Although it is not necessarily serious, seeing a red spot in your baby’s eye can be alarming for new parents dealing with it. What are the possible causes, and how do you react if necessary? Let’s see it together in the rest of this article.
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Has Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?
A subconjunctival hemorrhage is a slight effusion of blood under the conjunctiva, the transparent tissue covering the eyeball’s surface and the eyelids’ inside. It is manifested by forming a red spot in the white of the eye, more or less extensive depending on the amount of blood spread under the conjunctiva. Not painful, a subconjunctival hemorrhage appears suddenly and resolves spontaneously if it does not hide a minor wound.
Indeed, although the term hemorrhage can be impressive, this type of injury is generally not serious. In most cases, it results from a small blood vessel rupture following a minor trauma such as friction, a slight shock, or a small foreign body in the eye. A red spot can typically appear when the baby has rubbed his eye and scratched it with his nail.
Subconjunctival hemorrhages are also quite common in newborns in the first days after birth. Following a vaginal delivery, small blood vessels in the eye can rupture due to the stresses and pressures undergone by the baby during the passage through the mother’s pelvis. Generally, the red spots present in the eyes of newborns resolve on their own within a few days without needing treatment.
In babies, a red eye is often a sign of conjunctivitis, in other words, an inflammation of the eye’s conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis can be viral, bacterial, irritative, or of allergic origin. In the case of conjunctivitis, the redness does not appear as a spot but is generally more diffuse in the white of the eye. It is also accompanied by eye swelling, itching, tearing, and discharge, which may be purulent.
Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the membrane that covers the front of the eye. Most often of infectious origin, it is responsible for pain, hypersensitivity to light, and eye redness “in a circle” around the iris. Keratitis constitutes an ophthalmological emergency.
Scleritis Or Episcleritis?
More rarely, a more localized red spot in the eye and slightly purplish can raise suspicion of episcleritis or scleritis, especially if it is accompanied by significant eye pain. The first refers to an inflammation of the episclera, a thin vascular membrane between the conjunctiva and the eye’s sclera. In contrast, the second refers to a deeper inflammation of the episclera and the eye’s sclera. These pathologies, which are rare in babies, require rapid ophthalmological treatment.
What Should I Do?
If your baby has a red spot in the eye or red eyes, it is necessary to consult a doctor quickly. Even if it is only subconjunctival bleeding, it can mask a small wound on the conjunctiva or the presence of a foreign body in the eye, which will require specific care. You must, therefore, take this type of injury very seriously and take no risk with the integrity of your little one’s eyes.
Never instill eye drops into your baby on your initiative, without the prior advice of a doctor or in the absence of a medical prescription. By wanting to do the right thing and relieve your baby, you could do him more harm than good and put his vision at risk. If your baby’s eye seems painful, you can still put it to rest by closing the eyelid with sterile cotton gauze while waiting to see your doctor.
Also Read: Infant Regurgitation: 9 Tips To Avoid It