Irritated, puffy eyes can be a sign that your baby is suffering from allergies. Many things can trigger an allergic reaction, including pollen, dust mites and milk. It can sometimes be difficult to tell allergy symptoms from that of pink eye or the common cold. However, with allergies, symptoms are typically symmetrical. Unlike pink eye, itchiness and puffiness is not usually accompanied with discharge. To minimize your baby’s discomfort, it is important to treat his irritated eyes promptly.
Place a drop of breast milk in your baby’s eye. The antibacterial properties in breast milk can help treat itching and irritation.
Apply a cold compress to your baby’s eyes for a few minutes to reduce puffiness.
Cover your baby’s crib mattress with a dust-mite-proof cover. Unlike vinyl, this type of cover is breathable and does not crinkle.
Dust and vacuum at least every other week, especially in your baby’s nursery, to remove dander and other allergens.
Wash baby’s bedding once per week in hot water. Use a laundry detergent that is hypoallergenic.
Replace nursery carpet if your baby’s allergies are severe. Consider installing a smoother floor such as vinyl or hardwood.
Things You'll Need
Dust-mite-proof mattress cover
Hypoallergenic laundry detergent
The Parents website explains that it is usually difficult to identify exactly which allergen is causing your baby’s eye irritation. Keep a diary of your baby’s allergic reactions and when they occur. This may help you to pinpoint a specific piece of clothing, food, pet or room in the house.
If allergies are common in the family, consider breastfeeding your baby until he is at least six months old. Breast milk offers powerful antibodies that can help ward off allergies. If you choose to formula feed, look for a hypoallergenic brand where the proteins have been broken down into almost undetectable quantities.
The Babyzone website warns that allergic reactions can turn severe. If your baby's puffy eyes are accompanied by swallowing difficulty, wheezing, vomiting or shortness of breath, he may be experiencing anaphylaxis. This type of reaction is life threatening and must be treated urgently. Medical personnel typically treat this condition with an emergency injection of epinephrine.