Babies do not have a strong immune system like adults, and hence, they easily catch infections. Bacterial infection is more serious than viral ones. Catching cold makes your baby more prone to catch an eye infection. Viral eye infections are more common in babies. The ones caused by a virus is called viral conjunctivitis or pink eye. Exposure to allergens like household chemicals, dust, smoke, and pollen grains, eye injuries, and blocked tear ducts can also cause this ailment.
Sometimes, a reaction to medicinal eye drops causes swelling or reddening of the eyes. If the mother is diagnosed with STDs, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, the disease can be transmitted to the baby by the mother and though rare, it can also be one of the causes for the appearance of baby pink eye symptoms. Eye infection is a common problem in infants. Proper and prompt medication, and utmost care helps to avoid further complications.
Symptoms of Viral Eye Infection
- Redness of the inside of the eyelids
- Redness of the white part of the eye
- Puffy eyelids
- Watery eyes
- Swollen eyelids
These include the above symptoms, plus the following:
- Eyelids matted or stuck together
- Yellow discharge from the eye
Symptoms of Eye Infection in Babies
|Symptoms||What It Could Be|
|Watery eyes, reddened skin due to rubbing, white or yellow discharge that may crust over at night, a protrusion under eyelid near the nose. Common in newborns.||Blocked Tear Duct in Infants|
|Tender, red, pus-filled bump on edge or inside of eyelid.||Eye Stye|
|Small, firm, and slightly painful bump on the eyelids, which develops like a sty but can be larger and farther from edge of the eyelid.||Chalazion|
|Pink or red eyes, red, and swollen eyelids, watery discharge, yellow discharge crusts over at night.||Bacterial Conjunctivitis|
|Common cold, reddened, irritated and swollen eyes, tearing, watery discharge, crusty eyes||Viral Conjunctivitis|
|Stringy discharge with red, teary, swollen, itchy eyes or bloodshot eyes, symptoms of cold like runny nose and sneezing.||Allergic Conjunctivitis|
|Reddened, tender, and swollen upper and lower eyelids, difficulty in opening eye, tearing, fever.||Periorbital Cellulitis|
|Reddened, swollen, itchy, and scaly eyelids may appear flaky or crusty in the morning, tearing or dry eye, loss of eyelashes, growth of eyelashes in wrong direction.||Blepharitis|
Baby eye infection can lead to throbbing pain, which they would not able to explain. The infection may leave the babies crying day and night. It can also affect their food intake. So, as soon as you notice such a situation, you should consult the doctor, who may recommend appropriate treatment for the redness and swelling. If it is a viral infection, symptoms will subside on their own in a week or two. The doctor may not ask you to use eye drops. Instead, you can use breast milk. Squirting some breast milk into the corner of the eye can help cure the infection. Viral eye infections usually last about four to seven days. They are mildly contagious and generally harmless. You should wash the eyes of the baby with warm water, and wipe them with fresh cotton balls every time. This can help to reduce the discomfort. You may gently soak away the dried discharge. Bacterial infection needs to be treated with antibiotic eye drops. Warm compresses work great for viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. As pink eye is contagious, wash your hands before and after applying the antibiotic ointment. You should wash the baby's towels, clothing, and bedding separately. Proper hygiene should be maintained. Removal of allergens from the environment helps to reduce and clear up the effect of allergic conjunctivitis.
Proper eyecare helps to prevent such diseases. The infection, if not treated promptly, may cause serious damage to the infant's vision.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.