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Eye and Vision Care

Eye Pain, Blurry Vision

03/09/2011

Question:

My 5 year old woke up in the morning and while sitting at breakfast began to complain of eye pain. To the point of crying and going to lay on the couch. Keep in mind, this is not a kid to complain much or try to get out of going to school. He then looks up at the light and says, "do you see those rainbows around the lights?", he told me his eyes were hurting from the lights. I thought he possible got something in the eye and went ahead and rinsed it out with saline. This made no difference. It also was not red or swollen looking. He ended up staying home that day and when we took a car ride, he kept his eye closed and his head down to avoid the sunlight. He then says, "I see blood in my eye" I asked what he meant and he said, "I see red when I close my eye". I decided it was time to call the doctor, however by the time we got home (3 hrs) he seemed fine and said his eye was better. He woke up the next morning with a sore throat, he took Tylenol and went to school. Still no complaint again about the eye. I suppose my question is, what could that have been? It just seems like a very strange complaint coming from a 5 year old. Should I be concerned about it? Is it something that I still need to take him to the doctor for since it is gone now? I plan on just waiting to see if it ever happens again. I want to be sure I`m not doing the wrong thing in ignoring it. Thank you.

Answer:

It is very difficult to truly determine what your son was experiencing. When people complain of eye pain and seeing rainbows around lights that could mean that the pressure in the eye is going up (but this is very unlikely in such a young patient) or it could mean that there is inflammation present in the eye. I think that this was also unlikely since he improved so quickly.

The comment of seeing blood in the eye would not be possible with a closed eye. If there were truly blood in the eye the individual would have to have the eyelids opened and everything would look reddish or very blurred due to light passing through a pool of blood.

I do not think that there was anything too severe due to the fact that his symptoms improved so quickly. If your son has never had an eye exam, it would be a good idea to have that done to rule out any problems with the ocular anatomy and to make sure he does not have a significant spectacle prescription.

This would be the only definitive way to make sure that there is nothing wrong with his visual system.

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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University