Toddler With Red Itchy Eyes But No Discharge Or Swelling

Question

Asked by kylesmom

Toddler With Red Itchy Eyes But No Discharge Or Swelling

for a few days now my 3 year old has been constantly rubbing him eyes. They are red but not necessarily blood shot, there is no swelling or discharge. Friends have suggested allergies?

Answer

Hi Kylesmom, Your toddler may have ocular (eye) allergy. The odds of your child having allergy problems is increased by; one or both parents having allergy problems; brothers or sisters having a history of allergy problems (hayfever, asthma or eczema); your toddler having other allergy problems such as allergic eczema, asthma or nasal allergy; or your toddler also having food allergy. There are other problems which may cause the eyes to appear red or pink. Infection from a bacteria or virus, chemical irritation and foreign body are a few possibilities. A foreign body is less likely the cause when both eyes are involved. Although there is no discharge or swelling, infection cannot be ruled out without further examination. I recommend having your family doctor or pediatrician evaluate your child as soon as possible. Most eye drops for allergy symptom are not approved for children under 6. A full evaluation and eye exam should be done followed by selection of a suitable eye drop. The diagnosis needs to be made before medication is given. Sterile saline drops for the eyes may provide some relief until the doctor visit.

J. Thompson, MD

Answered by James Thompson, MD