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9 mo rubs eyes a lot - now has conjunctivitis - any advice?

(4 Posts)
firstimeforeverything Wed 27-Jul-11 13:56:48

My 9 mo seems to have developed a habit of rubbing food into his eyes at every mealtime - normally to tell me he's had enough dinner - but although the messiness has doesn't really bother me, he has just developed or contracted conjunctivitis and I'm worried about this becoming a frequent occurence. I'm not sure whether it's just a behavioural thing. He does rub his nose as well, but he doesn't show any other symptoms of allergic reaction as far as I can tell, or do it in reaction to a particular food stuff. His dad has slightly sensitive eyes.

Has anyone had any experience of this before, or have any suggestions? The conjunctivitis could be coincidental, but I've been fretting about this habit. Is it something I should discourage behaviourally, or is there another problem?

matana Wed 27-Jul-11 16:05:56

I think the conjuntivitis is coincidental - my DS rubs his eyes at breakfast but the only time he got conjunctivitis was when he got a cold. Could you give him a spoon at mealtimes to distract him and occupy his hands?

It's normally caused by a viral infection which just needs to run its course (you might find that your DS develops a cold over the next few days as well) and will clear up on its own. You can sooth it by bathing his eyes with cooled boiled water to get rid of the gunk and help open his eyes after sleep.

If it's the type of conjuntivitis that is caused by bacteria, it's usually been passed on from elsewhere (not caused by food) and if it carries on might respond to antibiotics. Again, it normally clears up on its own, but i've heard that a couple of drops of breast milk can help because it contains antibodies. And wash things that come into contact with his eyes to avoid re-infection: toys, blankets, etc.

HTH

firstimeforeverything Thu 28-Jul-11 16:10:33

Thank you! good call on the cold - he is now snuffling quite distinctly and I took him to the Dr to be sure since the gunk in his eyes was getting a bit out of control and she said exactly the same. It seems to have cleared up a bit already, and she suggested that since he had had conjuntivitis as a wee baby, he would be prone to gummy eyes when he has a cold.

I really appreciate your post, thank you again!

matana Fri 29-Jul-11 08:44:23

I just remember all too well my DS's sheer panic when he woke up one morning and couldn't see because his eyes were fused together! It's awful because they don't understand.

Pleased i could help. Hope he gets better soon smile

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