Eye injury
Some of the common symptoms of eye injuries are red spots on the eye, scratch lines, redness and pain in the eyes, excessive tears, foreign body sensation in the eyes, blurred vision and headache Image Credit: Shutterstock

Allergic conjunctivities

Dr Diljeet Kaur Gahir, Specialist Ophthalmologist, Prime Hospital, explains:

This occurs when the conjunctiva — the outermost membrane covering the white part of the eyeball — becomes inflamed due to an allergy. It causes red, itchy, watery, puffy eyes with swollen eyelids, pain and a sensation of burning or foreign body. Children can also develop sensitivity to light. This may also be accompanied by a blocked or runny nose.

Some of the common triggers are dust mites, animal dander, chemicals such as household detergents or perfumes, pollen, mould, eye drops used post-expiry date, air pollution and smoke.

- Dr Diljeet Kaur Gahir, Specialist Ophthalmologist, Prime Hospital

Causes

It could be seasonal or perennial. Some of the common triggers are dust mites, animal dander, chemicals such as household detergents or perfumes, pollen, mould, eye drops used post-expiry date, air pollution and smoke.

Treatment

We usually treat allergic conjunctivitis using antihistamine and mast cell stabiliser eye drops, artificial tears, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drops, oral antihistamines and sometimes with corticosteroids. In case the child develops severe symptoms, the ophthalmologist could suggest a skin allergy test, blood tests or a test involving the scraping of conjunctival tissue to decide on the further course of treatment.

Stye

Dr Saeed M. Khan, Specialist Ophthalmologist, Prime Medical Centre, Jumeirah, explains:

One of the most common eye concerns in children, sties are red, swollen and often painful bumps occurring on the outer edge of the eyelid. You can also find these inside or under the eyelid. Although uncomfortable, sties are usually not contagious and heal without any medical intervention.

Causes

These are usually caused by bacterial infection of the eyelid oil gland or an eyelash follicle. Children with poor eyelid hygiene, lower immunity and dandruff in their hair are more susceptible to sties than others.

While external sties usually heal within a week, if the stye is internal, gets bigger and painful, and doesn’t clear up even after a few days of home treatment, take the child to an ophthalmologist.

- Dr Saeed M. Khan, Specialist Ophthalmologist, Prime Medical Centre, Jumeirah

Treatment

While external sties usually heal within a week, if the stye is internal, gets bigger and painful, and doesn’t clear up even after a few days of home treatment, take the child to an ophthalmologist.

Your child’s ophthalmologist may prescribe an antibiotic eye drop and ointment to treat the infection. For inflammation and pain, the doctor may give an anti-inflammatory tablet or syrup. However, some sties may need surgical incision and drainage. Advise children not to pop, squeeze or touch a stye.

Eye Injuries

Dr Mohamed Embabi Specialist – Paediatrics, Bareen International Hospital, MBZ City, Abu Dhabi, explains:

While many minor eye irritations and injuries in children can be treated at home, some require serious medical attention.

Accidental exposure to particles such as dirt, sand and pet dander can create eye irritations, affecting the cornea. Some of the common symptoms of eye injuries are red spots on the eye, scratch lines, redness and pain in the eyes, excessive tears, foreign body sensation in the eyes, blurred vision and headache.

If a child complains of a sudden eye irritation or injury, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching the affected area. Try not to touch, rub, or press the eye as this may further aggravate the condition.

If a child complains of a sudden eye irritation or injury, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching the affected area. Try not to touch, rub, or press the eye as this may further aggravate the condition.

- Dr Mohamed Embabi, Specialist – Paediatrics, Bareen International Hospital, MBZ City, Abu Dhabi

When removing a foreign particle, use the flushing method to avoid scratching the surface of the eyes. Don’t try to remove the particle directly from the eyes.

How to flush the eyes?

Ask the child to bend her head over a basin with the affected eye down. Gently pull down the lower lid. Pour lukewarm water steadily over the eye. Do this for at least 15 minutes. If the child still experiences any irritation after flushing the eyes, take her to a medical expert for further check-up and professional treatment.