Toddler Says He Has "Bugs in Eyes"???

Updated on August 23, 2010
M.K. asks from Lansing, MI
19 answers

My son has been rubbing his eyes and saying "eyes" then "bugs". He points to his eyes and very seriously says "bugs, bugs". He is 23 months old, so his vocabulary isn't such that he can explain anything. We do have an animal book, and he knows what bugs are. In the bathtub he will pour water in his eyes, rub them then say "bugs". Sometimes he rubs his eyes so hard that they are very red. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions as to what this may be? He doesn't do this everyday, but he has been doing it on and off since the end of June. Any thoughts?

We did talk to his pediatrician about the problem, they said everything looked fine. I do have a call in to the optometrist, waiting for a call back. Don't know of any pediatric optometrists in the area (Lansing, MI).


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So What Happened?

Ok we have an appiontment to see his pediatrician on Tuesday, will insist on a referral to a pediatric eye doc. Will let everyone know what happens, thanks!
***UPDATE***OK, took him to see a pediatric opthamologist. He couldn't get a good look at his eyes in the office, so we had to have an exam under general anesthesia. Scary, but the doctor didn't find any parasites or tumors or anything else. My son has now started just staring off into space for a while, when we ask him about it sometimes he still says "bugs". We are wondering if he is having visual migraines?!? So....we have ruled out some things, but still do not have the answer. He doesn't seem to be as distressed about it as he used to be, so that is good.

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answers from Denver on

My first thougt was also allergies. My eyes often get itchy. I swear, sometimes my brain itches. : )

Floaters and eyelashes are also worth a look. I used to have to pluck some lashes because they grew the wrong way and scratched my eyes. An eye doctor could see if it looks like that is happening & should be able to tell you if her has floaters too. Regular doc, I think, for allergies.

Good luck!

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1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Go to an optometrist or opthamologist. I have floaters in my eyes which could be described as seeing little bugs or spiders in my line of vision.

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answers from Wichita on

I've never had this problem with my kids, but I would take him to an eye dr. that specializes in children. it reminds me of a show I saw called monsters inside me. A girl had worms in her eyes. I'm not saying that is the problem. Just a thought.
Personally I have a lot of 'floaters' in my eyes & they are dark shapes & sometimes look like strings. They are not dangerous, but they are annoying. Maybe that is what your son is seeing. Get him checked out.
God bless!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Just like everyone else I'm thinking allergies. He may be rubbing them because they itch and saying "eyes" then "bugs" to let you know his eyes are "bugging" him. My daughter has terrible seasonal allergies and I know she's rubbed her eyes to the point where she looked like she went a few rounds in a boxing ring! I actually had to go to the pediatrician and ask them for perscription eye drops for her b/c Claritin and Benedryl did nothing to alleviate her symptoms.
I would make an appt. with the pediatrician and see what they say. I hope your little guy gets some relief soon! Good Luck. :-)

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answers from Tampa on

OH my gosh. This must be causing you quilte a bit of stress. I would definitely take him to a dr. Does your insurance have an 800 line to ask a nurse questions? This may help you figure out the best direction for care.
Good luck. I'm sure everything will be just fine. I hope your son feels better soon.

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answers from Detroit on

Maybe allergies or an infection? I'd have him seen my a pediatrician. Meantime, can you put saline drops in them?



answers from San Francisco on

Sounds like allergies.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My son used to do that around that age as well, he has pretty bad allergies and really long eye lashes so it could have been either of those, i usually just made sure there wasn't anything visible in them and told him it would be ok. He stopped doing it eventually, but i would ask the Dr to check them just in case.



answers from Detroit on

i know your child is only 23 months old but something is going on. he needs to see a good peditrican eye doctor. my son kept saying his eyes were dry he was around 7 i took him to a regular eye doctor the said nothing was wrong. he kept complaining so i took him to a pediatric eye doctor he had blocked tear ducts



answers from Charlotte on

It sounds like maybe he has allergies. An eye doctor visit is in order. They have a slit lamp that can look at his eyes and see what you can't.

Good luck,



answers from Dallas on

he may be having floaters & not know what they might have his eyes checked just in case but he's prob fine...sometimes when kids are just getting to know their bodies & such they explain things in a way that alarms us but really its just because thats how they know hoe to explain it...



answers from Kansas City on

Maybe he once got a bug in his eye and it stung or itched and now he associates that with every time his eyes are bothering him. Like the others said, it's probably allergies or something normal, he just doesn't know how to express it! Poor kiddo!


answers from New York on

My daughter has allergies and her eyes get itchy and mine get itchy when I am very tired.
Maybe your doctor can recommend an allergy medicine and see if he gets better.



answers from Washington DC on

It is probably nothing, but take him to an opthamologist. He oculd have an infection (pink eye or similar). Untreated that can lead to damage and spread. More likely, he means something else - maybe a bug flew into his eye one day and he is still talking about it. Or he sees floaters and they confuse him. May he is nearsighted and needs glasses. SInce he can't express himself, just take him to a doctor and be sure.



answers from Jackson on

Take him to the Doctor, his problem may be simple or complicated. Why wait and take a chance on permanent damage?.



answers from Boston on

I would start w/ your pediatrician he may have itchy allergy eyes right now I know mine are horrible. From there your pediatrician can tell you if you should see the ophthalmologist but make sure you find one that is good w/ children. Mine start seeing kids as young as 2.



answers from Harrisburg on

Does he have long eye lashes that could get in his eyes on occasion? Could they be itching because something is on his hands when he rubs them (ex: the soap). Is there a bump on his eyelids from infection?



answers from Detroit on

This makes me think he might be seeing floaters. I would ask your ped first but this sounds like something he might need to see an eye specialist for.



answers from Detroit on

If he has brown eyes maybe hes realating them to a bug. because a bug is dark most of them. Try to explain that there not bugs and what hes doing could hurt himself in the long run. if that doesn't work talk to you pediatrician call the office and inquire about it and have the dr. maybe talk to him.

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