Fingers + Eyes = Recipe for Infections.
The skin around the eyes is probably the most delicate skin of the body and hence, easily turn red on rubbing often.
- Irritants are substances that injure the eyes, skin, or airways in some way. The irritants are of two types indoors and outdoors.
- Indoor irritants include: cigarette smoke, perfumes, sunscreen, soaps.
- Outdoor irritants include smoke, fumes, chemical vapors, chlorine in pool water, and smog.
- Irritants usually cause localised redness that resolves once your baby has stopped exposure to the same.
Allergies happen when our eyes (or another part of our body) react to an allergen. An allergen is usually a harmless substance that triggers an immune response in people who are sensitive to the allergen.
Common allergens include dust, mould, perfume in cosmetics and lotions, medications, foods, dander from pets, pollen from trees, plants, grasses, and weeds, and insect venom.
If your child has a sensitivity and encounters an allergen, their eyes may produce histamine to fight the allergen. As a result, their eyelids and conjunctiva (the tissue that covers the white part of your eye and the inside of the eyelids) become red, swollen, and itchy.
You’ll probably also notice that your child’s eyes are watery with excess tears. A vicious cycle can set in: They rub their eyes to relieve the itching and burning, but the rubbing action irritates their eyes further and the redness increases. While some of these allergens like dust mites are around all year long, others are seasonal. If your child is allergic to pollen, you’ll notice their red eyes when pollen counts are high. Children with eye allergies often have nasal allergies as well. Yes, it’s double the trouble. If you suspect that the redness around your child’s eyes is an allergic reaction, check if they’re sneezing excessively or have a stuffy nose. Eye allergies are also called allergic conjunctivitis.
An eye infection happens when viruses or bacteria enter the eye area. It’s important to know the difference because bacterial conjunctivitis needs antibiotic treatment.
This is also called pink eye, although pink eye can be viral or bacterial. Children with colds commonly develop viral eye infections. Symptoms include red, puffy eyelids, and red in the white part of the eye. watery eyes.
This is more serious than viral conjunctivitis. You’ll notice the same symptoms as those that you notice in a viral eye infection. Symptoms also include a sticky, yellow discharge from the eye, eyelashes, and eyelids that may get stuck together from the discharge.
- Irritants: Avoid the usage of irritants that are affecting your child. Try a different brand of soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent.
- Allergies: Keep a journal to track what could be causing the allergic reaction.
Areas to Examine
- What’s in your baby’s daily diet?
- Is the allergic reaction related to the season?
- Does it happen at day care? Or every time you visit a specific family member or friend?
- Is the allergy related to animals?
- Do food allergies, like those to milk, wheat, or eggs, run in your family?
Doctors will prescribe:
- Topical treatment, such as eye drops or ointment.
- Oral antibiotics If it's not covered with topical treatment.
- Intravenous antibiotics. These are given very rarely.
- If the baby’s tear duct is blocked, the paediatrician can show you how to massage the duct area to help it open. Tear ducts usually open by themselves. However, if the duct doesn’t open by the time your child reaches age 1, they may need simple surgery.
- If your toddler has bacterial conjunctivitis, your paediatrician will prescribe antibiotics.