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Englewood, NJ 07631
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My baby has pink eye, the eye is tearing
and has drainage
Most likely your baby has a blocked tear duct. A blocked tear duct (nasolacrimal duct obstruction or dacryostenosis) is a common condition in babies. It occurs when the normal drainage system for tears (the lacrimal system) fails to open or becomes blocked (obstructed), stopping the flow of tears from the eyes into the nose. Blocked tear ducts are very common in newborns. Up to 70% of all newborns are believed to have blocked tear ducts. They cause noticeable symptoms in 6% to 20% of these babies.

What are the symptoms of a blocked tear duct?
Babies who have blocked tear ducts usually have symptoms the first few days to the first few weeks after birth. Symptoms often affect only one eye, but may affect both eyes, and usually include:
Excessive tears, ranging from the eye appearing wet to tears
M running down the cheek (epiphora).
Buildup of yellowish-white mucus drainage at the inner corner
M of the eye and on the lashes.
Swelling and redness of the eyelids and irritation
M of the surrounding skin.
The symptoms of a blocked tear duct may get worse after an upper respiratory infection (such as a cold or sinus infection). Also, symptoms may be more noticeable after the baby has been exposed to wind and cold, because these may cause increased production of tears.

How is a blocked tear duct treated?
Usually no treatment is needed for a blocked tear duct in a baby. It usually clears up on its own by the time the baby is 1 year old. Keeping the baby's eyes clean to prevent infection until the duct opens may be all that you need to do.

The primary treatment is gentle cleansing of the lids with a warm wet washcloth. Use a clean portion of the washcloth with each pass. This should be accompanied by a regimen of firm nasolacrimal duct massage, usually 2 or 3 times a day. With a clean finger, simply rub the area between the inside corner of the eye and the bridge of the nose.

If signs of infection develop, the baby may need an antibiotic eye drop medication. If the duct remains blocked after the baby is 6 months, an evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist may be suggested.

Prevention:

Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the nasal passages at bedtime or spray each nostril with nasal saline twice a day. Use a humidifier in your child's room while they are sleeping. Treat nasal allergies.

CALL OUR OFFICE:
The eyelids are red or swollen
The white part of the eye becomes red
The inner lower corner of the eyelid develops a red lump
Lots of yellow-green discharge is present

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