Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is a prevalent eye condition. The eye condition is a result of inflammation, mostly caused by viruses, bacteria, or allergies. In most cases, pink eye is caused by adenovirus. Currently, the infection is very common in the United States, affecting between three and six million people per year in the country. It is contagious and can be spread from one person to another. For that reason, it should be treated as soon as possible. The condition can occur in one or both eyes, and it happens when the blood vessels in a person’s membrane are inflamed, which makes them more visible. In this article, we will discuss pink eye in children, discussing the symptoms, treatment, and how you can prevent the spread.
Symptoms of Pink Eye in Children
Recognizing pink eye symptoms early is vital as it will ensure that your child gets treatment as soon as possible. If the condition is treated early, it means that it will not become worse, and it will not be spread to other people. Symptoms of conjunctivitis (pink eye) in kids include:
- Increased tearing.
- Red or pink colors in the areas of the eye that are supposed to be white.
- Your child is experiencing increased sensitivity to bright light.
- If you notice symptoms of flu, common cold, or other respiratory infections alongside red or pink eyes, it might be a sign of pink eye.
- If your kid’s eyes are itching, burning, or experiencing irritation, it could be a sign of a pink eye.
- Symptoms of allergy, including an itchy nose, sneezing, or scratchy throat, could be an early sign of pink eye.
- Increased urge to rub the eye because of feeling like there is an object in the eye.
- If your child discharges pus from the eye, especially yellow-green pus, that could be a sign of bacterial pink eye.
Treatment of Pink Eye in Children
You can’t possibly treat conjunctivitis from home without the intervention of a doctor. Therefore, once you start noticing the signs of pink eye, contact your kid’s pediatric ophthalmologist, and they will help you determine the best treatment for the condition, depending on its type. Generally, the following types of pink eye are treated using these approaches:
- If your child is suffering from allergic pink eye, your pediatrician is likely to recommend the use of antihistamine medications. In the meantime, you could try the cold compress on your kid’s eye to reduce the irritation caused by the pink eye.
- If your child has bacterial pink eye, the professional is likely to recommend an antibiotic ointment. They will prescribe the amount you should use on your kid, and it is essential to ensure you complete the full course of medication as prescribed.
- If the pink eye on your kid is caused by a virus, the doctor will first monitor the condition for a week or so before recommending a treatment. In the meantime, apply cold compresses on the affected eye to reduce irritation.
- If the pink eye is sexually transmitted, i.e., from the mother to the newborn, the eye doctor will recommend the use of antibiotic drops.
Always listen to your child’s doctor and follow what they say. You could talk to them if your children need contacts.
How to Prevent Pink Eye from Spreading to Others？
Pink eye is very contagious, especially viral and bacterial conjunctivitis. Allergic pink eye is not as contagious, but regardless of the type, you could take the following measures to curb the spread if your child is infected:
- Wash the hands of your kid more frequently.
- Make sure the pillows and towels of the infected child are not shared and are washed frequently.
- Don’t share mascara and other eye cosmetics with your child if they use the cosmetics. Ideally, just pause the use of eye makeup once the child is diagnosed with pink eye.
- If the doctor recommends keeping the child out of school for a while until the pink eye is treated, please follow the recommendation.
Pink eye is a prevalent eye condition affecting between three and six million people in the United States. The condition is highly contagious, especially the viral and bacterial-caused ones. You could help stop the spread by maintaining cleanliness, avoiding sharing eye cosmetics, and avoiding crowds if it is recommended by the doctor.
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If you think your toddler might have pink eye, it is important to get them diagnosed and treated right away. Symptoms of pink eye in toddlers can be easily mistaken for other conditions, so it is best to see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. There are many treatments available for pink eye, both prescription and over-the-counter, so there is no need to suffer from this condition any longer than necessary. Have you ever dealt with pink eye in toddlers? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below at SenseOrient.