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Had conflicting advise about treating child's conjunctivitis? Really don't know what to do?

(25 Posts)
MrsMammyM Sun 02-Apr-17 22:22:50

DS has had a really bad cold that's knocked him off him off his feet for about 10 days and suspected conjunctivitis (red, slightly swollen eyes with thick green discharge, crusting overnight so he can't open them in the morning) for 6 full days now.

Can't get a doctor to look at him as they won't give an appointment for cold or for his eyes as supposedly untreatable.

Seen pharmacist who said he can't have anything medicinal for his eyes since he's not 2 for another 2 months, but to treat them with cool boiled water and take calpol for the discomfort and for the cold, to alleviate any pain and lower his temp. She said if the eyes were still bad in 2 days see a doctor (still no joy)

Called out of hours when we still couldn't get an appointment, they said the same about the boiled water but said to coat his eyes with Vaseline to stop them from sticking (which hasn't really helped). She said that calpol is NEVER used to treat a cold and that he needs a temperature to burn off the bug which is why he isn't getting better? (This confused me as thought temperatures in young kids could turn nasty)

My sister has grown up kids and is mystified about them not treating his eyes, she said whenever any of hers had it they were seen right away by a doc and treated with a cream that was rubbed on the bottom lid of the eye?

I'm worried I'm not doing enough to treat them as they seem to be getting worse! I'm having to clean them every 20 mins as they're constantly green and gloopy and now he cries with his hands in fists pressed into his eyes it must be really hurting him now! He's had nurofen for the pain but doesn't seem to do much?

Should I insist on a drs appointment or carry on treating it at home?

Really don't know what to do now

Daisymay2 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:32:12

It always used to be that conjunctivitis was treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment but there has been a move away from that over the last few years and bathing them as recommended by the pharmacist is current advice.. Exception is if there is pain or disturbed vision etc see nhs webite.
www.nhs.uk/conditions/Conjunctivitis-infective/Pages/Introduction.aspx

OwlOfBrown Sun 02-Apr-17 22:38:38

DS used to get conjunctivitis every time he had a cold.

The advice from the doctor sounds familiar - there really isn't a lot they can do. I'd be wary of putting Vaseline on to be honest as it would be potentially adding bacteria and creating a second infection.

I would carry on with the cool boiled water. Regularly clean his hands and try to keep his nose from running too much as it's probably snot that he's put in his eyes that is causing the conjunctivitis.

If it's not better in a few days, I would try to go back to the doctor in case he has added a bacterial infection to what was a viral infection.

I was regularly prescribed antibiotic cream for DS's eyes (12-ish years ago) because it made the nursery happy, even though both the doctor and I knew it was a pointless exercise.

IceLemonGin Sun 02-Apr-17 22:38:59

My 20m DD had a nasty cold/virus a few weeks back and had the same gunky eyes, I wipe her eyes every hour with cooled camomile tea, obviously using a clean cotton pad for each eye and within 2 or 3 days it has completely cleared, might be worth a try?

WeSailTonightForSingapore Sun 02-Apr-17 23:00:53

I had a similar experience, op.

When ds was just under two, he got conjuctivitis just like you describe, also as a result of a cold.

No GP appointments available. The NHS site suggested no treatment other than water. So I didn't worry initially. But water and camomile did sod all, and it got worse over two days (it was a weekend) so we just turned up to our nearest out of hours. The nurse practitioner there gave us antibiotic eye drops and asked how long he had been like this. I think she was a bit shocked when we said two days, can't remember exactly what she said, but I had the distinct impression that she thought we should have had him seen earlier!

So, conflicting advice from the NHS website and the staff. This happened about 18 months ago. Soon after ds turned two, he had conjuctivitis again (and it was also a weekend!). We went to the pharmacy and they gave us the eye drops right away.

So try the GP again. Does your practice have nurse practitioner appointments?

On another note, I'm.surprised they said you can't get an appointment for this - I thought receptionists aren't meant to tell you what you can and can't have appointments for, thought they were just supposed to book you in without asking?

SoupDragon Sun 02-Apr-17 23:05:22

I was told to dissolve 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a pint of boiled water, store this in the fridge and use it to bathe my eye with an eye bath when I had conjunctivitis and couldn't have the drops or cream. It seemed to do the job and didn't sting or anything.

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sun 02-Apr-17 23:08:23

When DS was that age I just told the pharmacy he was 2yo and got him the drops. He had had them before though, and was about 5 weeks away from his second birthday. Didn't think it was worth wasting an appt for.

We'd been using saline but if wasn't doing the trick

MrsMammyM Sun 02-Apr-17 23:08:31

Thanks everyone WeSailTonightForSingapore it's fairly new protocol at my GP that the receptionist ask what the appointment you are trying to book is for and it's up to them to allocate you an appointment, say if it was something more serious for DS maybe a rash that wouldn't go away they'd get me in asap, or in this case if it's not urgent enough to see a dr then refuse you an app. I think it's to stop patients wasting drs time with things like common colds etc. Really really annoying when it's my baby they're refusing to see though, wouldn't mind so much if it was for myself

MrsMammyM Sun 02-Apr-17 23:11:24

SheRaaaghPrincessOfPower i was really contemplating doing his (bumping his age up by 2 months) to get him the treatment but chickened out in case there were side effects I didn't want it on my conscience that I had caused it by lying about his age? What makes the drops unsuitable do you know?

