Toddler eye discharge may be associated with many different health causes. Whether it is a common cold, sinus infection, allergies, direct trauma to the eye, conjuntivitus (pink eye), and other causes- you should understand the different symptoms and causes that may be occurring with your toddler.
Understanding toddler eye discharge may help you better to know how you can treat the issue, and also alarm you in more serious cases that you need to have your toddler seen by a medical professional.
It can also help you to deal with ways you can help your toddler not to contract or experience eye discharge and the conditions associated in the future.
Toddler Eye Discharge: The Different Causes
So your toddler has eye discharge. No need to panic we have you covered- here are some of the main causes of toddler eye discharge:
Your toddler can be experiencing eye discharge due to seasonal allergies, hay fever, pollen, and other air pollutants that irritate the eyes with exposure. This not only produces symptoms of clear eye drainage, watery or itchy eyes- but it can also be accompanied by sneezing, runny drainage from the nostrils, and more. If it is allergy related eye drainage there will be no fever present.
Your pediatrician can help prescribe you medication or direct you to over the counter medication that can help cure the allergies at the root. Once the allergies are treated, then the eye drainage should also subside.
Infection in the Sinuses
Sinus infections can often bring on eye drainage symptoms. If your child has pressure at the bridge of the nose is experiencing clogged nose, runny nose, or is the discharge is green or yellow then it is highly likely that they drainage is being caused by an underlying sinus infection.
For this you will have to consult with your child’s doctor so that he/she can prescribe antibiotics that will cure the infection. Until you can get into the doctors, you can utilize over the counter mucus-breaking medicines and also use a warm washcloth to wash the eyes but do not rub harshly, be gentle as it can irritate the condition more-so.
Bacterial or Viral Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Sticky eyelid syndrome, bright red itchy eyes with pus, eye drainage symptoms is a large indication that you child may have an eye infection known s conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is often referred to as “pink eye.” Conjunctivitis can get so severe that the eyes swell up and at nighttime become glued together. In the morning time it will take warm applications of water with soft cotton clothes or cotton balls to get them unstuck.
Also when cleaning the eye be sure to use an individual cloth for each one. This infection can present in one eye and spread to another or be present in both eyes. Depending upon whether the conjunctivitis is viral or bacterial in nature- you should keep the child from rubbing their eyes when they itch or burn. Also be sure to not allow the toddler to expose others as most strains of conjunctivitis are very contagious.
Conjunctivitis has to be treated by a physician and with antibiotic eye serums, drops, or topical creams. As an conjunctivitis infection worsens the pain and symptoms become more severe- so it is important that you seek medical attention to have the condition treated.
Toddler Eye Discharge: Remedies and Treatment
Keep the Eyes Clean and Free From Discharge and Pus
The best thing you can do for toddler eye discharge is to immediately clean the child’s eyes. Do this with warm water & soap (if necessary but keep the soap out of the child’s eyes or it will cause them undue pain! Keep the eyes clean without rubbing too hard on the child’s eyes. Use a gentle touch and be persistent. Keeping their eyes clean will help them from rubbing their eyes more and further allowing the infection to spread.
Utilize Over The Counter Eye Drops
There are hydrating eye drops, eye drops that help with allergies, and all types of eye drops that you can purchase from a drug store. However, before using any eye drops not prescribed by your doctor- you should speak to the pharmacist to make certain which eye drops will NOT hurt your toddler & which ones are ideal for a child of toddler age.
Before applying any eye drops, clean the eyes first. Then only use the eye drops as directed. Allow the eye drop to be placed in the inner part of the eye ball and then wipe gently to dry off excess fluids.
Antibiotic Ointment (Prescribed)
If your doctor diagnoses your toddler with conjunctivitis or any other eye infection, chances are they will be prescribing you an ointment for their eyes. This ointment will have a gel-like consistency. Always be sure to apply ointments or direct eye medicines to clean, dry eyes. Ointment is applied much differently than eye drops are. Instead of being placed on the inner side of the eye, ointments need to coat both upper and lower parts of the eye. This task is performed by closing the upper lid and working from the outer side of the eye to the inner side.
Use Warm, Sterile Compresses
With any condition eye related conditions- compresses and the application thereof frequently is recommended in order to clean the eyes thoroughly,keep swelling and irritation down, and to keep the condition from worsening. Clean, soft cloths should be used and doused in warm water. The eye should be gently rubbed, and cleaned. Do not press hard or rub ferociously as it can further irritate the condition. This should be done especially before bedtime, and in the morning when the child wakes up.
Disinfect & Quarantine Your Child From Giving it to Others
Because most eye infections are contagious, cleanliness and disinfecting protocols should be implemented immediately. You could easily have all your family members contracting pink eye from one slip up- so use the following tips to quarantine places, things, and etc that can result in spreading the infection like wild-fire
- Wash linens, pillows, blankets, glasses, and towels that are used by the child, can come in contact with the child’s hands or eyes and on the child’s eyes.
- Urge the child to NOT rub their eyes as once their fingers touch it, they touch other things where the infection can thrive and be contracted through contact from.
- Keep the child out of school, daycare, and away as much as possible from close contact of others.
- Wash your hands, make them wash their hands, and use anti-bacterial soap and disinfecting cleaners to disinfect toys, stuffed animals, and other objects that come in contact with the eyes or hands.
- Avoid allowing your toddler to swim in pools, lakes, or the ocean as bacteria from these bodies of water or chemicals can result in irritating their eyes more.
After 24 hours of being treated for an eye infection cause toddler eye discharge, you should notice symptoms getting better and the eyes getting clearer and more free of discharge. It is okay after 24 hours of being on an antibiotic that your toddler go back to school, daycare, and be in contact closely with others.
Pink eye should go away after about 3-5 days of treatment, but sometimes the cases last a little longer. If you find that your child eye discharge or condition is not improving it is recommended that you contact your pediatrician in case further treatment is necessary.
Toddler Eye Discharge: When to Seek Medical Help
If you feel that your toddler’s eye discharge may just be as simple as them having a cold in their eye. Then perhaps you can wait and see if the condition improves. However, there are more severe cases where pus, toddler eye drainage, and red, itchy, burning eyes can signal something that absolutely must be treated with antibiotics and other protocols.
If your toddler has a fever, if they report not being able to see, if the pain is nagging and very serious, and the symptoms are not disappearing and only worsening you should go to the doctor immediately with your child so they can rule out eye-sight threatening conditions and get your child the best treatment ASAP as possible.
Eye-sight is nothing to play with. A little eye drainage can be normal with easy to treat conditions. Some may warrant medical treatment while others can be treated at home. Just be certain to know which symptoms merit the worst so that you can get the toddler eye discharge remedied immediately.