A red eye condition in a child is most commonly due to conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can be bacterial, viral, or allergic. Bacterial is painless and usually accompanied by discharge from the eye. Fortunately, it is a condition that is easily treatable with antibiotics. Viral conjunctivitis is accompanied by a watery discharge and is also painless. This condition will have to run its course within one to two weeks as there is no medication that makes it go away. It is a very contagious disease so one has to be very careful by washing hands frequently and avoid using the same towels or bed cloth. Allergic conjunctivitis is almost always accompanied by itchiness. Prescription allergy eye drops are effective in this case to give fast relief of the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis
If your child’s red eye does not subside within a week or is accompanied by fever , pain, swelling, changes in vision, or sensitivity to light, then it could be a more serious underlying issue that is causing and will need immediate attention by an ophthalmologist. There are a wide variety of factors that may have caused it such as:
- Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
- Blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)
- Periorbital cellulitis. This is a serious bacterial infection of the eyelids. If not treated immediately it can spread to the eye socket and cause other complications.
- Dry eyes
- Corneal abrasion (scratch).
- Chemical injury
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (internal bleeding).
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