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Infection caused eye problems....

Posted by mommydee on August 12, 1999 at 23:18:49
I started with tooth pain and went to a dentist and it was an infection in a tooth that had a root canal.  I was on vacation 1000 miles from home so he put me on antibiotics (Keflex 4 times a day, 500 mg) for 10 days so I could get home.  After being on antibiotics for a few days I got worse....my face turned red and swelled grossly on the side of the tooth infection, for several days the swelling increased until I could not open my right eye, it was basically swollen shut....I could open it barely and had difficulty seeing, both because the massive swelling obstructed my vision, there was a great deal of pain in my eye, and vision was blurred.  I had a temp of 102 degrees.  I got the Keflex extended because I wasn't getting better and I couldn't see to drive home (again from a dentist), also was taking Vicodan for the pain which was some of the worst pain I had ever felt.  Finally after about 2 weeks on antibiotics, the redness and swelling and fever decreased, the pain improved, and finally except for some small amount of swelling, I was all better, but continued antibotics until I was able to get to endodontist when back home....dentist didn't want infection to return.  He did apicoectomy (endodontic surgery) and removed a large cyst which was the root of the infection and had even put a hole through my sinus.  I am basically healed now and my eye vision has returned...everything seems fine now.  I was on Keflex for three weeks then the endodondist changed it to clinamycin for another week.  I was so worried about the eye pain and swelling and vision impairment but didn't want to go to the ER when away from home, while staying in hotels with two children....I didn't know what to do, but I was so sick I still don't know if I did the right thing.  I am glad I am FINALLY ok....should I have done anything different.  Is anything like this likely to recur?  I do have connective tissue disease so for a while I just assumed it took the antibiotics long to work because sometimes I don't heal that fast.  I am fine now, except for lingering fatigue and I just don't feel good yet, but I have only been off antibiotics one day.  More than anything else, I was scared about the eye, but felt kind of annoyed with myself for worrying because I knew the tooth was infected and I was already on antibiotics.  So I tried to hang in there....can you help me understand what happened and what I should have done different if anything.  Dee

Posted by HFHS MD-JL on August 12, 1999 at 23:56:26
You may well have had an orbital infection or abscess which a pocket of infection in the eye socket.  This is a known complication of an infected tooth.  The eye socket is adjacent or next to the mouth and separated only by a very short distance.  Given the amount of swelling and eye pain this is a good possiblity.  This can actually be a sight threatening infection and I certainly would have advised you to head to the ER for IV antibiotics.  Fortunately the oral antibiotics had a chance to work and take care of the infection.  I am glad you do not have any residual infection.  It would be unlikely to return, however, I would recommend a good eye exam.
This info was provided for educational purposes only.

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