Puffy Red Eyes in a Baby

Puffy red eyes in a baby is common and it is necessary for the parents to watch out for such signs and take action. The puffy, red and irritating eyes in babies can be the possible sign of allergy in babies. There are many factors that may trigger allergic reaction in babies including dust mites, pollen and milk. Here are some of the effective remedies to help you understand how to cure puffy red eyes in a baby.

Red and puffy eyes in babies are situation where their eyes begin to swell and the skin around their eyes become puffy and inflamed. Usually, the red and puffy eyes in a baby resolve on its own with basic home remedies. Some of the common symptoms of puffy red eye in babies include tearing, swollen eyelids, redness and discharges. Sometimes the puffy and red eyes can also be the symptom of other eye conditions which may require medical attention. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child you must consult your pediatrician immediately to ensure that the baby receives instant medical care to cope up with the distressing situation.

Puffy Red Eyes in a Baby

Causes of Puffy Red Eyes in a Baby

In many cases, puffy red eyes in a baby are not a big deal indeed and go away on their own. But, in some cases the situation may linger on and become serious. Here is the scoop of factors that may cause puffy red eyes in a baby:

  • Allergy – Allergies are considered to be the primary cause of puffy red eyes in a baby. Some of the irritants that may cause swollen eyes in a baby include pet dander, cigarette smoke, antibiotics and pollens. Some of the babies are likely to develop allergy quickly, depending upon what they might have been exposed to.
  • Clogged Tear Duct – Some babies may develop this condition at the time of their birth, resulting in swollen, crusty, puffy and red eyes. It occurs because the drainage system of eyes for the tears is not matured enough and anything in the ducts get piled up, resulting in irritation and swelling. The commonest symptoms are crusting on eyelids and eyelashes, especially when the baby wakes up from nap.
  • Chalazion and Sty - If the baby has red lump on their eyelid, then this could be sty and it usually occurs along the edges of the eyelid, leading to swollen and painful eyes. In some cases, it also occurs inside the eyelid of the baby. This sty is quite painful and irritating and may go away on its own in few days. The lump on eyelid is referred as chalazion and it is similar to that of a sty, but a bit more annoying.
  • Eye Injuries – If a baby suffers from an eye trauma then the edges around the eyes may get inflamed and red. It may convert into black eye, swollen eyes, inflammation, redness and more. Baby with head injury are likely to have swollen eyes.
  • Blepharitis – The eyelid comprises of an oil gland and at times it may become clogged and inflamed, resulting in blepharitis and it is more evident at morning hours after night nap. The symptoms of this condition include crusting on eyelashes, swollen eyelids, tenderness of eyelids and more.
  • Neonatal Conjunctivitis – At times, the baby may come in contact with an infection at birth which may lead to bacterial or neonatal conjunctivitis. It occurs with puffy and red eyes and significant drainage. The common reason of such eye condition is gonorrhea, chlamydia and also herpes.

These are some of the common causes of puffy red eyes in a baby, while some other conditions too can affect the eyes in a similar way. If the symptoms are unbearable or if they do not improve, medical advice is necessary.

Ways to Get Rid of Puffy Red Eyes in a Baby

In most of the cases of puffy red eyes in a baby, the problem may resolve on its own, especially if the puffiness and redness occurs in first few weeks of their birth. However, if the problem lingers on, then here are few remedies to help you get rid of puffy red eyes in a baby.

  • Keep Eyes Clean – Try to keep the eye area clean and wipe it with a wet washcloth and tepid water. You need to ensure that you wash the hair of the baby every night as it may catch pet dander or other pollen which could irritate the eyes. This is the simplest way to get rid of puffy red eyes in a baby.
  • Drop of Breast Milk – The breast milk of mother has many antibacterial properties which can treat the irritation and itchiness of the eyes. You can pour few drops of breast milk on the baby's eyes to treat and get rid of puffy red eyes in a baby.
  • Cold Compress – Another remedy to cure puffy red eyes in a baby is cold compress. Apply cold compress on the baby's eyes for few minutes to help alleviate the puffiness and redness.
  • Cooling Swollen Area – There are different ways to cool down the area of eyes with redness. You can use cool washcloth or moistened and cooled teabags or simply use cucumber slices on the eyes the baby is sleeping. This will help cool down the eye area and this will constrict the blood vessels to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the eyes.
  • Wash Bedding Weekly – It is necessary to wash the bedding of the baby once in every week with hot water, to prevent allergies. Use only mild detergent which is hypoallergenic. And ensure to replace the nursery carpet of your baby, if the allergies of your baby are severe. Instead you must ensure to install smoother floor like hardwood and vinyl.
  • Watch for Hand Hygiene – Although it is quite daunting and complicated to clip the tiny nails of your baby, but it is a good thing to do, to prevent infections and injuries. Ensure to keep their nails clipped and the hands clean and free from germs. This will prevent the germs from lingering on their fingertips.

Warning Signs

The allergic reaction may sometimes be serious and you may seek immediate medical attention if you notice that puffy red eyes of a baby accompanies wheezing, swallowing difficulty, vomiting and shortness of breath. These are the symptoms of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reaction and may require immediate medical care for your baby. This is a life threatening condition and needs medical care urgently. The condition is treated by medical professionals with emergency injection of epinephrine.

It is usually tricky to recognize the pollens or allergens that are causing puffy red eyes in a baby, therefore is necessary for parents to keep a close watch and make a note of such symptoms. This will help the parents to find out the specific allergen causing the eye irritation and puffiness in their baby.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: August 18, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

Symptom Checker

Hair Care

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Weight Loss

Acne Health

Slideshow:  Home Remedies, Exercises, Diet and Nutrition

Find Pain Physician

Subscribe to Free ePainAssist Newsletters

By clicking Submit, I agree to the ePainAssist Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of ePainAssist subscriptions at any time.

Copyright © 2017 ePainAssist, All rights reserved.

DMCA.com Protection Status