Something is wrong with my child’s eyes, what can I do? 31 May, 2017
At EyeQ Optometrists, we get many questions from parents who have children with red or sore eyes. Here are some common scenarios we see and what you can do to help your child.
Conjunctivitis is when the white part of the eye becomes inflamed and red. This is most commonly caused by allergy, virus (cold/flu) and bacteria. Only conjunctivitis caused by bacteria requires the commonly prescribed antibiotic drop or ointment known as Chlorsig (or Chloromycetin).
When Chlorsig should NOT be used for red eyes:
• If your child has a cold, a runny nose or a sore throat with a mild watery discharge in one or both eyes
• If your child is sneezing, complaining of itchy eyes with a watery or whitish discharge in one or both eyes
It is safe to use Chlorsig if your child returns home from playing with other children with a yellow pussy discharge in one or both eyes and they do not have a cold.
Regardless of the cause, we recommend that all parents keep a box of non-preserved moisturising eye drops in the medicine cabinet. Examples include Systane and Refresh. Rather than being in a bottle, the preservative-free drops come in a box with around 20 little plastic vials. Place 1 drop into the red eye every 1-2 hours. If the conjunctivitis doesn’t resolve within 48 hours, see your local optometrist (who has the equipment to determine the cause).
Most commonly caused by allergy and dry eye, but best to see your EyeQ optometrist to ensure there is no other cause.
Blocked tear (Nasolacrimal) ducts
This is commonly seen in newborns where pus is seen in the corner of the eye. The tear duct is often distorted (squished) in a baby’s small face. When their face grows the tear duct will straighten and widen, generally fixing the problem.
This resolves spontaneously in 98% of children by 12 months with no treatment. Surgery is rare before the age of 2. Warm compresses, saline, breast milk and Chlorsig ointment may help but generally assist in clearing away the pus rather than fixing the problem.
For any eye health advice, visit your local EyeQ Optometrist.