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Q&A:
How can I prevent recurrent pinkeye infections in my 6-month-old?

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I share your concern about your 6-month-old having pink eye three times at his young age. If the pinkeye is with both eyes all three times it is highly likely that it is infectious. Your baby most likely contracted pinkeye from someone else with the infection, so it would be good to find out if he has been around other people, adults or children, who have had pinkeye recently. Obviously, if this were the case, trying to avoid that exposure in the future would be helpful.

Answer


I share your concern about your 6-month-old having pink eye three times at his young age. If the pinkeye is with both eyes all three times it is highly likely that it is infectious. Your baby most likely contracted pinkeye from someone else with the infection, so it would be good to find out if he has been around other people, adults or children, who have had pinkeye recently. Obviously, if this were the case, trying to avoid that exposure in the future would be helpful.

If the pinkeye affects only one eye, particularly the same eye, I would suspect a blocked nasal-lacrimal duct, which is a small opening that goes from the inner corner of the eye to the nose cavity. This duct allows tears from the eye to go into that cavity. It is the reason that when some people cry they often have to blow their nose! Because of the size and the anatomy of that duct, it often becomes blocked on one or both sides in infants. This often results in an irritation of the eye that may be complicated by an infection and is treated by massaging the area right next to the inner part of the eye and by using antibiotic eye drops. If you think the blocked duct is a possibility in your son, talk to your pediatrician again and consider a referral to a pediatric eye doctor. Although this condition usually clears up on its own over time, in some circumstances it may require surgical intervention.



Certainly, if your son continues to have pinkeye, regardless of whether it is in one or two eyes, I also would urge you to have him seen by a pediatric eye doctor.

 
 
 
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