My mother is 84 and got a staph infection in her eye, which caused an ulcer. Does anyone know what could have caused this? - AgingCare.com

My mother is 84 and got a staph infection in her eye, which caused an ulcer. Does anyone know what could have caused this?

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No matter how careful you are, you're going to p/u germs (think restaurant door handle)..especially guys do not wash their hands often enough.
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I am 62 and was diagnosed with HSV in my eye last year. after seeing seven physicians it was finally correctly diagnosed. I am on daily antiviral medications and steroid drops. The herpes virus lays dormant in the trigeminal nerve and flares up under periods of major stress. It's like having the Shingles virus in the eye. Extremely painful and cannot be cured, just the flare ups maintained.
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My 82 yr father gets ulcers in his eyes. His is caused by a herpies complex. Has to use drops daily, at one point it destroyed his cornea. Good luck
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I've been coping for over 4 months with what was diagnosed on culture as impetigo (staph bacteria but not the MRSA kind) in my nasal passages that spread to my lips. The dermatologist told me I could have been a carrier all these years and/or could have gotten it from "anywhere," no good explanation given. Believe me, there's nothing funny about it; it can be painful and definitely not pretty to look at. I found people online of all ages who suffer with recurrences of staph and also have had a hard time getting much help with it. I'm 62 and never had this before, but it's been a nightmare that has finally improved; at first, it kept recurring despite the fact I was prescribed mupirocin and 2% hydrocortisone creams. I thought I was being clean enough but now really concentrate on handwashing very often, changing towels, even pillow cases more often if I have a flare. I now know I have to keep clean Kleenex and hand cleaner in my purse at all times. The flares can come with stress or even change of season. (I know mom didn't have it, though at first I thought I got it from taking care of her in my home these last 3 years).
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Sunnygirl, My neighbor just told me about her thumb joint swelling and urgent care just said it was arthritis. Then her doctor diagnosed a cuticle infection. Her beautiful fingernails were done georgeous-like! After talking, I agreed she should remove the polish and any fake nail, cause it just makes common sense that would add to the problem, or even be the source?
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It's so funny you ask that, Sunny; I was going to post about that but decided it was extraneous. YES! It's the best way of keeping the bad stuff out of one's eyes. My mother was quite dubious about this when her geriatrician suggested it, but one of my daughters, as a teenager, kept getting infections in her eyelids; "marginal blepheritis" they called it. Doing a good scrub with baby shampoo stopped that.

I think the doctor had my mother scrub her eyelashes once a week as maintenance after whatever issue she had subsided; he initially had her do it every day.
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My mom's opthamologist suggested she wash her eyelashes with baby shampoo. Have you heard of that?
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Usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. Well, there you go then. It had probably been lurking in her eyelashes for donkeys' years.
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I don't know if this is true of your mother, but I have observed that older people do rub at their eyes a lot - we tend to have overheated, dry atmospheres in our homes, maybe that's got something to do with it?

And if your mother is constantly fidgeting at her eyes, then she could easily have introduced the staph which she could easily have picked up from almost anywhere. I'm sorry to learn that she developed an ulcer from this infection, though - is it healing now?

Also styes - can't remember which bacterium is the usual suspect with styes. I'll look it up.
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Although poor hand hygiene may spread staph it is not associated with feces. Staph is a common bacteria. From the Mayo Clinic website:

"Many people carry staph bacteria and never develop staph infections. However, if you develop a staph infection, there's a good chance that it's from bacteria you've been carrying around for some time.

These bacteria can also be transmitted from person to person. Because staph bacteria are so hardy, they can live on inanimate objects such as pillowcases or towels long enough to transfer to the next person who touches them."
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