LOTS of yellow mucous in newborn's eyes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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nak so excuse typos.


My baby is 11 days old and has had runny, mucousy eyes since he was born. 2 of my other 3 kids also had this problem; I was told their tear ducts weren't fully formed. Eventually it went away, but it took months. I don't remember there being so MUCH mucous in them, though. Joe's eyes just FLOW with thick yellow discharge. Sometimes he can't even open his eyes until I wipe them with a warm washcloth. This afternoon one of his eyes had a pool of yellow so that it covered his eyelid. I did some web searching and found a site that said yellow discharge means infection. Is this always true? His eyes aren't red or swollen like I would expect to see with an infection. Our doctor saw him at 5 days and remarked on his "goopy eyes" but didn't seem worried, but now I'm wondering if I should be.

FTR, Joe didn't have eye ointment after he was born. Our other kids with the same problem did have the eye ointment, so I don't think that's an issue. Maybe I should have the ointment done now? I just need some reassurance that this can be normal and I'm not taking chances with his sight!

Also, is there anything I can do to help him get over this? Maybe I'm eating something that is causing it to be worse? I don't eat any dairy, so that's not it. Is there something homeopathic I can give him to help? I'm just so worried because it's constant wiping of his eyes; I don't want to hurt him!

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#2 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 01:30 AM
 
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Congratulations on the baby!

Yes, yellow is typically leaning more towards infection. You can go ahead and squirt breastmilk in his eyes. It will kill an infection and help clear them up. Just do it as much as you need to until you notice improvements. I do notice some babies just have goopier eyes than others.
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#3 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 01:46 AM
 
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Plugged tear ducts. Do a search for how to massage them to help unplug them- it's really easy. And yes, squirt them with breastmilk a couple times a day.

good luck!

-Angela
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#4 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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how will I know if it's really infection? the other kids had yellow discharge as well, but no infections.

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#5 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 04:45 AM
 
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If there's guk, there is an infection in the duct (not in the eye itself). Be very careful if you do the massage to make sure you're massaging in the right direction (I can't recall offhand) or you can make it worse. Breastmilk should help clear up the infection, but it may be months before the ducts become unplugged. I think it typically happens by about six months, and if they're not clear by a year most peds will want to clear them surgically (a fine wire is intserted in the duct). This is something your baby was born with; nothing you've done or haven't done has played a part. Both DD1's ducts were plugged. I just kept squirting breastmilk prophylactically and frequently dabbed her eyes dry.
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#6 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinMom
how will I know if it's really infection? the other kids had yellow discharge as well, but no infections.

the breastmilk in the eyes can't hurt.
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#7 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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okay, so it sounds like it's not something I need to rush out and get antibiotic eye drops for, right? I don't know why I'm so stressed about this when I've dealt with it fine before, but I am!

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#8 of 11 Old 02-04-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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I just did a bunch of research into the antibiotic eye drops that are routinely given to newborns. Apparently mild eye infections are really really common in newborns and usually of no consequence and easy to treat. However, there are several nasty infections and the presence of the mild ones can be an issue in diagnosing the nasty ones. Pus-filled and sticky is ok if it's gradually going away, but if his eyes become swollen you should take him in.
Since you have a great antibacterial on hand (breastmilk), treat him with that, and warm damp cloths to remove the pus. Make sure you do a good wash on the cloths and don't reuse them for a second time before washing. He should show signs of improvement in 24-48 hours.

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#9 of 11 Old 02-09-2005, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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okay, I have to admit that, while I paid lip-service to the healing powers of breastmilk, I was a little skeptical. I mean, there's lactose, a sugar, in it--surely it would grow bacteria. I was wrong! After a few days of putting it in Joe's eyes, the yellow goop is gone. He woke up yesterday with clear eyes and today they're still clear. When the goop started clearing up, he still had a lot of clear liquid in his eyes, which is normal with plugged tear ducts, but now he doesn't even have that. Maybe the massage I was doing unplugged the ducts or maybe the breastmilk helped with that, too. Thanks for your help, mamas!

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#10 of 11 Old 02-09-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Plugged tear ducts. Do a search for how to massage them to help unplug them- it's really easy. And yes, squirt them with breastmilk a couple times a day.
This is what I did with Angelo. Squirt milk in at beginning of feeding, massage while he ate, and wipe with warm wash cloth when he was done.

I too was nervous (he had yellow discharge from eye also) but without medicine it cleared up at age 6 weeks-2 months.

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#11 of 11 Old 02-09-2005, 02:40 PM
 
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So glad your little guy is doing better! I bet it was both the massaging and the breastmilk. I tell ya though, that breastmilk is some powerful stuff!
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