Caring for a premature baby can be an exhilarating and frightening time for parents. Your newborn has survived despite being born before her time -- a huge relief. Yet you know that, because of her early birth, she has some challenges ahead.
The number of preterm births in the U.S. rose by more than one-third from the 1980s to 2006. While recent rates have declined, this overall increase has health experts concerned. Premature babies have a higher risk for health problems, including certain eye...
Blepharitis: Inflammation or infection of the eyelid that causes irritation or pain.
Conjunctivitis (commonly called pinkeye): Inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by allergies or infections (viral or bacterial). Blood vessels in the conjunctiva become engorged, and the normally white part of the eye looks red. Other symptoms usually include itchiness and discharge.
Corneal abrasions: A scratch on the cornea is called an abrasion. It can be very painful. The cornea is vulnerable to injuries from children's flying fingers, errant tree branches, or tennis balls. With antibiotic drops and your doctor closely tracking your recovery, corneal abrasions tend to get better without further problems.
Corneal infections (called keratitis): Inflamed or infected cornea sometimes caused from shingles (herpes zoster), or from wearing contact lenses overnight or wearing lenses that haven't been properly cleaned and disinfected.
Foreign bodies: Something in the eye -- a bit of dirt, plant debris, or a fragment of a contact lens. These are usually just irritating, and tears or water rinse them out. If not removed, foreign bodies can cause corneal abrasions.
Glaucoma:Eye condition that usually has no early symptoms. In the case of acute angle closure glaucoma, though, pressure inside the eye rises suddenly. Symptoms include severe eye pain, nausea and vomiting, headache, and worse vision. These symptoms are an emergency and need immediate treatment to prevent blindness.
Iritis or uveitis: Inflammation inside the eye, which is uncommon. Can be due to trauma, infections, or autoimmune conditions. Symptoms include pain, red eye, and, often, worse vision.
Optic neuritis: When the nerve traveling from the back of the eyeball into the brain becomes inflamed. Multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune conditions or infections are often the cause. Symptoms include loss of vision and sometimes pain.
Sinusitis: Infection in one of the sinus cavities, which can create pressure behind the eyes, causing eye pain on one or both sides.
Stye(also called a hordeolum): An often painful infection or inflammation of the edges of the eyelid caused from the eyelash hair follicles or from oil glands. Usually a stye has a very localized, very tender area on one eyelid.