Most parents will tell you that there is nothing better than looking into the curious eyes of a baby. Unfortunately, an infant’s precious eyes can sometimes be affected by certain medical conditions. Some of these issues may be present at birth, while others may come on suddenly. The good news is that most of these conditions are easily treated and will cause no lasting damage if spotted early enough.
This latest article will introduce some of the symptoms and treatment of common eyelid problems in babies.
Common Eyelid Problems in Babies
Some of the common eyelid problems in babies include:
Ptosis causes one or both of the eyelids to droop over the eye. The condition may be due to problems with the eyelid muscles or nerves. It can be a symptom of another condition, but it can also occur alone.
Sties are small bumps that appear on the eyelid when an eyelash root or gland becomes infected. They can be quite painful and may cause the eyes to tear more than usual.
Chalazia also cause bumps to appear but on the upper or lower eyelid’s inner surfaces. This condition happens when glands in a baby’s eyelids get blocked and cause red bumps. In most cases, they don’t cause pain and usually go away without any treatment.
Benign Growths such as capillary hemangiomas can appear on the eyelids. They are sometimes present at birth or develop within the first six months of the baby’s life. It is not clear why they occur, but they usually disappear over time.
Birthmarks are quite common in babies and can appear on the eyelids. Lighter-colored flat pink and red patches are widespread in babies and usually disappear as they get older. Birthmarks can also be a port wine color, which will not go away over time. If they appear on the eyelid, then it is worth getting them checked out, as it can be a symptom of a rare condition called Sturge-Weber syndrome.
Symptoms of Eyelid Problems
The symptoms of eyelid problems are usually easy to spot, but they will certainly get picked up in new baby and well-child exams. Things to watch out for include:
- Redness and swelling on the eyelid
- Bumps in and around the eyelids
- Pain and tenderness
- Drooping eyelid
- Watery eyes
- Vision problems (you may notice younger children tilt their heads backward to compensate for vision issues)
Treatment For Eyelid Problems
The treatment will depend on the type of eyelid problem, but in all cases, your doctor will want to make sure that your child’s vision isn’t affected. Many of the conditions above—such as sties and chalazia—usually go away by themselves, but warm compresses are helpful to reduce any swelling and pain. If the sty doesn’t improve with home treatment, then your doctor may need to drain the sty or prescribe some medications.
Ptosis needs to be carefully monitored and treated, as it can lead to more severe issues such as lazy eye and vision problems. Your doctor will monitor your child’s vision and use various medical interventions to support your child’s vision. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct the problem.