View Full Version : Blocked tear duct / sticky eye
My little guy has a blocked tear duct / sticky eye. :( He has had it since born (left eye). I have had him to the doctors about it on a number of occasions - he has had a swab done to make sure it wasn't conjunctivitis (which it is not). The doctor has basically told me that it is just one of those things babies get - apparently about 50% of babies are born with smaller tear ducts, which get blocked easily and it is a matter of waiting until he is older, as his tear duct will enlarge as he grows and unblock itself. They give them until about 12 months and if this hasn't happened they do an operation to probe the duct which apparently unblocks it or widens it I think which fixes problem. :confused:
The doc has ensured me that his eye constantly weeping and running and building up with gunk causes no long term damage to his eye or his sight. It doesn't bother my bubba, only when I am cleaning it (which has to be often as it is constantly yukky). I have had antibiotic drops which help but don't fix it - and the doc says the drops won't fix it. I also don't like the thought of constantly using them. I bathe his eye with cooled boiled water to try and keep it clear but as he has sensitive skin and all this wiping makes that side of his face look very sore, red and he has a big patch of dermatitis where his eye runs.
I am wondering if there is anyone out there who has gone through the same thing - when did it clear up? Did u have to have operation? Was there anyting u used that helped clear it up? Did your doc give you any different info from mine?
It would be great to hear from someone who has experienced it.
DD had a blocked tear duct at birth, and we had to get drops for it twice I think. It cleared up by around 3 or 4 months I think, when the tear duct finally function (her first real tears when she cried nearly broke my heart, they were so sad!). She's had no further problems.
Try not to wipe it too much. Your dr or a midwife should have shown you how to gently massage down from his nose toward the tear duct. I'm not sure if it helps or not but I think is supposed to help open the duct and clear out the gunk.
Sure did have the same problem and it lasted for 10 weeks from when she was born.
the antibiotic drops did diddly squat and we were told to squirt some breast milk in her eye as that has healing agents but that was too difficult to get the aim right so we were clearing her eye out everytime we changed her with a cotton wool ball with saline drops on it - basically dampen the ball and wipe from inner bit to outer bit and the gunk would come with it.
It does sort itself out as as the body developed but it looks horrible with greeny gunky bits always in their eyes!
Ryan has the same thing! I too have constantly taken him to the doctors worry about it being an infection! You are not alone there!
However I have started seeing a really good GP in my area and he has suggested to me to massage just on the inside (basically pinching the top part of your nose is the best way to describe it) of each eye and this will help the ducts to flow. Ryan has had it in both eyes, the right eye has cleared up and now we are dealing with the left!
He said they don't normally consider operating til they are around 12-16 months...
Thanks, this is a bit different from what bubs get straight after birth as he also had this, which cleared up after a few weeks. It was from a few weeks later then that we had this prob. It is an actual condition as his tear duct works ( he has lots of real tears!!!!!LOL) but it is smaller than normal so it blocks continually and they have to grow out of it, or have the operation. We massage properly etc but none of this does anything, (it does help a little). He is 6 months old now and I am wondering if anyone has bubs around same age who have had same prob?
I think we posted at the same time as I read yours after I posted mine!
It is awful isn't it - I don't know how many people have come up when out shopping etc and go 'oh what a cute little bubba...........ohhhhhhh what is wrong with his eye?!?!?!?!'
I then have to explain etc but it feels yuk as they so - can't you just wipe it etc! :rolleyes:
You do but it is back 2 seconds later! I've got my finger crossed it fixes itself as i don't fancy him having an operation. Did u try anything else - MIL was telling me to put baby shampoo (no more tears) on a flannel and wipe his eye with it as this stops the gunk sticking to his eyelashes and gluing his eyes together :confused:
Not too sure about that!
Got love it when that happens don't ya!!!
With Ryan his eye constantly weeps and it feels like I am forever wiping it! And let me tell you he isn't a huge fan of getting it done!!!!
I haven't heard of that trick... I find when he wakes up from a sleep his eye is glued together so i get some saline and saturate a cotton ball and gently rub across his eye to loosen the gunk... I am yet to find a method that stops it completely!
