As your children go back to school, they will again enter an environment where they will be surrounded by many other children for long periods of time in a relatively limited space. Therefore, it is important for parents to keep an eye out for the symptoms of the three most common contagious eye infections- conjunctivitis, and infectious keratitis. A study published by the NCBI explains that these two were among the top five problems most referred to ophthalmology departments in Brisbane. However, they are also incredibly prevalent among children and adults in the US.
If your child ever obtains an eye problems, our kids’ ophthalmologist will welcome you with open arms – you can contact us whenever you need us. However, as much as we enjoy helping our patients, we care about your overall well-being, so we will explain to you how to spot and prevent eye infections in the first place.
In our article “5 common eye and vision problems experienced by children” we briefly talk about conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, it’s symptoms and how it is usually treated – here we will build on it. Pink eye is an inflammation or swelling of the thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye (conjunctiva), which most commonly occurs in children. There are four types of conjunctivitis – viral, bacterial, gonococcal and chlamydial conjunctivitis – however, the bacterial type is more common in children.
It is a minor eye infection that can be easily treated with eye drops or ointment – chloramphenicol 0.5% and framycetin sulfate 0.5% eye drops are usually recommended. However, it is highly contagious and if neglected it can become very serious. Therefore, parents should look out for these symptoms (and if any are present they must contact a children’s eye doctor immediately):
- A gritty feeling in one or both eyes
- Itching or burning sensation in one or both eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Discharge from one or both eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Pink discoloration to the whites of one or both eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
To prevent the spread of conjunctivitis, the infected child should not be going to school and these habits should be followed:
- Don’t touch your eyes with your hands.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.
- Change your towel and washcloth daily, and don’t share them with others.
- Discard eye cosmetics, particularly mascara.
- Don’t use anyone else’s eye cosmetics or personal eye-care items.
- Follow your eye doctor’s instructions on proper contact lens care.
Bacterial keratitis is an infection of the cornea (a dome-shaped window of the front of the eye), which is seen as an emergency. It develops rapidly and if it is left untreated for too long it can lead to visual impairments and even blindness. In the US about 30,000 cases are reported annually. The symptoms include:
- Eye redness
- Eye pain
- Excess tears or other discharge from your eye
- Difficulty opening your eyelid because of pain or irritation
- Blurred vision
- Decreased vision
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- A feeling that something is in your eye
This infection is most commonly associated with working age adults, hence parents need to be incredibly careful in order not to pass it onto their children and consequently the other children in school. The risk factors associated with this infection include: contact lenses, physical and chemical trauma, refractive surgery, diabetes, topical steroids, and immunosuppressive diseases.
Therefore, to prevent the spread of this infection, parents should take extra care of their contact lenses and prevent viral outbreaks by frequently washing hands, and avoid spreading already existent illnesses like cold sores. To find out how to properly care for your and your child’s contact lenses and spot the signs early, contact your children’s eye doctor!
About our Kids Ophthalmologist in Livingston!
Our exceptional doctors, Amy Lambert, MD, and Rachel Bloom, MD, are both board certified pediatric ophthalmologists. Dr. Lambert, the founder of Pediatric Eye Associates, LLc, is also a board certified strabismus surgeon, and Dr. Bloom is additionally fellowship trained.
Our child eye doctors are experts at meeting your children’s eye and visual needs. We pride ourselves with the results we achieve with our patients and we believe the key is not just our medical expertise, but also attitude and patience with the children. Our motto is “to provide the highest quality eye care for children in a setting that is comfortable and reassuring.”
We understand that you will have many questions about our Livingston ophthalmologist, so if any of them are still unanswered, please refer to our FAQs page, or contact us. You can get in touch with us by:
- Visiting our practice
22 Old Short Hills Rd. Lower Level-1,Livingston, New Jersey 07039
Open hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 – 17:00
- Calling us on 973-422-1230
- Submitting the enquiry form on our contact us page
- Checking our facebook page – Pediatric Eye Associates, LLC
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.