Conjunctivitis (also known as Pinkeye) affects the transparent membrane that covers the whites of the eyes and is caused by infection, allergens, or various types of environmental irritants. When a child has conjunctivitis, their eyelids will be pink, and their eyes will constantly tear up and look crusty.
If you notice conjunctivitis when your child has a cold, the conjunctivitis is more than likely caused by a virus.
Bacteria can also cause conjunctivitis. When this happens, the discharge coming from the eye will be thick and yellow. Bacteria such as staphylococcus, streptococcus or hemophilus are usually the cause.
Allergens can also cause conjunctivitis. If your child’s eyes are itchy, watery, and swollen, and he also has a runny nose but no fever, an allergen is probably to blame.
If your child contracts conjunctivitis caused by a virus, you can use warm compresses to comfort their eyes. The doctor will not prescribe antibiotics for this type of conjunctivitis.
However, when the cause is bacteria, your doctor will prescribe antibiotic drops or ointment to be applied for seven days. You must make sure that your child takes the entire seven days worth or the infection could come right back. You should also wash your child’s eyes out with warm water and wipe away the dried discharge. Warm compresses will also provide relief.
When the conjunctivitis is caused by an allergen, there is not a lot you can do except use warm compresses and clean the eye. When the allergy clears up, so will the drainage.
Whether the conjunctivitis is bacterial or viral, it is extremely contagious. Therefore, make sure that you wash your hands each time you treat your child’s eyes and keep them home from school or crèche until the infection is gone.