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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


How To Tell the Causes of Pink Eye



Having a red eye (pink eye) is a common symptom in children, in which the white part of the eye (sclera) and inside the eyelids may become red. But it is important to remember that it is just a symptom, and not in itself a disease. There are many causes of a red eye in children

Is there fever with one eye red, swollen and tender to the touch?

Yes

This may represent a serious infection in the eye called perioribital cellulitis 

Urgent! See your child's doctor as soon a possible

No

Has your child you recently injured their eye or do ythey have a loss of vision?

Yes

The problem could be a serious medical condition known as Retinal Detachment EMERGENCY
Call your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency room

No

Do your child have thick nasal drainage or pressure behind their eyes?

Yes

The problem could be
Sinusitis

Have your child use a cold or sinus medicine. If they don't improve or if they have constant fever or severe pain, see your child's doctor as soon as possible

No

Is there a firm lump in the eyelid or a tender "pimple" on the edge of the eyelid?

Yes

This is probably either a chalazion or a hordeolum both are types of STY. Apply warm compresses and take mild analgesics. Sties usually heal in five to seven days. If the bump grows and doesn't go away, see your doctor. If the redness spreads or swells quickly, seek help promptly.

No

Is the white of your child's eye pink, red or irritated, and are there any secretions or mucus?

Yes

Classic "pink eye," usually called conjuctivitis, can be caused by a virus. bacteria or allergy. Use cold or sinus medicines. If there's no improvement, you may have a more serious form of viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. See your doctor promptly. This is very contagious, so wash your hands often

No

Does your child complain that it feels like something is under the lid, or is there watering that started with a poke in the eye or dust in the eye, or does it only hurt when your child blinks??

Yes

This sensation may be from a scratched cornea or from a small particle under the lid. Have your child use an eyewash solution and an eye cup. If the sensation doesn't go away, see your child's doctor as soon as possible

No

Is there pain in your eye and have you lost some vision?

Yes

You may have a rare but serious condition called IRITIS. Urgent! See your child's doctor as soon a possible

No

Is there swelling near the eye with itching or is there a bite-like swelling of the lid?

Yes

This swelling may be from an ALLERGY or an INSECT BITE Use a cool compress and take an antihistamine. See your doctor if the swelling doesn't get better or there is a fever.
posted 05-22-06 ; see our other symptom "flow sheets"

 

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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