Blephartitis and Conjunctivitis in Children

Although most eye disorders clear up quickly when they are treated, all problems affecting the eye should be taken seriously.

Eye infections spread easily to other people, so give your child their own face flannel and towel, and change them frequently. Dry their eyes with tissues, using a clean one for each eye. Keep your child’s hands clean and try to stop her rubbing her eyes- this helps to prevent an infection, as well as stopping it spreading.

Blephartitis: It is an inflammation of the edges of the eyelids, which usually affects both eyes. Many children with dandruff get Blephartitis. Symptoms of this are red and scaly eyelids.

What can be done: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt or sodium bicarbonate in a glass of warm boiled water, and use this to bathe your child’s eyelids. Wash your hands before and afterwards, and use fresh cotton wool for each eye.

Do this twice a day, making a fresh solution each time. If your child has dandruff, wash her hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo. Use an anti-cradle cap shampoo for a baby.

Call the doctor, if your child’s eyes are sticky and there is no improvement after about a week of home treatment. The doctor might prescribe a cream to soothe your child’s eyelids or an antibiotic ointment.

Conjunctivitis: Also known as “Pink eye”, because the white of the eye may turn pink, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the lining of the eye and eyelids. It can be caused by a virus or by bacteria, being milder when it is caused by a virus.

If your child’s eyelids are gummed together with pus when they wake up, they probably has bacterial rather than viral.Symptoms of this are bloodshot eye, gritty and sore eyes, discharge of pus, eyelids gummed together after sleep.

What can be done: try to find out whether your child’s symptoms might be caused by something other than conjunctivitis. They might have an allergy such as hay fever, or may have speck of dust or an eyelash in her eye. If has an allergy, their eyes may be itchy and watering as well as red and sore.

If you think they have conjunctivitis, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, and dip a piece of cotton wool in this. Bathe both of their eyes, using fresh cotton wool for each eye. Start with uninfected one, and wipe from the outside corner to the inside. Wash your hands before and afterwards.

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