Â Â Â Light therapy is a common treatment for jaundice. Newborns have to be blindfolded to protect thier eyes during the light therapy.Â Jaundice refers to the yellow discoloration of the skin and the eyes of babies who have high bilirubin levels in their blood.Â
Â Â Â Neonatologist Anne Hansen explains bilirubin is processed through the liver. In newborns, it takes a few days for an immature liver to break down the chemical.Â For most babies, mild jaundice is harmless, doesn't cause any discomfort and goes away within two weeks. but there is a severe form of the condition. Dr. Hansen says if it is left untreated and it goes to very high levels, it can actually go out from the blood into the brain tissue and cause a very serious kind of brain injury.
Â Â Â Infants may be treated with phototherapy early on to help them excrete bilirubin.Â Premature infants are at higher risk for jaundice. So are those who are breast-fed, but mostly babies who aren't nursing well.Â Hansen tells nursing moms there's an easy solution:Â feed the baby more often and check with a doctor to monitor the child's condition.
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