The Inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye that surrounds the eyelid and some part of the eyeball is called Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye. Pink eye in infants or children, is due to the bacterial or viral infection.
Pink eye is a condition that makes the white eye cast look pink or red in colour. Conjunctivitis often occur in adults but children can also get infectedd because they are too vulnerable to this infection. Young kids or toddlers are exposed to different microbes and may get conjunctivitis by bacterial and viral infection.
Types of conjunctivitis:
Only doctor can determine by thorough check-up that whether the reddened eye or irritation of your child’s eye is due to conjunctivitis or any other ailment. Conjunctivitis is of three types:
1. Viral conjunctivitis:
Viral conjunctivitis affects only one eye and often gets cleared up on its own in a few days. The common signs include excessive watery discharge and crust formation on the eyelids. It is highly contagious condition and cannot be treated with antibiotics.
2. Bacterial conjunctivitis:
Bacterial conjunctivitis affects both the eyes. It occurs in both eyes and is marked by excessively heavy watery discharge from both eyes. The discharge often seems greenish in colour also. Heavy antibiotics are recommended for the treatment of the condition. It is also a contagious condition.
3. Allergic conjunctivitis:
Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and is caused by the allergens such as dust, smoke and other environmental allergens. The person often suffers from irritation and excessive tearing from both eyes, redness may also occur in severe allergic condition.
Most common symptoms of different types of Pink eye infection in Kids:
- Redness in one or both eyes
- Itching in one or both eyes
- Crust formation on the upper eyelid of the infected eye
- Discharge from the infected eye
- Gooey looking discharge from eyes of babies or children
Common causes of pink eye in children and babies:
Pink eye is a contagious problem and the kids may get it if someone else in the house or their surrounding gets infected with pink eye and comes in contact with kids. Small kids are most susceptible during the cold or the rainy season because the viruses and bacteria spread continuously during this period.
Treatment for Pink Eye infection in infants and kids:
The treatment of the pink eye in children and adults, as expected, depends on the types of conjunctivitis they are suffering.
- Viral conjunctivitis clears on its own without any medication. A home remedy is the application of cold compress or wet wash clothes to ease the irritation and pain. Use different wash clothes for different eyes and never share them with anybody as it is a highly contagious problem.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis is typically treated using antibiotic eyedrops and ointments
- The allergic pink eye in children can be treated by taking anti-allergic medications.
Also Read: Easy remedies to get rid of puffy eyes
Ways to prevent the pinkeye transmission in children and adults:
After gaining the basic idea of pink eye infection, it’s obvious for you to understand the different ways in which you can prevent the spreading of infection to your kids and keep them safe. Here are a few simple and easy-to-follow precautionary measures to lower the risk of getting pink eye:
1. Discourage your child to avoid sharing personal items such as towels, wash clothes and tissues with others in schools
2. Never share your eyeglasses, contact lenses and other eye accessories
3. Teach the child to cover nose and mouth with a kerchief or towel while sneezing and coughing and make it a practice yourself too
4. Avoid frequent rubbing and touching of eyes with hands
5. Frequently wash your hands and encourage your children to make it a regular practice to wash hands frequently
6. Wipe toys, table tops, shared phones, bathroom vanities and tap handles with antiseptic solution to avoid spread of bacteria and viruses
7. Keep a hand disinfectant and use it frequently
8. If you practise swimming, always use protective eye gears to prevent bacteria and other microbes from infecting your eyes
9. Wash infected persons personal items separately with hot or boiling water
10. If a kid in the school is infected, then teachers must allow a leave for 2-5 days until the child recovers so as to avoid the transmission to other kids in the class
11. Always wash and clean your contact lenses before putting them again after the infection is gone
Also Read: Understanding vision problem: Myopia
Even though you follow all the precautionary measures, your child can still get infected with conjunctivitis. In case the infection of the pink eye in the child is contagious then be considerate of others also and keep your child home until the contagious stage is passed so as to avoid the dissemination to other children. Usually with proper medication, rest and cold compress the condition ends in a week or so.