Does your newborn or young child have red-rimmed, itchy and swelling eyes? He or she could be suffering from conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, which is very common in children. There are several types of pinkeye, some more serious than others, and the infection can have various causes.
Pinkeye is often caused by a viral infection, usually an adenovirus. These types of infections are very contagious and will often spread from one eye to the other and to people who interact with the child. Though antibiotics aren’t always necessary for this type of infection, we strongly advise taking your child to the doctor to accurately diagnose the type of conjunctivitis.
Pinkeye can also be caused by bacteria, usually staphylococci or streptococci. With bacterial conjunctivitis, the child will usually wake with his or her eye stuck shut. To remedy this, use a damp washcloth to gently help open the lid. A doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic eyedrop to clear up the infection.
Pinkeye can also be caused by allergies, irritants or chemicals. If you know your child is allergic to seasonal allergens like pollen, dust or animal dander, make sure to inform your doctor so that he or she can make an accurate diagnosis. Common household cleaners and other types of chemicals can also be the cause behind itchy, red eyes. Make sure to flush out your child’s eyes with water, and contact your doctor immediately if you think his or her eye has come into contact with an irritating chemical.
Always visit your family doctor to diagnose the problem, and don’t try to treat any form of pinkeye yourself. However, to stop the spread of conjunctivitis before you can talk to your doctor, make sure to avoid touching your child’s eye, and try to keep him or her from touching the infected area. Make sure to disinfect areas in the house that your child might have touched, like doorknobs and sink handles. Don’t share towels, pillows or washcloths and throw away any tissues or paper towels used to treat the area.
Worried your child has pinkeye and need to schedule a check-up? At Family First Pediatrics, an Altamonte Springs Pediatrician, we put your child’s health and well-being as our main priority. Call Family First Pediatrics at 407-335-4760 to schedule an appointment today. With proper diagnosis and care, your child’s pinkeye will clear up quickly, with as little annoyance and pain as possible.