Your little one’s eyes suddenly turn pink or red? Wow, that sure looks scary, Mums. There is a possibility that the child has pink eye syndrome or pinkeye syndrome, which is better known as conjunctivitis. What is conjunctivitis in children like? This eye disease commonly affects younger children, aged 4-5 years, but can also affect teenagers and adults.
Pinkeye or conjunctivitis is inflammation that occurs in the clear membrane of the eye (conjunctiva) and can also make the inner eyelids inflamed. The good news, although it looks a bit scary, is usually not serious and can be cured.
To be sure, your little one still has to be taken to the doctor, Mums, if his eyeballs look pink. In some cases, pinkeye can go away on its own after a few days. However, there are also those that require serious treatment from a doctor.
Causes of Pinkeye or Conjunctivitis in Children
What causes your child to suffer from conjunctivitis? Several bacteria and viruses turned out to be the culprit. In fact, this includes bacteria and viruses that cause fever and other infections, such as ear infections, sinus infections, and strep throat.
There are several types of conjunctivitis that are not contagious, such as:
- Allergic conjunctivitis or pinkeye due to an allergic reaction. Children who suffer from this type of conjunctivitis usually have other allergies, such as allergies to grass, pollen, to dust mites (which are usually found in dirty bedding).
- Irritant conjunctivitis or pinkeye due to irritation of the eye. Eye irritation is usually caused by air pollution or chlorinated water in swimming pools.
Some Symptoms of Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye in Children
In addition to eyes that look pink or red, another symptom is discomfort in the eyes. There are children who feel like their eyes are stuck in sand. It could also be that your little one’s eyes always seem watery, even though he’s not crying.
Some other symptoms include pain and swelling of the eyes, especially in the eyelids. There are children who feel their eyes become more sensitive to bright light. This condition can affect one or both eyes. For conjunctivitis due to allergies, the reaction experienced by your child is generally itchy eyes with watery eyes.
Is Conjunctivitis Contagious?
If caused by certain bacteria or viruses, conjunctivitis can be contagious. Here’s an example:
- If caused by bacteria, Conjunctivitis will be contagious immediately after symptoms appear, especially if the eyes are watery, or 24 hours after taking antibiotics.
- If caused by a virus, Conjunctivitis is usually contagious even before symptoms appear. Usually, these symptoms also last a long time, so it must be treated immediately.
Children can get conjunctivitis or pinkeye if they touch people who have the same disease or objects that have been touched by the sufferer. In addition, children can also be infected when swimming in dirty swimming pool water or sharing unclean towels. Conjunctivitis can also be spread by coughing or sneezing.
Even though it is itchy, your little one who has conjunctivitis should not touch or rub his own eyes. If you unknowingly touch his healthy eye, your little one’s eyes can both be affected by conjunctivitis.
How to Treat Conjunctivitis in Children
To be sure, the first time you have to take your little one to the doctor to make sure the symptoms are indeed conjunctivitis. To treat it, there are several ways, depending on the type of pinkeye suffered by the child:
- If due to a virus, usually conjunctivitis will disappear by itself, which is about 3-4
- If it is due to bacteria, the treatment is with antibiotic ointment or drops.
Treating your little one with eye drops is a big struggle, especially if it has to be done several times a day. If it’s difficult, you can drip medicine on the inner rim of your little one’s eyes. Wait for the eye to open and the medicine will flow into the infected eye.
If you feel that eye drops are too difficult for your little one, ask the doctor to give you a special ointment. If your child suffers from allergic conjunctivitis, the doctor will also give you anti-allergic drugs, either in the form of pills, liquids, or eye drops.
To overcome the discomfort in your little one’s eyes, you can also give ibuprofen. Do not forget to check the instructions on the drug label for the appropriate dose or ask your doctor.
Apart from that, you can also do this:
- Using cold or warm compresses to reduce puffiness in K .’s eyes
- Gently clean the infected eye rim with warm water or cotton balls. This method can also clean the remnants of dry eye fluid on the cheeks.
- If the child wears glasses, the doctor usually recommends that the glasses be removed first until the child recovers. Don’t forget to always clean the glasses before using them again.
- Don’t let your little one go to kindergarten first until the conjunctivitis in his eyes heals, so that other children don’t get infected.
How to Prevent Conjunctivitis in Children
Not only the little one, Mums also have to get used to washing hands with running water and soap every day. Also, don’t get used to sharing eye drops, tissues, towels, and pillowcases. (US)
KidsHealth: Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
Healthline: Identifying and Treating Pink Eye in Toddlers