Ooh another medical advice thread - conjunctivitis
I'm pretty sure my 19 month old has conjunctivitis (pinkeye). From reading up on the internet, it sounds like the bacterial variety. I will be calling the pediatrician in the morning to see if I should bring him in, but in the meantime, I turn to Qt3 for some advice. I know it's contagious, but how contagious? Do we have to cancel our plans for dinner with friends tomorrow and Christmas Day (other small children will be present) and lock ourselves away in the house like hermits? Or can we go out and enjoy life still?
Also, what's the likely treatment? The internet says that if you do nothing it will go away by itself, but you can use antibiotic eyedrops to speed up healing. I can't imagine how ridiculously difficult its going to be to get eyedrops into a toddler's eyes. Are most US doctors likely to go straight for the antibiotics in your (you experienced parent people) opinion? If so, any tips for getting a toddler to co-operate with eyedrops?
It's very, very contagious and itchy and horrible.
At 19 months, he won't be able to follow instructions like "don't rub your eye" and "don't touch so and so's toys" so I'd definitely keep him away from other small children.
In my experience as a nanny, doctors will prescribe the drops for the grownups in the house if they catch it but not prescribe to the kids unless it doesn't go away on its own.
For toddler cooperation, have them put their head in your lap with eyes closed, put the drops in the inner corner of the eyes, and have them blink them in. Doing eyes-open drops is way too scary for some kids. If you're lucky, the drops don't sting and it's totally not traumatic and they'll do it every time. My luck with this one is about 50/50.
To make sure you don't keep passing it around, wash hands like crazy, wash all sheets and pillows in HOT water, and try to keep his hands off of your face. If you catch it, toss out any eye makeup you may have used. Brushes can be washed in hot, soapy water but eyeshadow, liner, and mascara have to go, as do any foundation sponges that were used around the eye and bottles of foundation unless they're the squirty kind and didn't touch the sponge.
These pink eye drops are great and can be found at Walgreens or Safeway. Not sure if they're kid-safe, but if you get it, get some of this! http://www.allaboutvision.com/similasan/
I nominate the above for Most Informative Post Of 2008.
Leah C's advice is mostly good, especially about contagiousness. Your child will touch their eye and then everything they touch after that is a possible transmission vector for an infective conjunctivitis.
Not that I want to doubt you but I'm not sure 'reading up on the internet' counts as proof of bacterial cause. For what it's worth, cause really dictates everything, but if it's happening after the first few days of life the cause tends to be rather benign. Here's a rough guide as to what to expect in terms of symptoms for the more common causes of a red eye.
Viral - moderate discomfort, moderate watering, mild discharge, mild to moderate redness
Bacterial - moderate to severe discomfort, moderate watering, copious discharge, moderate to severe redness
Allergic - itchy, mild watering, stringy discharge, mild redness
Chemical - intense pain, severe watering, mild discharge, moderate to severe redness
Foreign bodies can also mimic the presentation of conjunctivitis. Which is another reason for letting a doctor have a look at it.
If it's bacterial the kid will benefit from chloramphenicol eye drops, if it's viral then it will clear by itself, although the nanny's recommendations will certainly not cause harm. There is also a chance it's one of the slightly nastier viruses such as herpes simplex - this can cause corneal ulceration and treatment with anti-viral meds is recommended.
Realistically speaking it's going to be nothing to worry about but there are one or two sneaky things to watch out for, which is why checking in with a doctor is always a good idea.
PS - Don't believe any medical advice you receive over teh internet. See your doctor.
PPS - You should be canceling those Christmas plans. Stay away from the peoples, you're a zombie plague carrier right now.
Thanks guys! I guess I'm going shopping for christmas dinner today :( Leah, thanks for the practical advice. hahahabonk thanks for the healthy skepticism :) I just treat the internet as a guide.
So yesterday his eye was horribly goopy with greeny-yellow mucus, that got worse after a nap (this is what made me think it was the bacterial variety). This morning I was expecting to have to clear off tons of the stuff but he only had some small crusty bits on both eyes. So now I'm not sure what to think. Its spread, but got better?? The doctor's office opens in about 5 minutes so I'll call and see if I can bring him in.
Did someone fart on his pillow?
Damn this thread title... now I've got the "Conjunction Junction" song in my head.
6th Grade Spelling Bee Loser
World's End Supernova
Originally Posted by Talisker