ZocdocAnswersWhat to do if a child has pink eye?

Question

What to do if a child has pink eye?

My son is home woke up with very red eyes and sleep in them.. What can I do at home for him?

Answer

This is an important question to discuss with your son's pediatrician. The vast majority of pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is due to viruses. The conjunctivitis in this case typically leads to itching and redness of the eye, associated with a thin watery discharge and sticking of the eyelashes, especially in the morning. One or both eyes may be infected, and the infection can spread from one to the other. Often, an exposure to another person who has recently had pink eye, or the recent development of other viral symptoms is apparent (such as cough, sore throat, etc). The treatment in this case is targeted towards the symptoms, and can involve warm compresses and artificial tears to keep the eyes moist. Typically the symptoms resolve in a few days, and no systemic symptoms (such as fevers or rash) are apparent. Again, these are questions to discuss with your son's pediatrician. You should also be sure to call your son's doctor if his symptoms do not resolve after 3 to 4 days, or if there are any other worrisome symptoms that develop, such as eye pain or fever or thick purulent discharge from the eyes, which can be a sign of bacterial infection. In this latter case, antibiotic ointment may be prescribed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.