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Children's Conjunctivitis or Pinkeyefrom: Maxx Family Life
Conjunctivitis, or pinkeye is a common problem in school kids. The eyes become red, itchy, and swollen and may also discharge a gooey liquid from the eye which can be white, clear, green or yellow. Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye because the eye's white part turns pink or red. If your your child experiences itchiness and redness in the eyes, he/she should inform the elders as soon as possible, as pinkeye is very contagious and spreads very easily.
It's possible that only one eye may be affected by conjunctivitis, while the other eye dosen't. In most cases, both eyes are infected. Conjunctivitis doesn't usually hurt, but the eyes sure do itch badly. There's a sensation similar to having an eyelash or tiny particle getting in the eye, which is quite annoying. This infection lasts for about a week and usually goes away by itself. However, if the itching continues to be very troublesome, it should be treated with medicine. Some children can have conjunctivitis accompanied with ear infections, as the bacteria responsible for causing pinkeye is also causes ear infection.
Conjunctivitis is caused by a virus or bacteria. Viruses which cause conjunctivitis are also cause colds. Bacteria which cause conjunctivitis also cause ear infections. Conjunctivitis spreads by touching. If a person touches the hand of the infected person who has recently touched his eyes, can also get the infection. Since infected children deal with their parents and other children, there's also the risk of getting the infection.
Prevention, in this case, is to wash hands often with warm water and disinfecting soap. Conjunctivitis when caused by bacteria and virus, and is contagious is known as infectious conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can also be caused due to allergies or because of entry of irritating foreign body into the eyes. Conjunctivitis caused by this medium isn't contagious.
Your doctor should be consulted if the itchiness continues to be irritating. He/she will check the eyes for redness and liquid discharge and will ask about encounters with friends or a person who seems to have pinkeye or whether the conjunctivitis was caused due to an allergy or entry of foreign object into the eye.
Your doctor can also check your child's ears for the possibility of ear infection. If pinkeye is caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor will recommend antibiotic eye ointment or drops. Usually infants are given eye ointment, whereas children and adults are given eye drops. Parents should put the drops or ointment into the child's eyes 4 - 5 times a day for about seven days. The dosage and timings should be maintained to get rid of the infection completely.
If the conjunctivitis is caused by a virus, there is nothing much the antibiotics can do. If pinkeye is caused by allergies or any foreign object, your doctor can recommend special eye drops to deal with the allergy symptoms. Warm water can also be splashed on the eyes to ease the itching and a cool or warm washcloth can be used to clean the discharge.
Parents should clean the eyes carefully with cotton balls and warm water and remove the crusty stuff formed at the ends of the eyes. The towels and washcloths used for cleaning should head straight to the laundry so the infection doesn't spread to other family members.
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