Three Things You Need to Know About Children and Eye Infections

Houston optometrist

There are many ways that you can get an eye infection — contact lenses, LASIK eye surgery, or even irritants in the environment can all lead to itchy and infected eyes. However, it’s one thing for you, as an adult, to feel an infection brewing and know that it’s time for a visit to the ophthalmologist, but when your kid has an eye infection, it is not so simple. These three tips should help you to better identify, treat, and manage any eye infection that your child is afflicted with.

How to tell if your kid has an eye infection.

Did you know that not all eye infections manifest with redness, swelling, and discharge? Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is easily seen thanks to that telltale pink appearance that the eye takes on. Unfortunately, some infections are not so easily identified. They might produce bumps beneath the eyelid, or manifest as a visual impairment for your child, or just as itchiness. It’s important to look for signs of an eye infection, such as watering eyes and excessive rubbing, but also to look at how much difficulty your child is having viewing things. Distress or confusion associated with their ability to see could mean that an eye exam is in order.

How the infection will be treated.

After a good optometrist has the opportunity to diagnose the infection in your child’s eyes, they will likely prescribe a course of treatment. This usually comes in the form of eye drops, or antibiotics. Viral infections are not affected by antibiotics, so the eye drops that you are prescribed may only serve to alleviate symptoms while the body works through the infection. During treatment, it will be important to try and keep your child from touching their eyes and other objects, since many infections are highly contagious.

How to protect against future infections.

Prevention is important for most illnesses and conditions, but eye infections pose several difficulties. It’s not practical to wash your hands as many times as it would take to ensure that you don’t transfer an infection to your eyes from someone else. However, it is reasonable to avoid touching your eyes in the first place. You can instruct your child that touching their eyes, especially when around other kids, might increase the chances that they will get an infection. Approximately 75% of American adults use corrective lenses, and many children do as well. If your child is old enough to wear contact lenses, then it is important to teach them proper contact use and hygiene.

The Centers for Disease Control report that 3.4 million people in America who are older than 40 suffer from blindness, or visual impairment. Eye infections can unfortunately be a cause of both, and so it is up to you to teach your child to speak to you if they feel that something is wrong with their eyes, and to get them to an optometrist or ophthalmologist if anything is wrong. A little education will also go a long way towards helping your child avoid future infections. Get more here:

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