(Ophthalmia Neonatorum; Neonatal Conjunctivitis)
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- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)—The most common bacteria passed to infants during delivery are due to STDs from the mother’s birth canal. If untreated, many of these infections can cause serious damage to the infant’s eye. STDs that can cause eye damage include:
- Skin bacteria
- Bacteria from the mother’s gastrointestinal tract
- Drainage and discharge from the eye; it may be watery or thick and pus-like
- Swollen eyelids
Blocked Tear Duct
- Antibiotic ointment will be started right away
- Antibiotics are also given orally or as an injection if caused by an STD.
- Antibiotic eye ointment given to the infant after birth
- Treating the mother for any STDs prior to labor and delivery
- A cesarean section for mothers with active genital herpes lesions
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus http://www.aapos.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Akera C, Ro S. Medical concerns in the neonatal period. Clinics in Family Practice. 2003;5(2):265-292.
Mandell GI, JE Bennett, Dolin R. Principles and Practice of Infectious Disease. 6th ed. Churchill Livingstone; 2004.
Ophthalmia neonatorum. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 3, 2012. Accessed February 19, 2013.
RE Behrman, RM Kliegman, HB Jenson. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004.
RM Kleigman, RE Behrman, HB Jenson, BF Stanton. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th Edition. Eds. Saunders Publishers, Philadelphia PA, 2007.
Rubenstein JB, Jick SL. Disorders of the conjunctiva and limbus. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. Mosby: New York; 2004.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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