When my daughter got out of bed this morning, I immediately knew something was not right. Her left eye looked like she had been in a boxing match and it was swollen, pink, and oozy. Looks like we have pink eye – also known as conjunctivitis.
Pinkeye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the white of the eye) which is usually caused by a virus, but can be the result of an allergic reaction or bacteria. In school age children, it is usually viral in nature – kind of like getting a cold in your eye – and it is highly contagious.
So what is a Mom to do? I am going to treat this as if it is a virus at first which means, she is not going to school today. I have stripped the sheets off her bed and will be washing them in hot water with a touch of bleach. Next, I will apply a warm compress to the eye regularly through out the day. The microorganisms that cause this infection are sensitive to heat, plus the heat will help loosen any debris.
Additionally, I will be giving her plenty of fluids – especially those high in Vitamin C and let her rest. I will also give her pediatrician a call, just to double check, and will administer Vigamox drops if so advised (Vigamox is used to treat bacterial pinkeye and works very quickly).
Pinkeye is nothing to be alarmed about, but must be taken seriously to prevent a house-wide or classroom-wide outbreak.
For more on pink eye:
- KidsHealth – Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
- WebMD – Pinkeye Overview
- Pediatrics Now – Backtoschoolitis
- Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child