Posted by: Indonesian Children | March 23, 2009

Allergy Related Eye Problems in Children


Signs and symptoms in children

The symptoms that a child displays will vary depending upon the underlying condition afflicting the eye. However, there are several general signs and symptoms typically associated with eye-related disorders. They include:

  • Watery eyes. Eyes can water either because tear ducts are blocked, or because something is irritating them, such as an allergy.

  • Itchiness and burning. Histamine and other chemicals released during an allergic cascade produce these symptoms.

  • Redness. A healthy eye should have red blood vessels that are visible. However, chronic and excessive redness is a sign that the eyes are irritated, possibly by an allergy. Other factors, such as excessive coughing, also can cause this symptom.

  • Black circles around the eyes. Sometimes known as allergic shiners, they are the result of constant rubbing and scratching of the skin, which causes a darkening effect. This can be seen in children with allergic rhinitis (hay fever), as well as with other conditions.

  • Sensation that something is in the eye.

  • Cobblestone pattern of lesions on the conjunctiva under the eyelids.

  • Light sensitivity (photophobia).

  • Discharge. The characteristics of the discharge will vary based on the type of condition.

  • Swelling of the eyelid.

Symptoms of allergy-related eye conditions may occur alone or can appear in combination with nasal (e.g., sneezing, sniffling, stuffy nose).

Children may not always indicate that their eyes are bothering them. For this reason, parents should watch for certain physical or behavioral indicators of an underlying eye problem . General signs of eye-related problems in children that require medical attention include:

  • Abnormal alignment of the eyes, or unusual eye movement after 6 months of age

  • Red-rimmed, crusted or swollen eyelids

  • Watery or red eyes

Children can also reveal potential eye problems through their behavior. Parents should watch to see if their child:

  • Rubs eyes often

  • Closes or covers one eye

  • Tilts head, or thrusts head forward

  • Struggles with reading or other work that involves close-up vision

  • Blinks more often than normal

  • Mentions that things are blurry or hard to see

  • Squints or frowns a lot while trying to see things

  • Has difficulty following (tracking) objects visually

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Copyright © 2009, Children Allergy Clinic Information Education Network. All rights reserved.


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