Whether it’s a viral fever, allergies or infections, they surely cause some discomfort and tiredness to our body. And if this sickness comes to your toddler, then it becomes even more challenging. As they wouldn’t be able to express the pain on their own, we have to take extra care to make it easier for them.
Last week, my little one got an eye infection (pink in colour covered on white part of his eye). We thought he must have touched his eye in some dirty hand or poked something and we waited for one week for any improvement. But it remained the same without changing its colour.
Then, we decided to consult a doctor about the issue and managed to take an appointment through video call as everyone knows about the current situation i.e. the lock-down going on and we have to stay at home to stay safe. He checked my toddler’s eye and asked some questions to know about the past history of his eye infection. After that he confirmed it as nothing but Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye (due to its colour). It is a harmless infection, but needs requisite treatment for quick results.
In this blog, I will with share you the guide for conjunctivitis and what precautions we can take to feel better from my personal experience. Let’s dig in for more insights:
What is Conjunctivitis?
It is an infection or inflammation of the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid (mostly white part of the eyes).
Symptoms of Conjunctivitis
The main symptoms of Conjunctivitis are:
- Redness in the eyes
- Itchiness and watery eyes
- Crusting around the eyes
- Leads to some yellowish and light green discharge
- Eye discomfort
If you see any of the symptoms discussed above and is not improving after a week if untreated, then make sure to visit your doctor.
Causes of Conjunctivitis
There are mainly 2 types of causes of this eye infection. They are:
- Contagious or infectious Conjunctivitis: Contagious conjunctivitis are caused mainly by viruses and bacteria responsible for all kinds of cold, viral fever and other infections. It is contagious and spreads easily when you come in contact with eye secretion of the person who is infected.
- Non- contagious and non- infectious Conjunctivitis: Non- infectious conjunctivitis has 2 different categories. They are discussed as below:
Allergic Conjunctivitis: This type of conjunctivitis may happen, when your toddler comes in contact with: Dust mites, grass, pollen, animal dander etc.
Irritant conjunctivitis: This type of Conjunctivitis may happen to your toddler, when he comes in contact with anything that discomforts the eyes such as heavy air pollution or due to chlorine found in a swimming pool or simply touching your eye after playing with sand. These kinds of infection are mainly caused at playgrounds or day care centres or in play schools.
Above two Conjunctivitis comes under non contagious categories but it can spread to other eyes of your kid by touching or rubbing the infected eye and then touching the other eye.
What doctors suggest (Treatment)
As per the medical practitioners, some go away on their own but others need to be treated. Mostly it will take 2-3 days to improve. For that we need to follow the below instructions:
- Antibiotic eye drops: You have to put eye drops into your toddler’s both eyes. Though we all know how difficult it is to put eye drops in your little one’s eye, don’t worry, just put drops on closed eye and it will automatically slide down into his eyes, when he tries to open their eyes or even when they go to sleep.
- Ointments: this is an easier option than putting eye drops in your kid’s eyes. You have to only apply it on the place where the eyelids meet in a thin layer. It will melt and enter into his eyes. You can apply this ointment, when your toddler is in his deep sleep.
- Cold compress: cold compress will help the redness go away and also helps in reducing fluid retention around the eyes. It can be applied to closed eyes for 5-10 minutes, a few times in a day. Take a cotton ball and boil it in water for some time. After cooling down, apply it on your toddler’s eye. It will make him feel better.
Precautions should be taken against Conjunctivitis
We don’t have any control on diseases. We can’t totally ignore them, but we can make sure to take proper measures to avoid it as best as possible. These precautions will help your toddler to improve the conditions from the infection and stop spreading this infection to the other eye.
- Hand wash: The first and foremost precaution can be taken against any infection is to wash your hands properly. Encourage your kids to clean hands after every activity that can lead to infections or allergies.
- Take Rest: Proper rest is the key to shorten time for any infection staying on our body. Don’t send your child to child care or play schools for a short period of time. It will help to maintain a distance so that others can’t get contaminated.
- Clean around eyes: Clean the edges of the infected eye with cold water and cotton balls. It will make them feel better and itching will be less.
- Don’t rub eyes: keep a close look on your toddler against rubbing their eyes. Rubbing can make things worse. Don’t let them rub roughly instead put some eye drops or give compress to make them feel good.
- Don’t share personal things: Don’t share your kid’s tissues, towel, eye drops or pillow covers with anyone else. This might cause the transformation of infection to others and obviously, it’s not hygienic.
- Take a doctor’s appointment: Call your doctor immediately if it is not improving even after 2-3 days prescribed medication. If you are experiencing severe symptoms like: swelling around the eyes, changes in eyesight, severe pain or sensitivity towards the light, take your doctor’s appointment. It may be something else other than only eye infections.
(This information is solely based on my personal experience, some research and my doctor’s prescription. Not subjected to any medical supervision. Always confirm with your doctor before taking any medications).
These infections may look harmless but never compromise your little one’s health at any cost. They are precious. After all, we want the best for our little munchkins.
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