Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Simone | 2013-01-18


Baby with blocked naso-lacrimal duct

Some advice please:

My baby is almost 5 months old. He was born with a sticky eye, and it continues to be a problem. I have to wipe them every few hours. I have just returned from the opthomoligist and he says that we must put him under general anisthetic so that he can flush his ducts. This would mean no drinking for six hours before the procedure (very difficult for a baby that feeds two hourly).

Would you suggest that we go ahead with the procedure or wait a bit longer? I have heard that some children need about a year for their eyes to improve. Should I get a second opinion?

If you do suggest that we go ahead with it, have you got any suggestions as to how I can keep him calm without feeding?

Thank you.

Expert's Reply



Blocked tear ducts are very common in babies. Sometimes this blockage is severe and causes a constant problem with tearing and sticky eyes. The good news is that this type of blockage in young infants usually resolves without any treatment by the age of 6 months. It will help if you gently massage the area just above the tear duct in the corner of your baby's eye using your 'pinkie' finger twice daily, This will help to speed up the unblocking of the tear duct.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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