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Pink Eye in Children

Pink eye is a condition marked by swelling and redness of the eyes. Medical term for pink eye is conjunctivitis. It occurs when conjunctiva, the mucus membrane lining the eye and the eyelid, gets inflamed or infected. The condition does not affect vision. Pink eye is not a disease but rather a symptom. There are many causes of pink eye and the condition can affect people of any age.

Pink eye is common in children as it can be highly contagious. It can be easily transmitted from person to person and by sharing an object such as a towel with the infected person. In this article we will discuss symptoms of pink eye in children.

Causes of Pink Eye in Children

Pink eye can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. Different types of irritants and air pollutants can cause an allergic reaction and also lead to pink eye symptoms. Viral, bacterial and allergic conjunctivitis are the most common forms of pink eye.

Exposure to chemicals, fumes and smoke can cause chemical conjunctivitis. In rare cases, fungi, parasites and certain diseases can also lead to pink eye symptoms.

Pink eye in children is most commonly caused by direct contact with another infected child. Infectious conjunctivitis is highly contagious and a child affected by it should be isolated until the condition resolves.

Symptoms of Pink Eye in Children

There are several specific symptoms of pink eye in children. If they observe any of the pink eye symptoms in their child, parents should seek medical advice promptly. That will prevent spreading of the infection and worsening of the symptoms. A child with pink eye should not go to school or day care until the symptoms improve as the infection can be easily transmitted to other kids.

Pink eye typically causes itching of the eye and eye redness. Swelling of the eyelids is common too. Pink eye caused by viral infection usually affects only one eye and is accompanied with a clear or white discharge from the eye. Excessive watering in the eye, sensitivity to light and formation of crusts on the eyelid overnight are also associated with viral conjunctivitis.

Pink eye due to bacterial infection often affects both eyes. Drainage from the eyes is heavy and yellowish or greenish in color. The eyes are red, itchy and there is more tearing than usual.

Allergic conjunctivitis affects both eyes and causes tearing and itching. Runny and itchy nose is commonly present too.

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