What are the Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Babies?

What are the Symptoms of Conjunctivitis in Babies?

Conjunctivitis in babies, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva—the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelids. Symptoms of conjunctivitis in babies can vary depending on the cause (viral, bacterial, allergic, or irritant). Here are the common symptoms associated with conjunctivitis in babies:

  • Redness in the Eyes: The whites of the baby’s eyes may appear pink or red due to inflammation of the conjunctiva.
  • Watery Eyes (Tearing): Excessive tearing or watery discharge from the eyes is a typical symptom of conjunctivitis.
  • Eye Discharge: Depending on the cause, the eye discharge can be clear and watery (viral or allergic conjunctivitis) or thick, yellowish or greenish (bacterial conjunctivitis).
  • Crust Formation: The discharge from the eyes can dry and form crusts, especially during sleep. The baby may wake up with the eyes “glued” shut due to dried discharge.
  • Irritation or Itching: Babies may rub their eyes or exhibit signs of eye discomfort or itchiness.
  • Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia): The baby may be more sensitive to light than usual, leading to squinting or avoidance of bright lights.
  • Swollen Eyelids: Swelling or puffiness of the eyelids may be observed, often accompanied by redness.
  • Frequent Blinking: Babies with conjunctivitis may blink or rub their eyes frequently.
  • Mucus or Sticky Discharge: In some cases of bacterial conjunctivitis, there may be thick, sticky mucus-like discharge.
  • Irritated or Grumpy Behavior: Due to discomfort and irritation, the baby may display irritability, fussiness, or changes in behavior.
  • Difficulty Opening the Eyes: The baby may have difficulty fully opening their eyes due to the swelling and irritation.
  • Fever: In some cases, conjunctivitis may be associated with a low-grade fever.

It’s essential to consult a pediatrician or an eye care specialist if you suspect your baby has conjunctivitis. The appropriate treatment will depend on the cause of conjunctivitis (viral, bacterial, allergic, or irritant) and may include gentle cleaning of the eyes, topical antibiotic or antiviral ointments or drops, and warm compresses to alleviate discomfort. Never attempt to self-diagnose or treat a baby’s eye condition without professional guidance.

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