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4 year old having pink and slightly swollen eye. Can I give tylenol or advil to reduce swelling?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 1417 Questions
My 4 yr old bumped into another girl at school about 24 hours ago. Yesterday upon arriving home, noticed the corner of eye was pink and slightly swollen but it was minor, and she wasnt complaining about pain or anything at all, noone including the school thought to ice it. Last night, the eye itself was fine. No bloodshot eye, no tearing, no ozzing, nothing. Looked 100% normal other than the pink swollen part. At bed time she was crying (unrelated to eye) and she was rubbing her eyes quite a bit and she sleeps on her stomach so that part of the face/eye is usually laying face down on the bed. I am guessing that perhaps the pressure of how she was sleeping and the rubbing probably intensified the bruising as this morning she wok up and half her eye is closed shut and bruise is more purplish. She is acting herself and eating and usual activities. Other than swelling and color of eye, no other symptons or pain or any kind. Before I haul her into a walk in clinic for a 4 hour wait, wanted to see if in your opinion, we should bother. We have just started this morning, icing it for 15 minutes every few hours. Can I give her Tylenol or Advil to reduce swelling. I just want to reduce swelling as she needs neither meds for pain as she is fine that way. Thoughts?
Posted Sun, 14 Oct 2012 in Vision and Eye Disorders
Answered by Dr. Sudhir 1 hour later

This is peri-obital edema with subcutaneous hemorrhage. Both of them develop some time later after the injury.I don't think you need to worry about this.

Since pain is not there I would not favor giving Tylenol or Advil, as this will not reduce swelling dramatically.

Icing should be continued and time is the only solution for this.

Hope this answers your question.Please ask if there are doubts.Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 4 year old having pink and slightly swollen eye. Can I give tylenol or advil to reduce swelling? 2 days later
The swelling did not come down and the entire area became more red and warm to touch. We took her to a walk in clinic and immediately they recognized it as cellulitis and referred her to ER. Er immediately admitted her and hooked her up with IV. She was released 24 hours later and the eye next day was already 50% better. ANyway, alot more serious than throught. No response required.
Answered by Dr. Sudhir 3 hours later
Thanks for the feed backs.

I hope you understand, we answer based on the details provided. I answered based on history of getting bumped. Online consultation has got limitation and cannot entirely replace seeing doctor.

A cellulitis and peri-orbital edema can be distinguished easily, but doctor has to look at it.

Anyway it's good to know your child is recovering well. We learn everyday interacting on this forum and hope to serve you better in future.


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