Conjunctivitis in a newborn may be caused by a blocked tear duct or an infection. The mother may be without symptoms at the time of delivery, yet she may carry bacteria or viruses that can infect the newborn. Bacterial and viral pinkeye infections are very contagious. It should be treated promptly. Mildly red eyes and some eyelid swelling in a newborn is short-lived. But if it is caused by an infection, it can be very serious.
The most common types of neonatal conjunctivitis are:
1.Inclusion (chlamydial) conjunctivitis is caused by the bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis, which may be passed to the baby during childbirth.
- Gonococcal conjunctivitis is caused by the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. A newborn can be infected with these bacteria during childbirth.
- Chemical conjunctivitis is caused when eye drops are given to newborn children to help prevent a bacterial infection. This may irritate the child’s eye or eyes.
- Conjunctivitis caused by other bacteria and by viruses.
It is best to consult the doctor to avoid any serious complications. As a home remedy for both bacterial and viral conjunctivitis, a warm compress to the eye may relieve the irritation and swelling. Be sure to wash hands before and after touching the infected eye or eyes.