If your child comes to you complaining of eye pain, just keep calm and drop by an eye care center to have your their eyes examined. In this blog, AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care discusses the common causes of eye pain in children.
Where Is the Pain Coming From?
The cause of eye pain depends on where the pain is coming from:
Surface of the Eye — The most common source of eye pain is foreign body, perhaps some grit or speck of dust. It could also be a scratched cornea or dry eyes. It goes without saying that your child shouldn’t be rubbing their eyes. Preventing them from doing so can be a challenge in itself. In case of dry eyes, an eye doctor will likely prescribe lubricating eye drops.
Behind the Eye — If the pain is described as coming from behind the eye, it can be a headached or caused by a sinus infection, and might be relieved by rest or sinus medication. Your child should see a general physician if the pain is persistent.
Around the Eyes — There are a few reasons why your child would feel pain around the eyes, the most common of which is a stye, which can be treated by applying warm compresses several times a day until it opens on its own. Another common cause of pain around the eyes is computer vision syndrome, which is basically eye strain from excessive use of digital devices such as smartphones, computers and televisions.
Should You Treat It as an Emergency?
It depends on the situation. If the pain doesn’t subside after a triggering event—as it does when shampoo lather gets into the eyes, for example—then you should schedule an appointment with an eye specialist. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. It could be something a simple as washing out foreign matter, or it may require prescription treatment.
Certain best practices can also help prevent certain types of eye pain. Teaching your kids not to rub their eyes, especially with unwashed hands, can minimize stye and eye infection. Limit their television, computer and smartphone usage to minimize eye strain. It’s also never too early to teach them to wear safety glasses when handling material that might get into the eyes, such as iron filings and sand.
AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care is your leading local eye care specialist that you can trust for children’s eye exams. Give us a call at (757) 340-7070 or fill out our contact form. We serve clients in Virginia Beach, VA, and nearby areas.