Symptoms or signs that indicate an off-track eye development are often easy to notice. A new-born may not open one of their eyes as much as they open their other eye. If fast distractions or movements do not capture the baby’s attention, it can be a sign of worry. There may be the occurrence of a bulging eye or the presence of a white, grayish-white, or yellowish material in the baby’s pupils.
There can also be excessive tearing (indicates blocked tear ducts), red or encrusted eyelids (indicates infection), extreme sensitivity to light (indicates elevated pressure in eyes), and appearance of the white pupil (can indicate the presence of eye cancer) – all of these need immediate medical attention.
Excessive squinting, constant rubbing of eyes, different sizes of pupils and eyes, and drooping eyes are also possible instances of worry.
The most common eye defects are:
- Clogged tear ducts – Common for a newborn’s tear ducts to clog and for tears to overflow onto a baby’s cheek. Applying a warm compress to the inner corners of the eye and regularly wiping away the crusts that form on the lids and corners of the baby’s eyes help.
- Crossed eyes – This occurs because the baby’s muscles that control the eye movements are still weak. However, if this problem persists even after (s)he is four months old, a doctor should be contacted.
- Infections – If the whites of one or both of the baby’s eyes turn red or is crusty and is draining pus, then (s)he could be suffering from conjunctivitis or any other bacterial infection.
Apart from these common ailments, there are more complex disorders that may occur in different parts of the eye like lids (congenital ptosis, eyelid colobomata), iris and pupil (corectopia, polycoria, aniridia, albinism, heterochromia), and congenital cataracts (rubella infections, glaucoma, vitreous haemorrhage).
But it should be kept in mind that unlike in the case of other physical ailments, no medication should be administered for eye problems to the baby without any doctor’s advice. Also multiple opinions ought to be sought. Eyes are an extremely sensitive organ and hence only proper medicines should be used under guidance, to avoid any complications.