Are the eyes of your child red or pink and with a gooey discharge and burning sensation? Your child hasn't gone for your eye-shadow pigments or crayons; they have probably developed pink eye (conjunctivitis). The eye problem develops when a bacterium, virus, allergen or other irritants inflame the eye's transparent covering. Pink eye is common among school-going children and causes eye discharge, dislocation and also discomfort. Here's what every parent needs to know about paediatric conjunctivitis:
Pink Eye Comes in Different Types
Pink eye can be bacterial, viral, allergic or chemical. Viral pink eye is contagious, and the virus that causes the common cold could cause it. Your child could spread the eye problem through mucous membranes or catch it from other affected kids. Bacterial pink eye is also contagious, and the bacteria that cause ear infections and other common illnesses could also cause it. Children that usually touch contaminated items and objects may contact bacterial pink eye more often.
Your child could also develop allergic pink eye. This occurs when they touch allergens such as dander, pet fur and grass or when pollen gets into their eyes. The irritant-pink eye develops when your child gets into contact with irritants like smoke or even chlorine when swimming. While bacterial and viral conjunctivitis is contagious, irritant and allergic conjunctivitis are seasonal and not contagious.
Symptoms Are Easy to Identify
If the eye problem is treated early, the infection won't spread and get worse. If your child has developed conjunctivitis, you will spot red or pink colour in the white section of the eye. If the child suffers allergic or viral conjunctivitis, you will see pink or red areas in both eyes, but only one eye will be affected in case of bacterial pink eye.
The thin layers of the eye will be swollen with increased burning, irritation or itching. If the child has developed bacterial conjunctivitis, they may discharge yellow-green pus in their eyes. The child may also feel 'sand' in the eye and develop an irresistible urge to rub it. Other symptoms of conjunctivitis could include a scratchy throat, itchy nose sneezing, sensitivity to light and crusting eyelids.
Prevention Involves Simple Things
Teach your child not to share personal items like tissues, hand towels and washcloths and also to cover their mouth every time they sneeze or cough. Make them know that touching or rubbing their pink eye could only deteriorate the condition. Ask your child to wear swim goggles when swimming to prevent pathogenic microorganisms from entering the eye. Clean and sanitise the toys, cuddle blankets, cots, telephones, doorknobs, tables and other surfaces they often touch to get rid of lurking allergens, viruses and bacteria.
If the eye problem persists, take your child to a certified optometrist for an eye exam. The doctor will review the symptoms, recommend some eye tests and prescribe the right treatment. The optometrist may prescribe antihistamine or antibiotic medications or even ointment drops, depending on the symptoms reviewed. For more information, speak with an optometrist.
Your eyes are a really important part of your body but they can often be overlooked when it comes to maintaining your health. The aim of this blog is to encourage people to take better care of their eyes. We might not be experts when it comes to this subject, but you can rest assured that each of the articles posted here has been carefully researched using online and offline resources. You will find info on the symptoms of various conditions which can affect the eye as well as guidance relating to the different treatments available to you. Read on find out more!