Babies are fragile. There is so much you need to protect them from. But then this is something that comes with the territory of being a parent. So is taking care of an ill baby. Tending to a sick baby is tough. But if you know just how to go about it, things will become easier. And as a mother, you need to do everything you can to make life easier – for both you and your baby!
Is your baby suffering from reoccurring incidents of swollen eyelids? She may have Blepharitis. If you haven’t already, it may be time to talk to the doctor.
But before you see your health care provider, it makes sense to understand the problem. So, let us give the information you need on Blepharitis in infants.
What Causes Blepharitis In Babies?
The cause for blepharitis is still unknown. But experts agree that most cases of this infection are likely to be caused by the following factors:
- Bacterial infection
- Abnormal oil secretion by the sebaceous glands
- Seborrheic dermatitis
[ Read: Eye Infection In Infants ]
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Blepharitis In Babies?
Each baby is different. So, there is no clear-cut list of symptoms that all babies with blepharitis are likely to experience. But most cases report the following symptoms:
- Redness and scaling of eyelids
- Burning of the eyes
- Irritation of the eye (you’ll notice your child rubbing her eyes excessively)
- Seborrheic dermatitis on your child’s head or face
- Discharge from the eye
- Crusted or matted eyelashes on waking up
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light
[ Read: Symptoms Of Pink Eye In Babies ]
How Is Blepharitis Treated?
Unless your baby has a severe case of blepharitis, your doctor may prescribe some home care measures to treat it. These home care measures can include:
- Washing your baby’s hands frequently.
- Keeping your hands clean before tending to your baby. This will prevent the infection from spreading.
- Use a warm compress. You can use a soft warm, wet cloth and place it over the eyelids for five to ten minutes. You can repeat this treatment a few times every day.
- You can also massage the affected lid. The best time for it is just after you apply a warm compress. Use gentle, circular motions to massage the effected lid.
- Keep the eyelid clean. You can use warm water mixed with baby shampoo to wash the affected eyelid. You can also use a commercial eyelid scrub. Pour this solution on a cotton swab and gently clean out the debris. Remember to avoid contact with the eyes. You can also use a tree tea oil based shampoo to clean the eyelids. Studies show that shampoos with tree tea oil are more effective in treating blepharitis than baby shampoo (1).
[ Read: Common Eye Problems In Infants ]
If your doctor feels that your baby needs more to treat the infection, he might prescribe medication too. Some of the medications that may be used to treat blepharitis include:
- Pilocarpine gel (2).
- Antibiotics (creams, ointments, eye drops, and syrup).
- Artificial tear drops (in case your baby develops dry eye syndrome along with blepharitis).
In most cases, oral antibiotics are not prescribed to treat blepharitis in children younger than 12 years. (3)
[ Read: Sticky Eyes In Infants ]
Can Blepharitis Need Urgent Medical Care?
Like any other disease affecting young babies, blepharitis too can take a turn for the worse. So, seek urgent medical care if your baby:
- Develops a fever higher than 100.4°F.
- Symptoms do not go away with treatment.
- The eye area becomes red and swollen (this may indicate periorbital cellulitis, a serious infection).
The most important thing with blepharitis is hygiene. If you help keep your baby’s eyes and lids clean, the infection will heal faster. For infants and babies, the irritation that comes with chronic blepharitis can make them fussy and cranky. Have patience. Remember, they are tiny and know just one way to express themselves. If the fussiness gets to you, take a deep breath and chant the favorite mommy mantra ‘this too shall pass’!
Have you encountered blepharitis baby? What was the treatment plan that you followed? Tell us in the comments section below!
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