With newborns and small babies, the term “conjunctivitis” is used as a general term while it most often is not conjunctivitis in its true definition – i.e. not an inflammation of the conjunctiva (layer of the eyeball). It is a situation, where from birth, the baby’s eyes are runny as the eye becomes used to the outside world. The treatment is very simple and widely available eye drops are used. Unfortunately, beliefs such as using the mother’s milk to treat the eye are still around. This has never been proven to be helpful in treatment. The best solution for this problem is using Opthalmo-Septonex drops. The cream variety is not meant to be used for children however. If the eyes continue to be runny and the problem continues for approximately three weeks, it can mean that the eye canals are blocked and a visit to the pediatric eye doctor is necessary.
With older children, the way the inflammation looks is most important. Inflammations can be classified as allergic, viral or bacterial. Conjunctivitis can be a first tell-tale sign of an allergy developing. The most apparent inflammations are bacterial in nature and are apparent at first glance, characterized by thick yellow or green puss. If the eyes are only red or runny, or are sticking together, then the usage of eye drops and cream are advisable in combination. If the problem persists, it is of course necessary to visit a doctor to avoid any possible complications.
This text was prepared by lead pediatrician of Canadian Medical Care, MUDr. Silvie Knoppová.
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