This morning we woke up and my almost 4 week old had tons of gunk in her one eye. Any other mamas experiencing this? I'm on the phone making an appointment with my doctor now, but I thought I'd ask around here in the meantime...
Lots of gunk in one eye
I second the breastmilk suggestion! Wipe it gently with a warm wash cloth then put a few drops of milk in it. My daughter's eyes were pretty goopy for a little while. Most goop that is not bad smelling or off colored is from unopened tear ducts. That's why newborns don't have tears when they cry. When the tears start coming it makes the crying seem so much sadder!
My baby had this happen in both eyes. I third (fourth? :-) ) the breast milk suggestion. And the warm washcloth to wash off the crusties. And my doctor suggested gently massaging the path of the tear duct as well - from the inside corner of the eye down the side of the nose. I did it while we nursed. An easy way to get the milk in the eye is to drop a drop or two in the inside corner of the eye while baby is sleeping, and then gently separate the eyelids to let the milk flow in. For my little guy, one eye cleared up in one day of doing all three of these things, and the other in about a week.
Not in DDC, but thought I'd drop by to say my first had small ducts and goopy eyes off and on for a long time (mainly in one eye, but sometimes both). We were warned about a possible surgery but not until he was at least a year old - just warm compress and massage with clean hands. I think his resolved finally around 10 or 11 months.
I wouldn't worry. There really is no reason to worry, its very normal to have goop in the eye and it will most-likely clear up on its own. I just looked up the info from my daughters surgery.. They gave us tons of info but here's a little bit:
Tear duct obstructions occur in 6% of newborns. 40% will spontaneously open before the age of six months. Antibiotic drops do not cure obstructions, they help relieve an infection of the blocked tear duct (if one occurs). 90% of children probed in surgery prior to age one are cured with one probing. The cure rate is still high after age one, but somewhat less due to bony development of the face and nose. The block occurs in the nasolacrimal duct system (eye & nose).
We chose to do an outpatient surgery at 11 months. We saw a child eye specialist twice before & twice after the surgery. It was very scary and nerve-wracking for me but looking back that was all just out of fear. Everything was fine and my daughter will never know. I was afraid if we waited to have the surgery done, it wouldn't work the first time the tried and then she'd have to have multiple procedures and silicone tubes placed in the duct.
BBBUUTT you don't need to know any of that because your babies duct will hopefully open soon! :)
Thanks for the info, ladies. It's cleared up a lot since yesterday...it got super gunky yesterday morning when she was having a crying fit, but since then she hasn't cried much and it hasn't happened again. I'm gonna keep an eye on it and do the warm compress/massage/breastmilk as a bathtime ritual.