The end of the summer holidays is here. And even though your little ones didn’t get sick, or injured during the school break, it doesn’t mean that they are not going to show any symptoms soon. Many conditions take time to develop, with symptoms being easily missable, such as light sensitivity, or redness. However, it’s nothing to worry about – our expert pediatric eye doctor has your back!
In our last article we warned parents to look out for dry eyeness and infection from lenses and water, whilst explaining what activities can cause these two conditions. In this article our ophthalmologist will discuss the other two categories of conditions commonly developed by children on during the summer break. Namely, infectious conjunctivitis and conditions caused by excessive UV exposure.
Commonly referred to as pink eye, this condition is an infection of the thin transparent layer of tissue that lines the inner surface of the eyelid – the conjunctiva. According to the Centers for DIsease Control and Prevention there are three types of pink eye – viral, bacterial and allergic.
Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious disease, which can be spread by hand-to-eye contact. Having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, or respiratory discharge can contaminate the hands and in turn affect the eyes.
This condition is particularly prevalent in children during the holidays when they are exposed to many other children from different environments. Since this illness mostly affects children, when they play together in overcrowded play areas it can spread easily. The symptoms to look out for in your children include:
- excessive tearing
- discharge from one, or both eyes
- swollen eyelids
- Pink discoloration to the whites of one, or both eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Itching, or a burning sensation in one, or both eyes.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your child, do not hesitate to contact our kids eye doctor to receive a proper diagnosis. If the condition is not neglected, and spotted at an early stage, it can be treated with eye drops, or ointments.
If your child is suffering from pink eye, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends practicing good hygiene to prevent the spread, alongside taking the prescribed medications. They suggest for the parents and children to practice the following actions:
- 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.
- Don’t use anyone else’s eye cosmetics or personal eye-care items.
- Follow your eye doctor’s instructions on proper contact lens care.
These actions are also preventative. If a child’s good eye hygiene is particularly emphasised during the summer holidays, developing the illness in the first place can be avoided.
UV exposure related conditions
UV (Ultraviolet) rays mainly come from the sunlight and man-made sources like tanning beds. As we have explained in “All you need to know about UV rays”, there are different types of UV rays and they all have different energy levels. UVA rays are the ones that affect us and our children the most! And, did you know that UV rays reflect off of surfaces like water and sand? This makes it easier to experience excessive exposure during the holidays.
Excessive unprotected exposure to UV rays promotes the development of many eye-related illnesses, including:
- Photo conjunctivitis, also known as snow blindness
- Macular Degeneration
- Pterygium – a non-cancerous growth over the cornea
- Skin cancer of the eyelids
Since children are the most vulnerable to developing illnesses due to their sensitivity and lack of awareness, it is important that you make an appointment with our kids eye doctor as soon as you spot any suspicious signs. Our experts recommend for children, in particular, to always wear 100% UV Protection sunglasses outdoors (can be found in our optical shop) and a wide brimmed hat. This is especially important when at a beach on a hot summer’s day!
About our Pediatric Eye Doctor!
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.