Blocked Tear Ducts - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-21-2007, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone. I have an 8 month old baby girl who has blocked tear ducts. I noticed it right after we brought her home from the hospital, she always as eye boogers and very watery eyes so my dr. told us they were blocked over the phone. Everytime Ive ever seen him to ask him about it he just pushes it off saying we will talk about it when she turns a year. Hes never told me anything to help them or what its all about or anything. We were at a friends house the other night and her eyes got very swollen and red and it looked super painful. The people had a cat and dog, Shes been around plenty of cats and dogs though and thats never happened. We even have 3 dogs but theyre also very short haired and dont shed or anything so I was thinking that it might be different. I think Im just totally confused by all of it and whish I understood it more. I hate seeing her like that cause it looks painful when it gets so dried out and cracks. and people are constantly asking if she has pink eye?!? I dont know Im confused about what my question is at this point. Any help at all?

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#2 of 8 Old 12-21-2007, 07:29 PM
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Mine had blocked tear ducts at one point, and what I did was I rubbed the spot between her eye and her nose, many times a day, and I wiped the gunk off with a warm, moist paper towel (it's probably better to use a washcloth, though.. saves trees ^.~) It took two days to clear it out.

Other things I found when I researched on the web was to squirt a few drops of breastmilk into the corner of her eye where the tearducts are, and there are even special drops (though i think the dr has to prescribe them) made from boric acid, i believe, you can drop into their eyes.

I dont know about the redness, maybe your baby just has especially tiny tearducts so it got really irritated. I'd say it might be an infection but since it only happened that one time, and you've brought it up multiple times to your dr, I don't think that's whats wrong.

I do also know that once you get it unclogged, however it may happen, it can happen again, so don't panic if it does, just keep doing whatever fixed it last time.

Mine hasn't had it again though, so maybe yours will get lucky too. I wish you the best :

Oh, and if I were you, I'd get a different dr. He/She has no right to be paid for keeping you in the dark about your health concerns for your little one. He sounds like he's just going to wait until a year and tell you about the surgery they can do to fix it and not give you any other options.

Wow, I'm really forgetful today... Also, it is possible for babies to develop allergies they didn't have at birth, though I don't think that's what's going on here. Still good to keep in mind though.
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#3 of 8 Old 01-01-2008, 01:03 AM
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My dd dhad a plugged duct and it kept getting infected ( green) at 11 months we finally opted to have it "opened" which was very scacry because she was under general anesthesia. It took 3 minutes and she was in my arms. I would wait until a year unless the infections are chronic which could effect her eyesight later. DD is now 4 and fine
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#4 of 8 Old 01-01-2008, 04:45 PM
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My DS had a blocked tear duct until he was almost 18 months. It would come and go and also was green. I was told not to worry about it until after 18 months. My dr. told me to massage the area between the nose and eye and if I wanted I could rub kiddie polysporin there (I never did that). My naturopath indicated that it was a symptom of DS not having enough minerals but there were other indications to support that theory beyond just the gunking eye. It never bothered my little guy but it was gross to look at and his eye was pink after we wiped it off.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-01-2008, 08:21 PM
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My youngest had this too. I put breastmilk in his eyes and massaged the area daily for about two weeks and then it disappeared. I think he was about six months when I finally tried that. Good luck to you guys!

Take care,

Tara Momma to Callum and Gavin
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#6 of 8 Old 01-02-2008, 07:35 PM
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Probably due to c-section births

My first had hers till 18 months, then it dissapeared two days before the scheduled surgery. We were so happy. It did not go away with the prescribed drops, or breast milk

DS's went away a few days after the hospital stay and we were relieved.

Our doctors stress warm clean compresses. What I like to do best is soak a q-tip with bm (with the other breast)while nursing to clean it up. Those drops sting and give me headaches. They are the same used for pink eye.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-03-2008, 04:10 PM
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My DD had blocked ducts in both eyes. One cleared around 4 or 5 mos. The other just cleared at almost 15 mos. Her eye was always gooky. Breast milk never really helped (it was great for softening the crustiness). I did resort to abx a couple times when it was really bad. There were a couple times when her lid was very red. I used BM and it was fine in the am.

We saw a pedi opthamologist at 6 mos. She said we could massage the area-down the nose, not just at the corner of the eye. She said they didn't know if it helped or not. At a recent eye exam for myself and he disagreed, saying he thought it did help.

I was getting a little stressed about it as I didn't want to have the procedure done. It's simple and takes about 2 mins but requires general anaesthesia.
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#8 of 8 Old 01-03-2008, 05:38 PM
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My son had a blocked tear duct. It wasn't terrible, but he always had a lot of crusties around his eye, and oh how he hated me trying to gently wash them away with a warm cloth. We actually went to a pediatric opthamologist for a consultation, when my doctor said they don't usually clear up by themselves after a year. It took four months to get an appointment and by that time it was mostly better. (We did the nose massage thing, but not very often, so I don't know if that was what helped or not.) The eye doctor said a tear duct can certainly clear up on its own after a year and if it didn't bother us, he recommended leaving it alone. But my son never had swollen or red eyes. He had gunky, watery eyes.

My understanding is that the tear duct is the drain for the eye. Tears naturally flush out the eye, keeping it clean and moist. They drain through the ducts which run from the corner of the eye down the side of the nose. Gently but firmly stroking the duct from the corner if the eye down the side of the nose may help clear blockages (make sure to have very clean hands, and I found wetness helps.) The problem is super common- babies have such small ducts, I guess they are easily clogged. I guess the problem could be that there is no duct or that the duct doesn't have an opening or something, and I imagine massage wouldn't help much in that case.

A friend of mine had the simple reaming out surgery for her son and when it didn't work had to go back for a reconstruction, where they actually created a working tear duct.

If the duct isn't draining well, there is no place for the ickies to go and the eye or duct tends to get infected more often. I see some people have suggested putting breast milk in the eye, and I suppose that would be for when it is actively infected, because breastmilk helps fight infections. Or maybe it could help prevent infection?

My son's eyes never got dried out or cracked. That seems strange. We always had trouble with too much water, not dryness. Are you washing around the eyes with soap? That could cause dryness. I just used water, though after reading the advice here, I would use breastmilk next time around.

I second the "get another doctor" opinion. Or at least tell your doctor you want to be in on the decision making. Because an important decision is whether to wait until a year, when most tear ducts resolve on their own, or get it reamed out before that. If the child is under a year old, they don't typically use general anesthetic, so it is safer. After a year, they do, I guess because the child won't hold still? So you would have a safer but possibly unnecessary procedure if you do it before a year.

Have you considered that it might not be cat or dog allergy, but maybe household chemicals or something else in the home? Carpet treatment? Most of us don't spend much time with our faces touching the carpet like an 8 month old might, so we don't notice that it might be dusty or something.
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