Yes the blue light thing is called a Goldman applanating tonometer and it does touch the eye.
While the tip is sterilized daily it is not the custom of Eye MD s or optoms to sterilize with alcohol after each use. The reason is that residual alcohol or disinfectant is more of a problem than potential infections.
HOWEVER: an eye that is infected is not applanated, all red eyes that are tested have the tip disinfected or a new sterile tip put on.
Eye infections spread by Eye MD office or optom offices are rare indeed.
I am finally through the journey, after the diagnosis of Orbital Cellulitis, the Ophthamologist then informed me I had Membranous Conjunctivitis and treatment included three drops of Pred Forte three times a day, Restatis twice a day, and an antibiotic salve at night. The infection has finally cleared but with my last visit on Wednesday, October 8th. The Dr. made the comment that she has "no idea" how the infection started.
My question to you, and please believe I am not trying to put you into a corner. I just need an honest answer. On 8/14 when I went for the original exam, the O.D. Doctor who examined me was about 1 1/2 hours late in getting to his patients, when he did my exam I noticed upon the completion of all exams after that the one thing he did not do.
The equipment that is used to measure the pressure, not the puff thing but the blue light thing, he didn't wipe it off with an alcohol swab. Six days later I had infections in both eyes. Every visit after, the equipment was always wiped. When the blue light is put to your eye, does it actually come in contact with your eye???
If you develop fever, chills or the appearance dramatically worsens go to an ER.
I did contact the Eye Clinic where I saw the Opthamologist, and found that the Dr. I was seeing was oncall. They put me thru to her and I explained all my symptons. Apparently she didn't see the urgency in this matter as she said she would see me first thing Tuesday morning. She asked how the redness and swelling was in my eyes, and I told her that had greatly improved, but I still have the stickyness while sleeping, and watering of both eyes. I told her about the blurred vision and color halos and change in vision. She indicated I may now have cornea irritation.
Orbital cellulitis is a potentially extremely serious problem that can require hospitilazation, extended IV antibiotics and has a risk of menegitis/death.
If you have had a major change in your symptoms or vision you need to call IMMEDIATELY your treating physicians.