Children’s Eye Problems

The Red Eye
If you have a red eye together with pain, decreased vision, or light sensitivity, or if it is the result of an injury, then you need to see the ophthalmologist promptly. The red eye may represent a very serious problem, and needs prompt evaluation and treatment.

Painless red eye is usually (but not always) due to conjunctivitis. Some people call this “pink eye”. Conjunctivitis may be bacterial, viral, or allergic. Bacterial conjunctivitis causes a painless red eye with significant “goopy” discharge. It responds well to antibiotic eye drops, which can be prescribed by your primary care physician or by your ophthalmologist.

Painless red eye with watery discharge is often due to viral conjunctivitis. Commonly, your child with viral conjunctivitis will have been around someone with “pink eye” or may have a cold. There is no drop or other medicine that makes viral conjunctivitis go away. It may take a week or two to go away, and it may go to the other eye. This is a very contagious condition, and it is very important to wash hands frequently and avoid sharing towels or bedclothes.

Allergic conjunctivitis almost always itches. There is seldom significant discharge, but if there is any discharge it may be white and stringy. Allergic conjunctivitis typically involves both eyes, but occasionally may affect only one. There are very effective eye drops that give prompt relieve for allergic conjunctivitis. These may be prescribed by your primary care physician or by your ophthalmologist.



blocked tear drainage | failed screening | headaches | nystagmus |
red bumps | ROP | strabismus | horizontal eye misalignment | esotropia | exotropia |
vertical eye misalignment | the red eye | sports related eye injuries


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