Common Eye Problems in Babies
Babies are fragile little creatures, and we know just how susceptible they are to a huge variety of health problems. Their eyes are definitely not exempt to affliction; fortunately, most eye problems that may affect infants can be treated rather easily. It also helps that, with modern medicine, a newborn’s eyes are examined as soon as the child is born in an effort to determine whether or not infections or abnormalities are present. This is followed through at the child’s sixth month by the pediatrician, who checks the baby’s eyes to make sure that they are developing properly and without any problem.
Below are the most common eye problems that your baby will possibly encounter as they grow or as soon as they are given birth to. Also included are the treatments to these problems which you should find really useful.
One of the most common eye infections that may affect a baby is conjunctivitis, which is also known as pink eye. As we all know, this is a very annoying problem as it causes red, itchy eyes. The other symptoms include watery eyes and a yellow-green discharge. This is caused by the inflammation and swelling of the outer layer of the eye called the conjunctiva, which, in turn is caused by bacteria or virus. As conjunctivitis is very contagious, infants are likely to get this from contact with a person who already has the infection. Doctors usually treat conjunctivitis with antibiotics.
Stye, is an eye condition that causes a small bump at the eyelash’s base. It has to do with an infection in the eye’s sweat glands, and this can affect babies as well as it could adults. The culprit to blame for the infection is the bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus.This does not need to be treated as it usually clears up in two or three weeks, although you can ease your baby’s discomfort with a warm washcloth.
Chalazion, a similar condition to stye, involves a swollen meibomian gland. This gland is the sebaceous gland located at the base of the eyelid, which explains why a chalazion also appears where a stye usually would. As with stye, this does not need any medical treatment, though you will need to press a warm washcloth to the infected eye several times in a day to ease the discomfort.
Blocked Tear Ducts
Tear ducts are very important parts of the eyes as they secrete tears that keep the eyes clean. Some babies, however, are born with their ducts blocked, which is not a good thing as it can give way to all sorts of infections to the eyes. The tear ducts can clear on their own by regularly massaging the eyes with a warm washcloth and keeping it clear of excess tears. If the condition persists when the baby is already 12 months old, do not hesitate to see an ophthalmologist for the proper treatment.
A baby’s eyes can sometimes end up misaligned, and this particular condition is called strabismus. Often, this condition is seen in babies up to four months of age. Strabismus may heal over time, but if the problem persists by four months, it’s time to see an ophthalmologist for an eye examination and treatment.
A normal infant between six to eight weeks old is able to focus their attention to human faces and various objects. It is definitely a problem if a baby is unable to do this when they hit the said age, as it is a sign that there may be some problems with the development of the infant’s visual system. Often, this is merely a delay in the child’s eye development, but if the problem persists by the time the infant is three months old, be sure to bring them to the ophthalmologist for a thorough eye examination, as well as treatment if needed.
The above eye problems are very common, and most of these can be safely remedied at home. You can find various remedies to baby eye problems on the Internet, and it helps a lot that searching for baby eye treatments is a breeze. However, it is always best to see your ophthalmologist whenever you notice infections or other problems with your baby’s eyes and visual focus; doing so will you treat the problem on the onset, and will potentially save your child from developing eye problems in the long term.