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It can be challenging for your baby to explain any form of eye discomfort, thereby making you worry. Hence, it is important to keep a close watch on signs that trigger swollen eyelids, redness, discharge or tearing. Contacting your baby’s paediatrician at the earliest would help relieve your little one from further discomfort or any hidden complications.
What Causes Swelling in a Baby’s Eyes?
Spotting your baby with puffy eyes may not be something to worry about, since it usually goes away naturally. However, in some cases, the issue might get worse if no action is taken. We have compiled a list of factors that cause eye swelling.
If your baby is exposed to irritants like cigarette fumes, pollen, pet dander or dust mites, they are more susceptible to developing an allergy. It commonly causes typical symptoms like swelling and redness of the eyelid. Sometimes, a child can develop a reaction instantly. Hence, it’s important to know what they have been exposed to recently.
Since the nerves of the eyes and teeth are interlinked, teething can cause puffy eyes. Be sure to check if there is any swelling under the eyes after teething.
3. Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bites can make the eyes puffy. This type of swelling isn’t painful, but just itchy, and can last for up to 10 days in an infant. The swelling generally looks pinkish or reddish in colour.
Any physical head injury, near the eyes, can give rise to swollen eyes, inflammation, redness or more. Toddlers are prone to getting injured, since they are moving about all the time. At times, they might not feel any pain, in spite of puffy eyes.
5. Sty and Chalazion
A sty is a tender red lump that can occur close to the edge of the eyelid or under it, thereby causing swelling. According to studies, a sty occurs if an eyelash follicle becomes inflamed. Most stys are painful, but they go away on their own in a few days. Chalazion, on the other hand, occur near the eyelid if an oil producing gland becomes swollen and leads to oil clogging up the openings. The swelling in Chalazion is typically larger than that of a sty.
Our eyelids comprise an oil gland that can sometimes become blocked or inflamed. This would cause Blepharitis which can be most prominent in the mornings (after a night’s sleep). The symptoms include crusting on the eyelashes, swollen eyelids, tenderness in the eyelids, and itchiness.
7. Neonatal Conjunctivitis
Sometimes, a baby is prone to infection at birth, which may cause neonatal conjunctivitis. The most common reasons for such a condition are gonorrhoea, chlamydia, or herpes. The symptoms of this problem are red puffy eyes and excessive discharge.
Easy Remedies for Swollen Eyes in Babies
Many factors can bring about swollen eyes, such as dust mites, pollen, and milk. Here are some of the remedies to help you cure puffy eyes.
A simple remedy for puffy eyes is to apply a cold compress. Apply this to your baby’s eyes, for a few minutes at a time, to help lessen the redness and swelling.
2. A Drop of Breast Milk
Swelling under the eyes can subside through the mother’s breast milk since it has anti-bacterial properties. You can pour a couple of drops on your baby’s eyes to treat any irritation, puffiness or itchiness.
3. Keep Eyes Clean
To prevent your baby from getting a swollen eye, keep the eye area clean with a clean wet cloth and warm water. If your baby’s eye is infected, wiping it with a clean, cool cloth will help. Make it a point to wash your baby’s hair frequently, as it may contain a buildup of pollen or pet dander, which could cause eye irritation.
4.Wash Bedding Weekly
In order to prevent your baby from puffy eyes, caused by allergens, it’s a must to wash your baby’s bed with hot water on a weekly basis. Hypoallergenic and mild detergents should be used. Always ensure that the carpet in your baby’s room is replaced as well.
When to Call Your Doctor
Mild swelling due to a known cause is not dangerous, and can be treated at home. However, in many cases, your baby may require the medical assistance of a doctor to treat the issue appropriately. Immediately consult your doctor in case of:
1. Severe Swelling
If your baby experiences severe swelling in one or both eyes, which does not subside, call a doctor, especially if the affected eye is completely or almost shut.
Swelling of the eyes, accompanied by fever, is indicative of an infection that should be treated immediately.
3. Unknown Cause
If your child experiences chronic eye swelling without any explained cause, it is best to consult a doctor who can determine the cause and prescribe appropriate treatment.
4. Excessive Redness
If the eyelid is red and swollen, without having subsided even after continuous efforts, visit a doctor.
5. Pain and Tenderness
If the affected area is painful and tender for your child, make sure to consult a doctor who can help provide immediate relief with the appropriate treatment.
It is imperative that you remain vigilant and spot any alarming symptoms because the issue could be serious. Infection on the swollen eye can be potentially life-threatening, requiring immediate medical assistance. Once you are aware of the specific agents that trigger puffy eyes in your baby, handling the issue makes it less challenging.
Also Read: Eye Problems in Babies