MrsMammyM Sun 02-Apr-17 23:12:50

Also has anyone any ideas on the calpol/no calpol advise for the temperature? X

SheRaaarghPrincessOfPower Sun 02-Apr-17 23:14:52

I don't know, i only did it because it was really obvious it was conjunctivitis, and because he'd been prescribed them before.

Its chloramphenicol, isn't it? I don't think it's got side effects really. Will Google.

egginacup Sun 02-Apr-17 23:20:00

I would always give calpol for a temperature, that sounds like weird old-fashioned advice! If I were you I would get him to the doctors in the morning- just explain to the receptionist about the temp and painful eyes. I'm just recovering from a bout of conjunctivitis that lasted over a week and it was so painful! The drs gave me antibiotic drops straight away.

WeSailTonightForSingapore Sun 02-Apr-17 23:43:11

Gosh op, that booking system sounds annoying!

outputgap Sun 02-Apr-17 23:50:40

There's no problem with chlorophenicol being used by babies. Mine have all used it, and my doctor gave me a prescription just in case last week! It's just that you cannot buy it over the counter until they're 2, before that you need a script.

Cool boiled water does generally work, but you need to make sure you are doing it all the time, like every half hour, if they are getting gunk back that fast. Cool boiled water won't work if they've got really gunked up eyes and you're cleaning them every 6 hours.

You sound to me like you need the chlorophenicol though.

SoupDragon Mon 03-Apr-17 07:36:30

I would always give calpol for a temperature, that sounds like weird old-fashioned advice!

Actually, I think the advice not to give it is fairly recent. It's changed since mine were small (DD is 11). I think it depends just how bad the fever is as it's part of how the body's immune system fights the infection.

Parents in general have been dosing their children up too often. I certainly gave mine things like calpol more often than I would dose myself up for a cold.

Feckerlino Mon 03-Apr-17 09:13:18

My GP said that 9/10 cases on conjunctivitis are viral and cooled boiled water with a small amount of salt will cure in most cases. However if persistant, it could be bacterial which will need the eyedrops.

GloriaV Mon 03-Apr-17 09:20:56

Yes to the cooled boiled water with salt. Wipe with cotton balls use each ball once ie for a one wipe then bin. Several times a day. You can mix it up and have it sitting on the side with clingfilm over the top ready to use.

VEEErry soothing and will def help.

GloriaV Mon 03-Apr-17 09:24:42

Have just read that they are really gunky and getting worse.

If the salt water doesn't help then I would exaggerate and say DC can't open their eyes or similar. Eye probs and babies deserve to be seen, I'm surprised that receptionist is refusing this. Could try Pharmacist who will prob suggest GP if they are as bad as you say.

lorelairoryemily Mon 03-Apr-17 09:27:51

Op my ds had conjunctivitis last week, he's not quite one, we were given drops, fucithalmic is the name of them, 4 days and he was fine

lorelairoryemily Mon 03-Apr-17 09:52:26

Mrsmammy are you in the uk? I'm in Ireland and it was 4.15pm when ds woke up from his nap with horribly gunky eyes I rang my GP surgery straight away and she saw him at 5. That's absolutely shocking that they'd refuse to see a baby.

AnoiseAnnoysanOyster Mon 03-Apr-17 10:23:08

Latest guidelines is to leave a temperature to do its job and to give calpol etc for pain and discomfort.

I think if you're cleaning them every 20 minutes you probably do need to see a GP but you need to get passed the receptionist. It's really not up to them to decide, can you be more firm? To be honest I would lie about his age to the pharmacy, I've done it before.

MrsMammyM Mon 03-Apr-17 13:14:43

Thanks everyone. DH had gone to try to get the drops from the chemist (I've been sick all night and can't get out of bed, @ 25wks preg this is not fun lol) if he has no joy for whatever reason going to take DS to out of hours this evening as sick of trying for a GP app. Haven't got yeh energy to argue with receptionist think I'll just cry lol

Thanks for all the advise flowers

SoupDragon Mon 03-Apr-17 13:38:24

If you try for a gp appointment don't mention the cold. Just say his eyes haven't cleared up despite bathing for X days.

steppemum Mon 03-Apr-17 13:51:04

wrt calpol, I used to give it if they were in pain, or if the temp was making them veyr floppy/lethargic. I always spaced the doses out as much as possible.

The only exception was ear ache when the pain is relaly bad, and then I alternated calpol and nurofen to get them on continuous pain relief, and when my dds temp shoots up over 40. (but have since realised that this is quite common for her and become more relaxed about it)

Eppia Mon 03-Apr-17 19:50:57

Agree with SoupDragon that it's probably better not to mention the cold, otherwise the assumption will be that it's viral when it may not be. My eye has been dreadful since Thursday - caught bacterial conjunctivitis off DS, who recovered a lot faster than me! The doctor initially said it was viral, but I showed him a photo of my eye taken this morning (like something out of a horror movie!) and he then agreed it was bacterial.

How is your DS? Poor thing - it's hard enough having this as an adult. One thing I would say is to keep his hands away from his eyes at all costs. My eye was getting a bit better yesterday, but last night I sleepily rubbed my eye a few times and now it's worse than ever. So lots of distraction needed for your DS!

Sorry you've been sick too flowers

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