Frequent question: Can phototherapy cause blindness in newborns?

Retinal damage has been observed in some animal models during intense phototherapy. In an NICU environment, infants exposed to higher levels of ambient light were found to have an increased risk of retinopathy. Therefore, covering the eyes of infants undergoing phototherapy with eye patches is routine.

Is phototherapy safe for newborns?

If your baby’s bilirubin level is high, the most commonly used treatment is phototherapy (bright light therapy). It does not contain rays that would harm your baby. Phototherapy is very safe and effective and is only available in hospital. The treatment works best when as much skin as possible is exposed to the light.

What are the side effects of phototherapy?

When used for skin conditions, phototherapy is generally considered safe. However, short-term side effects you may experience are redness, dry skin, itchy skin, nausea (if PUVA is used), folliculitis, and blisters.

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.

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How long can a baby stay under phototherapy?

Your baby will need to be under the light for about 1 to 2 days. He may also lie on a blanket of light, called a bili-blanket. He will stay under the bili-light as much as possible. During this time, his eyes will be covered with patches because the light can damage them.

What should Mother eat if baby has jaundice?

What to eat

  • Water. Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to help the liver recover from jaundice. …
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and fiber that can help limit liver damage during metabolism and ease digestion. …
  • Coffee and herbal tea. …
  • Whole grains. …
  • Nuts and legumes. …
  • Lean proteins.

How serious is newborn jaundice?

Newborn jaundice is not harmful most of the time. For most babies, jaundice will get better without treatment within 1 to 2 weeks. A very high level of bilirubin can damage the brain. This is called kernicterus.

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.

Can phototherapy cause blindness?

Retinal damage has been observed in some animal models during intense phototherapy. In an NICU environment, infants exposed to higher levels of ambient light were found to have an increased risk of retinopathy. Therefore, covering the eyes of infants undergoing phototherapy with eye patches is routine.

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Is Biliblanket safe?

The biliblanket is safe and can be used for 24 hours a day as long as therapy is required.

Do jaundice babies sleep more?

Some babies sleep too much because they have jaundice or are not getting enough food. A newborn who has jaundice will have a yellow color to their skin and a yellow cast to the whites of their eyes. Other signs of more severe jaundice include: being lethargic.

What can I do if my baby has jaundice?

Frequent feedings (between 8 to 12 times a day) will help babies pass bilirubin through their bodies. More severe jaundice may require other treatments. Phototherapy is a common and highly effective method of treatment that uses light to break down bilirubin in your baby’s body.

How is newborn jaundice treated?

Phototherapy. Phototherapy is treatment with a special type of light (not sunlight). It’s sometimes used to treat newborn jaundice by lowering the bilirubin levels in your baby’s blood through a process called photo-oxidation. Photo-oxidation adds oxygen to the bilirubin so it dissolves easily in water.

How long does it take jaundice to go away in newborn?

A: In breastfed babies, it is common for jaundice to last 1 month or occasionally longer. In formula-fed babies, most jaundice goes away by 2 weeks. However, if your baby is jaundiced for more than 3 weeks, see your baby’s doctor.

How long do babies with jaundice have to stay in the hospital?

Your child’s skin and sclera (whites of his eyes) will look yellow. Some newborns need to be treated before they leave the hospital. Others may need to go back to the hospital when they are a few days old. Treatment in the hospital most often lasts 1 to 2 days.

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How do you know 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.

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