Keep an Eye Out for Eye Infection in Children
Learn how to identify and handle eye infections in children
Just like any other type of infection, an eye infection in children needs a lot of attention as it can result in severe long-term damage to the eyes if not treated properly.
But before we get to the treatments, a parent must have a keen eye to be able to properly distinguish what eye infection the child is suffering from, to begin with.
When bacteria, viruses, fungi and other damaging microorganisms enter the eye, an infection will surely ensue. Eye infection in children can affect the cornea, inner eyelids or the outer eye membrane lining.
Depending on the particular eye infection in children, symptoms can include eye discharge, red eyes, pain, dry or watery eyes, swollen eyes or lids, itching, blurred vision and light sensitivity.
If any of these symptoms persist, a visit to the eye doctor must be done immediately.
1. Hordeolum (Eye stye)
Generally known as eye stye, a hordeolum is an infection that grows within the internal or external eyelid gland. When a stye appears on the eye, the lid becomes swollen, tender and red. Not necessarily dangerous, but this particular eye infection in children can get really uncomfortable and itchy.
Treatment of stye basically includes warm compresses and application of over the counter ophthalmic drops or ointment. If the infection worsens or does not disappear after 3-4 days, the child must be examined by an eye doctor.
2. Staphylococcal blepharitis
Considered as the most chronic eye infection on children, staphylococcal blepharitis affects both eyelids. This results in the lids becoming extremely red and inflamed while crusts and ulcers take form in the bottom and top eyelashes. Depending on the severity of this infection, the eye doctor can prescribe antibiotics or just eye drops.
Apart from medication, extreme eye hygiene is encouraged. This means no touching or rubbing of the eyes and frequent washing of the eyelid margin with warm, water-dampened cotton swabs.
3. Conjunctivitis (Sore eyes)
Also known as pink eye or sore eyes, bacterial or viral conjunctivitis is characterized by the goopy discharge around the eyes. This thick fluid tends to crust and causes the eyelids and lashes to stick together when the eyes are closed for quite some time.
To prevent pain when attempting to open the child’s eye, a warm compress should be placed on the affected eye.
Once the crusting has softened, it can be scrubbed off gently. With this type of contagious eye infection in children, an immediate visit to the doctor is recommended to determine whether it is viral or bacterial.
Prevent eye infection in children
Prone to eye infection or not, you should train your kids to have superb hand-washing habits. They must be taught to wash their hands several times a day especially after using the toilet.
Children must also refrain from constantly touching or rubbing their eyes as much as possible. If they have to, hand-washing must be done first and in gentle motions only.
Have any of your kids had an eye infection? What did you do to prevent it from happening again? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment below.