Your child wakes up in the morning with eyes that appear watery, red, or gummed-up and complains that their eyes feel itchy. You may be dealing with pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis. The National Eye Institute says pink eye is one of the most common eye infections in the United States, and the condition often affects children and toddlers.
While seeing your child in distress is always stressful, you don’t need to panic about pink eye. With the support of Dr. Ulin Sargeant and her expert care team at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care, your child can get through pink eye with no problems. Dr. Sargeant offers your family the convenience benefits of telemedicine, or you can bring your child in for urgent care treatment at our Duarte, California location.
Either way, after getting your child’s pink eye diagnosis, you’ll need to provide care and support for their recovery at home. Here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to helping your child recover from pink eye.
Understanding pink eye
Pink eye happens when the membrane inside the eyes and eyelids, called the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed. When your child has pink eye, the white parts of their eyes will look red or pink due to irritation of the blood vessels inside the eyes.
Pink eye can be caused by allergies or chemical irritants, but more commonly, pink eye is caused by viruses or bacteria. Viral or bacterial pink eye is highly contagious.
Most pink eye infections clear up after about 3-5 days of treatment, or in two weeks without treatment.
Caring for pink eye at home
If your child only seems to have mild symptoms of pink eye, you can try at-home remedies including:
- Nonprescription lubricant eye drops, also known as artificial tears
- Cold and warm compresses to soothe discomfort (cold compresses to reduce itching and inflammation and warm compresses to clear away discharge)
Your child might only have inflammation in one eye, but the other eye could become infected as well if you don’t take steps to prevent transmission. Keep all materials that you use to treat your child’s pink eye clean, and avoid using the same materials to treat both eyes. Encourage your child not to rub their eyes, and keep their hands clean.
When to seek medical care for pink eye
More severe cases of pink eye can benefit from professional medical attention and care. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you seek medical attention for your child if their symptoms include eye pain, severe eye redness, light sensitivity that doesn’t improve after eyes are cleared of discharge, or symptoms that don’t improve with home care.
Your child might need prescription antiviral drugs or antibiotics to fully recover from a serious case of pink eye. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Monrovia Internal Medicine & Primary Care for a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.
For help with your child’s pink eye, get in touch with Dr. Sargeant today. Schedule your appointment with our online booking tool, or visit our virtual office now.