Conjunctivitis is an ocular infection commonly encountered in childhood, especially in children under 5 years old. This contagious condition may have allergic, bacterial or viral etiology. The treatment of conjunctivitis in children depends on the underlying cause of the infection. Find out what are the most appropriate therapeutic measures and how to properly care for the child at home, in order to avoid the spread of the virus or bacteria to those around him!
Conjunctivitis or inflammation of the lining of the eyelid may occur in one or both eyes of the child. It is manifested by the accentuated redness of the affected eye, excessive tears, the sensation of local itching or by leaking a yellow-white secretion from the eyes.
Conjunctivitis it consists of inflammation of the conjunctiva (the inner lining of the eyelids and part of the eyeball) and generally does not present a danger to eyesight.
Infectious conjunctivitis it is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. The most common bacteria that lead to conjunctivitis are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus.
Allergic conjunctivitis it occurs more frequently in children with allergies and is especially encountered at certain times of the year, when pathogens are more present in the air (pollution, dust, wind, pollen, solar radiation, etc.).
Irritant conjunctivitis can be caused by chemical agents present in excess in water (high level of chlorine) or soap.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms vary from child to child and depending on the type of conjunctivitis. The sensation of pain and discomfort in the eyes is the symptom that is found in all cases. Also, the sensation of burning and itching, heavy tears and photophobia (painful sensitivity to light) may occur as a result of the condition.
The secretion of white, yellow or green can sometimes induce eyelids to stick, when the baby wakes up in the morning.
The incubation period in the case of bacterial conjunctivitis is a few days, and in the case of the viral one it can last for a week.
Bacterial conjunctivitis lasts about a week, and viral and specific inflammations can last for up to 2 weeks.
Treatment of conjunctivitis in children
In case you suspect conjunctivitis in the child, go to the doctor. He will consult and diagnose him. It will establish the therapeutic scheme according to the cause that triggered the infection. The most common causes of conjunctivitis are viruses, bacteria or allergies.
Viral conjunctivitis, caused by a virus, is not treated with drugs, let alone with antibiotics. The infection goes away by itself. It is important to take local hygiene measures and to clean the area infected with sterile gauze or gauze and saline daily.
Bacterial conjunctivitis it is treated with antibiotics. It is the doctor who determines whether the use of antibiotic eye drops or tablets is recommended, depending on the severity of the infection. If conjunctivitis is allergic, then the administration of antihistamines, oral or topical (eye drops), may contribute to the relief of symptoms.
Child care with conjunctivitis at home
In addition to administering the treatment recommended by the doctor, there are some care measures that you can take at home to speed up the healing of conjunctivitis. If the infection occurs in one eye, it is very important to make sure it does not spread to the other.
Wash the baby's hands frequently and repeat frequently that he is not allowed to wear the eyes, no matter how great the discomfort. Wipe the affected eye with a clean towel, but do not use the same towel on the other eye to avoid contamination.
Applying cold water compresses over the closed eye helps reduce the discomfort created by the burning sensation and itching. And artificial tears, which are found and given without prescription in pharmacies, help keep the eyeball clean and moist and reduce infection. These can be found in the form of drops.
Proper hygiene of the hands and face, especially the eyes, is essential to prevent conjunctivitis in children. Teach the little kid not to put the unwashed hands on the eyes, wash the face properly and wipe only with clean towels.
Has your child ever had conjunctivitis? How did you manage to "beat" the infection faster? Tell us your opinions in the comments section below!
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