Baby Eye Problems

Published: 16th December 2011
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Most parents, when seeing their baby for the first time, are especially eager to get a look at her eyes. Unfortunately, they seldom get a very good look. In the first place, most babies keep their eyes closed most of the time. In the second, babies are very sensitive to light and promptly close their eyes when they're exposed to bright light. What parents see instead of eyes are the baby's swollen eyelids. The lids are swollen from the physical trauma of birth, especially when the face was the "presenting" part. This swelling may take weeks to subside, but rest assured, it will do so. And be forewarned: Any attempt to forcibly open the baby's eyes will be met by marked resistance from the baby.

As the baby is squeezed out of the birth canal, the blood vessels of the face distend with blood. If the pressure in the distended vessel exceeds the strength of the vessel, the wall will rupture and bleeding will occur. This commonly happens in the eye. Forty percent of newborns have blood spots on the white of their eyes. If the bleeding is near the pigmented iris of the eye, the spot is crescent-shaped. If the bleeding is farther away from the iris, the spot can take any shape at all. Examinations with an ophthalmoscope reveal hemorrhages of this type in the back portion of the eyeball in 25 percent of all newborn babies. These blood spots are absorbed in one to two weeks and are nothing to worry about.

Many states require nursery personnel to drop a silver nitrate solution into the newborn's eyes to prevent a serious eye infection caused by gonococcus bacteria. This solution, however, is highly irritating and the irritation occurs even when the silver nitrate is promptly rinsed out of the eyes with sterile salt water. Ninety percent of treated babies show red, swollen, discharging eyes within three to six hours after receiving the drops. Almost all babies will recover from this reaction within forty-eight hours. Often parents mistake the red irritation for bacterial infection, but such infections are rarely seen during the first day of life in otherwise healthy babies. If any doubt exists, appropriate laboratory tests can be done. Any discharge, especially a copious discharge developing two or three days after birth, requites medical attention.

Eye contact is sometimes considered important in the initial bonding process between parents and baby, and if this form of communication is important to you, you might request some family time with Eyes your baby before the drops are pour into his eyes. You might still be unable to look him in the eye, since most babies keep their eyes closed, but you're sure to enjoy the skin contact.

The newborn's pupils, the black centers of the eyes, are frequently tiny, measuring only 2 millimeters in diameter. If they rhythmically open and close to admit light, the phenomenon is called hippus. It's of no concern and is just another example of an immature nervous system.

The sclera is the firm, opaque, white coat of the eye. The layer directly beneath the sclera is the choroid, which has a rich blood supply and many pigment cells. Since the newborn's sclera is relatively thin, it allows the color of the choroid to show through and, as a result, most babies have slightly bluish sclera. While we're on the subject of eye color, I might mention that most white infants have irises that are blue-gray, while most black infants have brown-gray irises. During the first year, all irises gradually darken, and the final eye color is usually reached by the first birthday.


You can also read artciles written by Rashid javed about health such as Treatment of Eye Dieases and Allium Cepa Remedy

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