Allergies, dehydration and crying can cause puffy eyes
Q Our son is 21 months old. Several times we have noticed that when he gets up in the morning, his eyes are really puffy ( swollen) which doesn’t look normal. The puffiness will be gone in the afternoon or evening. Does it indicate anything wrong?
A It is common for people to wake up in the morning with swollen eyes, as the skin around the eyes is very thin. It is more common for infants to look like this and then have this resolved during the day. Puffy eyelids in the morning are mostly caused due to sleeping in a wrong position, so sleeping with the head on a pillow can help. Crying is a common causes of puffy eyelids, but it can also be caused by dehydration, sleep deprivation and heredity.
Allergies are a common cause of red puffy eyes in toddlers. Dust mites, animal hair, pollens, traffic pollution and second-hand cigarette smoke are the most common environmental allergens. If your child is prone to rashes and skin irritations then look to washing powders, fabric conditioners, perfumed soaps and even baby toiletries. The final allergens to tackle are food. Wheat, dairy products and citrus fruit are the most common problems for younger children.
Older children may find that nuts, shellfish, fish, strawberries and coloured sweets affect them.
For allergies, a children’s antihistamine can sometimes be used, but your child’s doctor should always be asked before using any medication. Your doctor will be able to give you the correct dosage information for your child’s age and weight.
If the eye puffiness is new or getting worse, see your doctor, who may order a test on urine to check if the puffiness is due to protein being spilled from the blood into the urine – a condition called ‘‘ nephrotic syndrome". Email your questions to aboutababy@ townsvillebulletin. com. au. Donna Gandini is a general and neonatal paediatrician and breast-feeding adviser. Contact her at 4778 4581, at Health and Wellbeing North Ward or at the Fairfield Waters Medical Centre.