Quick Answer: Can phototherapy cause blindness in newborns?

Can phototherapy cause blindness?

In adults, prolonged exposure to blue light can cause retinal damage. Although retinal damage from phototherapy has not been reported, eye covers for newborns are standard prophylaxis.

What are the side effects of phototherapy?

Side effects — Phototherapy is very safe, but it can have temporary side effects, including skin rashes and loose stools. Overheating and dehydration can occur if a baby does not get enough breast milk or formula. Therefore, a baby’s skin color, temperature, and number of wet diapers should be closely monitored.

Can jaundice cause blindness in babies?

Untreated, hyperbilirubinemia may cause severe brain injury, which could result in cerebral palsy, profound intellectual and developmental disability, blindness, and severe hearing loss. The first line of treatment for newborn hyperbilirubinemia is phototherapy — exposure to high intensity light.

How quickly does phototherapy work?

Babies usually need to be under phototherapy lights for around 48 hours and often longer. How long will the jaundice last? Physiological jaundice normally clears by the time your baby is two weeks old. However, sometimes it lasts longer and further investigations may be needed to rule out other causes of jaundice.

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How do I know if phototherapy is working?

The bilirubin level will usually decrease every day with the treatment. The phototherapy may sometimes cause your baby to have brown coloured urine and loose brown/green bowel motions. These are signs that the treatment is working and the bilirubin level is decreasing.

When should I worry about newborn jaundice?

Jaundice usually appears on the second or third day. If your baby is full-term and healthy, mild jaundice is nothing to worry about and will resolve by itself within a week or so. However, a premature or sick baby or a baby with very high levels of bilirubin will need close monitoring and medical treatments.

How do I stop my baby from crying during phototherapy?

Some babies have trouble settling under the lights. Stroking and talking to your baby may help him/her to settle. The nurse may place rolls beside the baby so they feel secure. You may also try using the biliblanket while feeding the baby.

Does sunlight help newborn jaundice?

Treatment can prevent the harmful effects of jaundice. Note: Exposing your baby to sunlight through a window might help lower the bilirubin level, but this will only work if the baby is undressed. Make sure the temperature in your home is comfortable and not too cold for your baby.

Can phototherapy burn baby skin?

Visible light phototherapy is an easily administered and effective treatment for neonatal indirect hyperbilirubinemia. Reported cutaneous side effects include transient rashes and the uncommon bronze baby syndrome. A more hazardous side effect is ultraviolet burn.

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How do I know if my newborn jaundice is getting worse?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if: Your baby’s yellow tint gets brighter or deeper. Your baby is arching his or her back and has a shrill, high-pitched cry. Your baby seems very sleepy, is not eating or nursing well, or does not act normally.

Can baby jaundice come back?

Jaundice is normal in most newborns. However, if jaundice appears out of the normal range, then steps will be taken to get it back under control. Jaundice is more common in breastfed babies and tends to last a bit longer.

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