Written by tamara in English, newborn, Parents.
This article is also available in Italian.
Conjunctivitis differs depending on the type of infection; can be infectious (see photo), allergic or by irritation.
The most common among children and young people is infectious conjunctivitis, bacterial type. This type of conjunctivitis is also contagious in fact often is transmitted using the same towels or using eye drops in common with other infected people. Infection can also occur by touching the eyes with dirty hands, then, in an unhygienic environment.
What is conjunctivitis?
It is an inflammatory condition of the membrane covering the inside of the eyelids, and lacrimal areas.
It is not dangerous for the sight, though it can occur in acute and chronic form.
What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
It begins with redness of the eyes. The tear is reduced and the eye produces mucus or pus yellow / gray sticky especially during sleep. Accumulating at the sides of the eye and then between the lashes can cause the effect of gluing the eyelids; in this case, just soften the mucus with a cloth dampened with saline solution or, as the grandmothers said, with cold chamomile, carefully removing the crusts present. In severe cases, can inflate the membrane.
We have a burning sensation, as if there is something in the eye and, if the eye produces much pus, may seem to see bad, but is only an impression. Often, conjunctivitis begins with much mucus in one eye and then, within days, infect the other eye.
If it is a chronic conjunctivitis then you will have a prolonged burning sensation and itching.
What causes conjunctivitis?
Typically the membrane has been infected by a bacterium, but sometimes the reason could be a virus or allergy. Given the link with the respiratory tract, it may happen that, if the child has cooled for a long time, the inflammation is just a consequence. Allergic-type conjunctivitis is characterized by intense itching and tearing, and is a form of short duration because of the pollen. In allergic conjunctivitis came suddenly, you may have bilateral swelling of the eyelids.
How to treat conjunctivitis?
In small children, up to a year, the tear ducts are a little closer and that means having difficulties in the secretion. This suggests that it would be important to clean the eyes of babies every day with a damp cotton pad, starting from the outside to the inside of the eye. This arrangement is in some way a kind of prevention.
At the first sign of redness and irritation, you should immediately compresses of cold camomile, because it is lenitive of small infections.
Is preferable to treat acute conjunctivitis with antibiotic eye drops. It is right that the doctor write the prescription and tell us how many times a day we do the medication. Mostly the drugs most prescribed are cortison chemicetina (in Italy and Spain) whose active ingredient is Chloramphenicol and Fucithalmic (Norway) whose active ingredient is fusidic acid, you can find both in cream and in eye drops.
When we use eye drops is important that the drop enters in the eye, and not come out, otherwise will not improve the healing.
When the eye seems healed, continue treatment for another two days to make sure that there are no relapses.
Whereas the infectivity, we expect the use of towels and disposable wipes.
Can a sudden reddening of the eyes be caused by something other than a conjunctivitis?
Yes, it can be caused by a disease of the eye.
In this case the situation is more serious because you can you can lose sight if not start the correct treatment as soon as possible.
What symptoms indicate to us that this is a disease?
If there is a tremendous pain to see the light. Often the view weakens rapidly, but it is important to know that normal vision does not exclude that there is a serious eye disease.
Sometimes you may notice that the color of the iris is slightly different or a pupil is different than the other eye, the pupil moves slightly ahead in the sunlight. If there is an inflammation of the cornea, you can see that the cornea does not have his usual clarity.
In these cases it is important to consult a doctor quickly.
Partly taken from www.helsenett.no
Translated and produced by Tamara De Zotti with the assistance of midwives Pia.