Conjunctivitis in the baby


Inflammation of the conjunctiva is one of the most common eye diseases, which is inflammation of the conjunctiva. This is located on the inside of the eyelids and on the eyeball. The conjunctival irritation leads to increased blood flow and the typical reddened eye.
Both adults, children and babies can develop conjunctivitis. (see: Conjunctivitis in small children) The causes of conjunctivitis can be different and the disease is not always contagious, but it usually has unpleasant accompanying symptoms.

Read more on the topic Reddened eyes in children and babies

Causes of conjunctivitis in the baby

It can cause inflammation of the eyes by:

  • bacteria
  • Viruses
  • foreign body
  • Allergies

but also various environmental influences. However, conjunctivitis can also appear as a side effect of other diseases. Basically, a distinction is made between non-contagious conjunctivitis (non-infectious) and contagious conjunctivitis (infectious) inflammation of the conjunctiva.

A contagious, infectious conjunctivitis can cause bacteria or Viruses be caused, with the transmission taking place via indirect or direct contact with the eye. By Herpes viruses or Colds what are known as viral conjunctival infections can be caused.

The non-contagious conjunctivitis may be associated with hay fever or in response to House dust, Cosmetics or Pollen occur. Can also be too strong UV rays (by solarium, vacation in the south, welding work) and foreign body, smoke and Chemicals Causes.
Another cause also plays an important role in babies. Because the passages leading away the tears are partly not yet fully developed, so that it becomes one Neonatal conjunctivitis can come. The excess tear fluid can namely in a baby through the narrowed Lacrimal nasal canal insufficient drainage. The child has watery eyes and possible germs stay in the eye longer, which increases the risk of inflammation.
During the Birth process bacteria may have already been transmitted to the young child.


Often is first only one eye is affected by conjunctivitis, however from itching and wiping often one Transfer to the second eye done in just a few days.

Typical symptoms are:

  • Red eyeswhich are often associated with swollen eyelids
  • the inflamed eye tears increased
  • the eye secretes yellowish slimy-purulent secretion from
  • mostly a foreign body sensation is described when blinking, like a "Grain of sand" works
  • especially in the morning when you wake up that is inflamed eye by the increased secretions strongly glued
  • during the day burn the eyes
  • Pain at Eyelid movements

Fever associated with conjunctivitis

Usually conjunctivitis goes on in babies Not accompanied by a fever. Conjunctivitis caused by allergies or foreign bodies remains only locally limited to the eyes.
Most conjunctivitis in babies that is caused by bacteria or viruses also proceeds without a fever in most cases. Sometimes conjunctivitis occurs as a side effect of a viral infection. Then it comes to a flu-like infection in connection with a conjunctivitis.
Viral conjunctivitis triggered by so-called adenoviruses is particularly pronounced and very contagious. A fever can also occur here.
In any case, a pediatrician should be consulted and contact with other children and adults should be avoided as far as possible.

Treatment of conjunctivitis

Red eyes in babies don't always have to come from conjunctivitis.

One treatment by a doctor is advisable as the symptoms can also be mistaken for conjunctivitis, however possibly another eye disease is behind it.

The doctor judges by that existing symptoms and more rarely also with one smear the Cause of conjunctivitis and then prescribes appropriate eye drops or eye ointments that match the pathogen present.

At allergic inflammation the conjunctiva can be identified by a test and then antiallergic eye drops are prescribed.

Home remedies for conjunctivitis in babies

When babies experience symptoms of a Conjunctivitis on, a doctor should be consulted who should determine the exact cause in order to find an appropriate one treatment to enable.

Nevertheless it can Home remedies therapy get supported. Cold or warm compresses that can be applied to the baby's inflamed eye for around 10 to 15 minutes are particularly easy. Warm compresses are suitable for bacterial inflammation, cold compresses for allergic conjunctivitis. Saline solution from the pharmacy is suitable for washing out the sticky and crusty eyes.

Honey solution as a home remedy is suitable for dripping in the eyes and counteracting inflammation, as it has an anti-inflammatory effect. To do this, about 2 teaspoons of honey should be dissolved in half a liter of boiled water and dripped into the affected eye several times a day. Placing raw potatoes on top, which has been ground to a coarse pulp beforehand, also counteracts the inflammation.

There are also several homeopathic remedies that can be used for conjunctivitis in a baby. These include, for example, Euphrasia eye drops, which provide the eye with fluid. Other homeopathic remedies are Aconitum, Apis, Belladonna, and Pulsatilla, which can be used depending on the type of inflammation. In any case, a doctor or a naturopath should be asked for advice.

Eye drops in the baby

There are eye drops with different ingredients.
The eye drops, which are called eyebright or euphrasia (see also: Euphrasia eye drops). These are homeopathic drops that can also be safely used on babies. They provide the eye with moisture and thus help to relieve itching or burning that can be caused by conjunctivitis. Euphrasia can be used for all types of conjunctivitis. Often used as the only therapy for inflammation caused by allergies or external influences.

In the case of conjunctivitis caused by bacteria, however, these eye drops are often insufficient and drops containing antibiotics are necessary. Before using any eye drops on babies, you should definitely consult a pediatrician who can prescribe the appropriate tropics according to the situation at hand.
In babies, it is often difficult to get the drops into the eye. This is best done in the inner corner of the eye when the child is lying down. The drops then spread by themselves.

Read more on the topic: Eye drops for conjunctivitis, Floxal

Read more on the topic Bepanthen® eye drops


Even if the eye is itchy should one Rub eyes if possible be avoidedas this leads to further irritation Microcracks in the conjunctiva and thus one deeper penetration of possible pathogens can lead.

Risk of infection in the baby

Not all conjunctivitis is contagious. Those that are allergic or caused by external circumstances such as drafts, dust or smoke are not contagious.
The conjunctivitis caused by bacteria or viruses is contagious. No matter if baby, toddler or adult, bacterial or viral conjunctivitis can be transmitted to anyone.
The pathogen often gets into the eyes via the hands, as babies and toddlers in particular often rub their eyes with their hands. The pathogen is passed on in the same way. So special hygiene is very important in such cases. If a family has conjunctivitis, each family member should use their own towel and washcloth and wash their hands frequently.

Babies can also develop conjunctivitis during childbirth. This can happen if the mother is infected with chlamydia or gonococci. Both types of bacteria cause sexually transmitted diseases, but often go completely unnoticed. These bacteria can be transmitted to the baby during birth and can cause conjunctivitis here.

Babies can also acquire chlamydial infections in swimming pools. Exactly as with the transmission during childbirth, this results in conjunctivitis, the so-called pool conjunctivitis.

Read more on the topic: Risk of infection with conjunctivitis

If the conjunctivitis is caused by a cosmetic item, further use should be avoided.

Occurring adhesion Due to the increased secretions of the eye you can take home to be cleaned.
For this:

  1. will with fresh compresses or boiled, cooled cotton towels
  2. each eye separate (sterile) cleaned
  3. The direction is important: Care should be taken to always move from outer corner of the eye to the inner to stroke the nose as this also represents the direction of the natural tear flow.

A darkened room or sunglasses can also help the sick eye to recover.


When the conjunctivitis treated properly will and no further complications the symptoms can occur about two weeks be over.
However, smoke, dust or sunlight can increase the conjunctivitis that already exists and thus lead to delayed healing.