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Conjunctivitis, Nonspecific (Child)

The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the eye and the inner lining of the eyelids. It can become irritated and inflamed. If no reason for this inflammation is found, it is called nonspecific conjunctivitis.

When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed, the eye appears reddened. Small blood vessels are visible up close. The eye may have a clear or white, cloudy discharge. The eyelids may be swollen and red. There may be morning crusting around the eye. Most likely, the conjunctivitis was caused by a brief irritation. The irritated eye is treated with a soothing nonprescription ointment or eyedrops.

Home Care:

Medications: The doctor may prescribe medication to ease eye irritation. Follow the doctor’s instructions for giving this medication to your child.

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before and after caring for your child’s eye.

  2. It is common for discharge to form crusts around the eye. Gently wipe crusts away with a wet swab or a clean, warm, damp washcloth.

  3. Try to prevent your child from rubbing the eye.

To Apply Ointment Or Eyedrops:

  1. Have your child lie down on his or her back.

  2. Pull back the lower lid. Apply a thin strip of ointment on the inner lid (see above). Or put the prescribed number of drops in the corner of the eye near the nose. As your child blinks, the medication will go into the eye.

  3. Wipe away excess medication with a clean cloth.

  4. Note: Ointment often makes the child’s vision blurry for a time, so you may want to apply the ointment just before your child sleeps.

Follow Up

as advised by the doctor or our staff. Symptoms generally improve within 24 hours. If they do not, please contact the child’s doctor or this facility.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)

  • Increasing or continuing symptoms

  • Problems with vision (not related to ointment use)

  • Signs of infection such as increased redness or swelling, worsening pain, or foul-smelling drainage from the eye


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