sclera) swells up so much, it bulges around the cornea and makes it look almost flat. There is also slight swelling between his eyes and he gets (I know this will sound horrible) an alien or Pug look to his face.

We have taken him to the doctor multiple times. First they thought he had cellulitis, but he didn't. Then they thought be might be allergic to something, maybe even an allergy to a Virus?

He is in perfect health and the only known medical issue is eczema on his wrists and legs occasionally.

Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated!!
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Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
Dear dubsiren,

Your son's medical problems don't sound psychiatric. I'm not sure if WebMD has a pediatric site where there may be expertise to be found. I might wonder though if he has had an imaging study (eg, MRI) since clear fluid pouring from his nose would mean one would want to be sure that isn't cerebrospinal fluid and that there isn't a congenital malformation causing increased intracranial pressure (bulging eyes) and the soft tissue swelling around his orbits that you describe.

Better than a website, though, may be having a consultation with a pediatric opthalmologist or pediatric neurologist. This doesn't sound like the domain of an average pediatrician (much less psychiatrist!).

Dr. G.


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