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Conjunctivitis in babies is characterized by the appearance of red eyes, with a lot of rumbling and irritability. In addition, the baby may also bring his hands to his face more often due to discomfort.
The treatment of conjunctivitis in babies should be guided by an ophthalmologist or pediatrician and can be done with eye drops or antibiotic ointments, antihistamine drugs or cleaning the eyes with gauzes moistened with filtered water or saline solution, according to the type of conjunctivitis. Most of the time conjunctivitis is easily controlled, but it is important to take the baby to the pediatrician because, in some cases, it can lead to meningitis.
The baby can have conjunctivitis due to a bacterial infection, being called bacterial conjunctivitis, due to an infection with a virus, having the name of viral conjunctivitis or due to an allergen substance, being called allergic conjunctivitis.See better how to identify each type of conjunctivitis.
Symptoms of conjunctivitis in babies or newborns include:
- Red, irritated eyes;
- Eyes watering;
- Eyes watering a lot, with a lot of secretion, which can be white, thick or yellowish;
- Itchy eyes, which causes the baby to frequently bring their hands to their face;
- Slight swelling in the eyelids and around the eyes;
- Hypersensitivity to light;
- Irritability and difficulty eating;
- Fever, especially in the case of bacterial conjunctivitis.
These symptoms can be present in only one eye or both eyes, and when they are present in both eyes it is usually allergic conjunctivitis.However, it is very important to evaluate the baby by the ophthalmologist or pediatrician, to make the diagnosis and guide the treatment according to the type of conjunctivitis.
How the treatment is done
Treatment for conjunctivitis in babies should always be guided by an ophthalmologist or pediatrician, and varies according to the type of conjunctivitis:
1. Bacterial conjunctivitis
Cases of bacterial conjunctivitis usually cause a lot of sneezing and can easily have symptoms in both eyes. This type of conjunctivitis usually needs to be treated with antibiotics, in the form of eye drops, ointments or syrups.
In addition, it is very important to always keep your eyes clean and free of blemishes, as this type of substance facilitates the development of bacteria, which can delay recovery. Check out how to clean baby's eyes properly.
Bacterial conjunctivitis can cause complications such as meningitis or pneumonia, so it is important to follow all the doctor's advice to avoid these complications, ensuring the he alth of the baby.
2. Viral conjunctivitis
In these cases, only cleaning the eyes with individual gauzes moistened in filtered water, mineral water or saline solution may be indicated, as this type of conjunctivitis usually tends to disappear naturally in about 1 week, without the need for medication.
Some eye drops, especially moisturizers, can also be indicated by the doctor, but mainly to reduce discomfort.
3. Allergic conjunctivitis
Since allergic conjunctivitis is caused by an allergic reaction to some product or substance, treatment is usually done with the use of antihistamines and/or cortisone, which decrease the immune system response, relieving the symptoms.
Other care during treatment
During the treatment of childhood conjunctivitis, in addition to medication, it is also important to adopt some precautions such as keeping the baby's eyes clean, using disposable tissues and always a new one for each eye.
Other precautions include:
- Do not take the baby to day care or school while symptoms last;
- Wash baby's face and hands several times a day;
- Avoid hugging and kissing the baby during infection;
- Change the pillowcase and baby towel daily.
These precautions are very important because they prevent the contagion of conjunctivitis from one eye to the other from the baby and from the baby to other people.
It is not recommended to drip drops of breast milk directly into the eyes of the baby with conjunctivitis because there is no proof of its performance in the treatment of this type of infections. In addition, boric water is also completely contraindicated due to the risk of intoxication by boric acid.