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herpes zoster ophthalmicus
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bev46 posted:
I have been diagnosed with this. This is the beginning of the third week. The eye doctor has given me drops and pain pills. The blisters on my face and nose are healled. However, the pain in my eye and/or area around forehead is excruciating when it hits me. The pain usually hits when I am doing physical activity. I don't dare drive anymore for fear of the pain.
Is this normal or is there something else I should or shouldn't be doing?
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Susan Evans, MD responded:
Dear bev46,

What you're experiencing is the post-herpetic neuralgia, or the nerve pain from the ocular shingles infection you're current recovering from. The pain can come and go at unexpected intervals. If the pain is debilitating, see your doctor for some help in dealing with the pain.

As I'm sure you're aware, ocular shingles is a dangerous infection because it affects your eyes. If at any time you have questions about your recovery and recuperation, do not hesitate to return to your doctor.

Some patients find relief taking Tylenol or Motrin or their generic counterparts. As I said above, if these are not providing enough relief, you need to see your doctor. With time this pain will decrease, but it can last for several weeks.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Best,

Dr. Evans
 
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bev46 replied to Susan Evans, MD's response:
Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I was given Darvocet for pain. However, I don't have any warning before the pain hits. One minute I am driving or walking and I am struck by the excruciating pain. Then I take a Davorcet. The pain is almost past before I take the pill. Putting icecubes on my eye and surrounding area seems to help. I will feel better knowing this is within the normal parameters for shingles pain.
Bev Petersen
 
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Susan Evans, MD replied to bev46's response:
Dear Bev,

Hang in there. The post-herpetic neuralgia that results from shingles is the single most frustrating symptom, and all I can do is assure you it gets better over time.

Best,

Dr. Evans
 
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bev46 replied to Susan Evans, MD's response:
Thank you for the info. It has reassured me that I am not having an aneurism, It is the worst pain I have experienced in years!
 
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PV123 replied to Susan Evans, MD's response:
Due to having shingles about 2 years ago, scar tissue in my right eye developed and recently has caused considerable blurring (previously I was 20/20.) I have been to two eye specialists who have diagnosed this, including a cornea ophthalmologist who observed lipids creeping into my sightline, caused by the scar tissue, which she has determined had been developing for quite some time. She has put me on Valcyclovir (500mg 2xday) & Prednisolone 1% (1xday) which I have been taking for a week. Any suggestions or alternatives? Trying to avoid surgery or needing to wear a hard contact lense in that eye to correct the blurring. Thanks.
PV123
 
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Susan Evans, MD replied to PV123's response:
Dear PV123,

I really cannot provide a second opinion in this case. You are already under the care of an eye specialist who has very specialized training in treating conditions of the eye. I appreciate your concerns, but I really cannot give you any advice as to whether there are any alternatives to your condition.

Best,

Dr. Evans
 
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atexas8 replied to Susan Evans, MD's response:
I was diagnosed with shingles on the left side of my face, eye and head on 11/22. I completed a 7 day Rx of Valcyclovir (1 GM 3 x a day). The blisters have dried up and I'm seeing a cornea specialist for my eye. The post-herpetic neuralgia is driving me crazy - never know when it is coming on. I'm still taking Hydrocodone (500 mg) when I have an attack. Also taking motrin and tylenol as needed. The attacks are so debilitating that I get the shakes and have to rest after the episodes. Usually they happen during the day (1 or 2 per day) but was awakened by one this morning at 6:00 a.m. I can't touch my hairline or top of my head without setting it off. Needless to say I've been unnable to comb or wash my hair for over a week and can't touch the left side of my face above the lip area. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 
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Susan Evans, MD replied to atexas8's response:
Dear atexas8,

I'm very sorry to hear that you are still suffering from your bout with shingles. The pain that is associated with shingles is a nerve pain called "post herpetic neuralgia". This can sometimes last as long as six months after the rash has disappeared.

You should make a follow up appointment with your physician. There are things that can be done to help you manage this continuing pain. Do not feel that you are being a hypochondriac or are complaining needlessly because this type of pain is life-changing.

Please return to your doctor and ask for help with the pain. Treatments can include things like a lidocaine patch, long-acting pain medication, or a prescription for an anti-depressant that will help you deal with the pain. This will not make you at risk for having to stay on a medication for the rest of your life. All you're looking for is relief from this long-lasting nerve pain. Please keep in touch and let me know how you're doing.

Best,

Dr. Evans
 
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An_245602 replied to Susan Evans, MD's response:
I have had shingles of the eye for 5 times since 9/2010. I do have RA that puts me t a greater risk, I understand. Is there anything that can be done to prevent another round of shingles. I have damage to the inside of my eye with 4 scars. My vision is limited in that eye. I still have the other symptoms of pain and discomfort around the eye and scalp pretty much 24/7 with intervals of little pain. I am on Gabapentin 600 mg (2 AM, 3 PM) and Acyclovir 800 mg (2 AM, 2 PM).
Linda F.


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