It is quite common for babies and children to get sticky and sore looking eyes at times.
This can be caused by a few different things.
Often sore or sticky eyes can be cared for at home until they clear and your child will not need to see a doctor. You do not need to keep your child off nursery or school because of this.
Blocked Tear Ducts
It is common for new born babies tear ducts not to work too well in the early weeks and months. This will usually clear over first few months and almost always by a year of age.
Block tear ducts are;
What Can Help a Blocked Tear Duct?
The eye may get crusty. You can care for this at home with bathing the affected eye. If the eye gets sore from weeping, you could try a smear of Vaseline on the eyelid.
Gentle massage can help. With a clean finger apply gentle pressure to the corner of the eye by the bridge of the nose a few times a day.
If the white of the eye becomes pink and sore, this can be a sign the eye may have become infected – see your pharmacist for advice.
If your baby is less than a month old talk to your midwife if you are worried, it may be an infection. They can assess your baby’s eye and take a swab if they think it needs further investigation.
If the blocked tear duct is still a problem when your baby is a year old see your GP. They may refer you for a specialist assessment.
Sticky eyes caused by viruses or bacteria make;
Treating The Eye
Whether the sticky eye is caused by a virus or bacteria, it will usually clear by itself in a week or two. Whilst it is sore;
When To Seek More Help
If the eye continues to be inflamed and sore after a few days contact your GP surgery for an appointment to speak to one of the team. Your child may need antibiotic drops.
If your baby is less than a month old talk to your midwife if you are worried as it may be an infected. They can assess your baby’s eye and take a swab if they think it needs further investigation.
Allergy Related Sore Eyes
Symptoms of soreness caused by allergy are very similar to other causes of sticky eyes. Some reaction can come and go quickly, for example, if your child has used a new soap that has not suited them. Some allergies, like hay fever, can cause sore eyes over a longer period.
If your baby is less than a month old talk to your midwife if you are worried it may be an infection. They can assess your baby’s eye and take a swab if they think it needs further investigation.
If eyes swell suddenly as a result of possible allergy seek immediate medical advice.
How To Bathe Sore & Sticky Eyes
It is not hard to clean eyes and can be very soothing and comforting. Bathe the eyes each time any stickiness builds up.
You will need;
How to clean;
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
The Lullaby Trust - Baby Check App- This app has simple checks that you can do if your baby is ill and helps you think about whether they need to see a doctor or health professional.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.