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The eyes are not only the mirror of the soul, they say, they also give us endless clues about the health of our children. The ophthalmologist or his pediatrician will be the one who finally diagnoses a disease, but parents, who end up being a bit doctors, psychologists, teachers and other professions, can make a first diagnosis of a possible disease if we pay attention to the signs. This is what the eyes tell us about children's health.
This image summarizes some of the most frequent or striking pathologies that can occur to the eyes of children. From conjunctivitis to a bug bite, depending on how the child's eye is shown, it can give us an indication of one disease or another.
All parents have been alarmed at some point by the state of children's eyes, either because they were so red that they seemed bloodshot or because they were so inflamed that the child could not open his eye. The latter happened to me once and alarmed I ran with my son to the emergency room since he woke up with his eye completely closed, I thought it was a terrible infection and it ended up being a small but annoying spider.
Over the years, you learn to differentiate conjunctivitis from blepharitis and you know what to do, which is generally to go to the pediatrician, although without the feeling that your child is going to lose his eye. The eyes tell us about the health of children, and this is what they tell us:
It is an inflammation from the hairs of the eyelashes, it usually occurs on the lower or upper eyelid and can be itchy. Is caused by a bacterial infection due to streptococci and staphylococci. The stye in children is not caused by a health problem or lack of vitamins, it is a common benign process in childhood. It is usually treated with warm, moist compresses, or your pediatrician may prescribe an ointment or eye drops.
When the whites of the eye lose their white color and turn yellow, it is called jaundice. It can also affect the skin. It is very common for newborn babies present this pathology in the first days of life although it usually disappears. It is because your liver is still immature. However, if it occurs in children or adults it can indicate a disease of the liver, pancreas, hemolytic anemia or presence of gallstones.
It occurs when the edges of the eyelids appear swollen and even red and scaly. It is caused by seborrheic dermatitis, by a bacterial infection or a combination of both. This pathology can also be related to styes. If the child presents blepharitis, it may also be due to dry eyes, parasites in the eyelid or a disorder of the sebaceous gland.
If you start to notice that the child is losing hair at the end of the eyebrows (in the one closest to the temple), it may be a symptom of thyroid disease. Your doctor will be able to diagnose whether it is hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid gland is very active, or hypothyroidism, in which the thyroid gland is underactive.
If the child's eye appears red and inflamed and there is even a discharge from the ocular membrane causing itching and pain, we could be talking about conjunctivitis. It can be due to several causes: viruses, bacteria, allergies, or the presence of foreign particles in the eye. The treatment will be prescribed by the pediatrician but it is usually cured with antibiotic eye drops.
If the child's eye appears very swollen both by the eyelid area and by the eye bags, to such an extent that it prevents the child from opening and closing the eye, we could be facing an insect bite. A spider, mosquito, or wasp could cause a swelling in the area. Sometimes you can see the spot where the insect bit. Unless the child is allergic to a sting, it is benign. Pediatricians recommend applying cold to the area and some ointment to reduce swelling.
- Blurry vision: It can indicate not only a vision problem but also dry eyes, diabetes or even digital fatigue, now that our children spend so much time with screens.
- Blind point: It happens when the child says there is a part where he has no vision. It is usually caused by a migraine or a severe headache.
- Double vision: It is advisable to go to the doctor as soon as possible because it may be due to a simple muscle problem or a brain disease.
- Excessive tearing or pus coming out of the tear duct: it may be due to a blocked tear duct due to infection or even trauma or nasal polyps.
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