With school back in session, illnesses and viruses are spreading rapidly among children. One of the most common viruses that kids can contract is pink eye, also called conjunctivitis. For parents who have never seen this virus before, it can be difficult to identify. Since it requires immediate emergency healthcare intervention, it's important that you can recognize the symptoms. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Pink Or Red Hue Around The Eye
The most common symptom of pink eye, and the source of its name, is redness around the eye. It can affect either both or a single eye, and it usually appears primarily in the white of the eye. It can also affect the skin around the eye, but it typically concentrates in the white of the eye.
Burning And Irritation
When the eye is infected with pink eye, it can also become highly irritated. This leads to pain, including a burning sensation in the eye. Sometimes it starts with only one eye, and will either stay isolated there, or it will spread to the other eye afterward. If the pain reaches a point where your child cannot keep their eyes open comfortably, you definitely need to seek emergency health services.
Pink eye is also known for a trademark itching sensation in the eyes. Unfortunately, if your child rubs their eyes to soothe the itch, that can worsen the irritation and pain. In addition, rubbing the eyes can also cause the virus to spread, as your child will spread the bacteria to any surface that he or she touches until proper medical treatment is sought to help eliminate the contagion.
Discharge And Seeping
Your eye's natural response to any kind of foreign object or infection is to tear up and try to force it out of your body. This can appear in a few different forms. For starters, you may notice that your child's eyes are watering far more than usual. In addition to that response, you may also notice a thick, greenish discharge from the inner corners of the eyes. Sometimes, that discharge can become problematic, especially in the overnight hours. If it builds up along the eyelid, it can actually make it difficult for your child to open their eyes in the morning.
These are a few of the most common signs of pink eye. Since it is highly contagious, it is important that you recognize and address it right away for proper care. If you spot any of these symptoms, you will need to contact your child's medical care provider right away.