Are you worried that your child has received a mosquito bite on the eyeball? Relax. The likelihood is that it is not a direct bite on the eyeball. Due to the reflex action of blinking and the tiny blood vessels available on the eyeball (versus the larger ones all over the body) then it is unlikely that the eyeball would present an attractive target for a mosquito. That said, what you are likely seeing is side-effects of a bite to the eyelid. So how does one treat a bite on the eyelid or close to the eye? In this article we will go into the subject in depth so that you know what to do if your child has been bitten or if you are simply worried about what to do in the future.
How to get rid of a mosquito bite on the eyelid
If you are wondering how to cure a mosquito bite on the eyelid, then worry no more. If a mosquito has bitten your child in the eyelid then the following home cures are a great option:
- Allergy medication – If your child is old enough for allergy medicine to be safe, then this is one way that you can help to bring the swelling down.
- Baking soda – A little baking soda soaked into a cotton ball can help to reduce itching. If the bite it painful, then rub with the soaked cotton ball for up to 15 minutes and it should help to reduce the pain.
- Hydrocortisone – 1% cortisone is available over-the-counter and can help with treating an itchy eyelid. Apply 3 times a day and this should help.
- Ice – A simple icepack can help with insect bites and doesn’t require any medication. As we are talking about the eyelid, soak a washcloth in ice water, hold the cloth to the eyelid, and replenish as needed. This way we can take advantage of the cold but we aren’t applying ice to the eye.
These methods are also good for the bite of an ant, a cockroach, or (in general) any other bug bites around the area of the eye.
What is causing the swelling and redness?
It may well be a mosquito bite, we’re just fairly confident that it was not to the actual eyeball. When diagnosing what the root-cause for the issue might be you will want to note a few details. Is it affecting one side of the eye or both? If you suspect a mosquito, are there other bites on the body around the area? If both sides of the eye are affected, here are a few potential causes:
- Viral Conjunctivitis – If accompanied by a cold or the flu, this could simply be a side-effect from that sickness.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis – If your child is rubbing their eyes and the eyes are showing some pinkness it could be the sign of an allergy to pet dander or to pollen.
- Edema – This is one of the more serious symptoms and should be addressed immediately. Edema is the retention of water in your body tissue. If the look and feel of the swelling seems to suggest edema then consult your physician right away.
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis – This generally manifests as yellow pus in the eyes or matting the eyelids. This is less likely to be the result of an insect bite and more likely irritation of the eye itself from infection.
- Anaphylaxis – Swelling accompanied by trouble swallowing or breathing can be a sign of anaphylaxis. This is very potentially life-threatening and you should visit a physician right away!
What if only one side of the eye is affected?
If only one side of the eye is swelling or otherwise effected, then it may be indicative of the following:
- Dacryocystitis – A swelling on one side of the eye might indicate dacryocystitis, which is an infection of the tear duct.
- Mosquito bite – Our original suspect, swelling on one side of the eye might indeed be a mosquito bite. Look for other bites near the area to confirm your suspicions.
- Periorbital Cellulitis – This is actually a bacterial infection of the eyelid itself. If the area is painful to the touch then this may be preorbital cellulitis and you should consult a physician immediately.
- Contact Dermatitis – Swelling of the eye doesn’t need to be the product of a bite, don’t forget about poison ivy. This and many other plants can cause rashes from contact. Look for similar rashes on the hands as a tell-tale sign.
” Swelling could simply be the result of over-rubbing an itch.”
- Eye rubbing – Swelling could simply be the result of over-rubbing an itch. Keep your child from irritating it further and apply a little cold and see if it goes down on its own.
Other general tips on dealing with swelling
While this list is useful, it is hardly exhaustive. Other things that you can try in cases of swelling are:
- Acetaminophen – Alternately, ibuprofen can bring down swelling (if your child is old enough for ibuprofen, of course).
- Antibiotic ointment – If there is a scab close to the eye, antibiotic ointment may help to clean it and to bring down the swelling.
- Band-Aid – Sometimes the biggest problem is your child scratching the affected spot. Simply clean the area and apply a band aid and that may do the trick. The combination of pressure from the band aid as well as the prevention of further irritation may be all that is needed.
We’ve discussed what to do in regards to insect bites and other irritants which can cause swelling on or around the eye. As always, follow your instincts. If you think that it warrants a visit to the doctor then do so by all means. If not, then we hope these suggestions will be of some use and that your child will find relief soon!