Squidgy had sticky eye when she was about 4 weeks old,...it lasted a couple of weeks,. I bought vials of saline solution from the chemist,.I think they were about 70c each,.. and bathed her eye with those,..they come in a squirty container too,.which was easy to apply,..
Ollie had it....not as bad though as some in this forum.
My partner had him while i was sleeping and mentioned he used warm bolied water and salt! Initally I was worried about this but it worked a treat :D
As its getting warmer now and we will all be heading to the beach, maybe the salt water will help aswell.
My son is 9 months old today and he has had a blocked tear duct since he was born. I have also been told all of those remedies and none have worked. I too am constantly wiping his eye only to have the gunk straight back there again. We have an appointment to go back to the opthamologist at the beginning of December to see about him having the op to unblock it with a probe. I don't like the thought of it but anything will be better for him than constantly having a gunky eye.
I was just wondering about the opthamologist - did your doctor recommend u go see one (give u referral etc) or did u say you wanted to see a specialist? My son is 6 months now and has had this since a few weeks - as I said in my earlier post the doctor keeps telling me that hopefully it will unblock itself etc.... and that it won't affect his eye but my hubby and I can see that the eye looks different size as it is constantly swollen from running and having it wiped away (even though we are so careful when doing it) I have thought about getting another opinion or going to see a specialist - any advice?
My GP gave me a referral to see the opthamologist. When we went to see him he did a test to make sure it was a blocked tear duct, which it was, and said to come back and see him in 6 months (my son was 6 months when we saw him). I guess that is why your GP hasn't referred you as they don't like to do anything before they are around 12 months old incase it fixes itself. However, all the info sheets he gave me said this would normally happen by 6 months if it was going to. But I know where you are coming from as all the symptons you described are what my son has too. The opthamologist also said we may need to have him checked when he is around 2 to make sure he hasn't got a turned eye because of it. I also thought my son's eye was swollen and squinty but he assured me it wasn't. I guess it is all a case of wait and see.
Both of mine had blocked tear ducts until they wer over 6 months old. It is exasperating.
With my second, my new doctor suggested a very simple remedy. Gently massage the area under the blocked duct, best whilst they are feeding. He said this will do a good good job of breaking up the blockage and freeing the eye. It worked! I can't wait to try it on my 3rd, to be born in 12 weeks or so.
Yeah I have been told that method, along with the breast milk and the salt water and all of those ideas but sometimes nothing works and they have to do it manually.
Bubs is due for 6 month check up so I think I will speak to doctor about seeing a specialist - I think i would feel better just knowing I had checked out all options. We also have massaged, bathed in boiled water, breast milk etc to no avail!
Just wondering what is a turned eye - is that linked to blocked tear duct?
A turned eye is a bit like the eye being cross eyed. I guess in severe cases it can happen as a result of a blocked tear duct but it is very rare. I will let you know what happens with my son.
My second son had this problem too, with both eyes. Then, just before he was six months, one cleared up followed about three weeks later by the other.
But before that we'd seen a GP who swore black and blue it was conjunctivitis and he was to have antibiotics and a specialist's appointment. The specialist backed up the original GP, who said it would clear up on its own and wasn't at all infectious (the other, stupid woman, told me we must be exceptionally clean people when I mentioned that in five months no one else in the family had caught this supposed conjunctivitis).
He was booked to go back to the opthamologist (sp?) late next month, when he'll be nine months, but the guy said to cancel it if it cleared up. He also said they won't operate till 12 months so seeing him at nine months would be soon enough to start making plans for that.
Those of you with babies with this problem have my sympathy. We had all the advice that people have given here, and nothing seemed to help. It looked ugly and everyone thought he must be in pain - never bothered the baby, though.
One thing, we used to put Vaseline or a bit of nappy rash cream on the red marks it would leave on his face. Seemed to help.
all the best.
My son Izak had a gunky eye for a while, and we too tried everything. Drops, breastmilk, saline etc etc, however, nothing seemed to work for us either. I finally decided after interfering with it for six weeks or so I would leave it alone, and it actually cleared up in a couple of weeks after that itself. Not sure if that'll help you guys, but maybe see how you go. I didn't even clean his eye in the bath, just washed around it.
With regard to the turning eye post, I have a turning eye or 'squint' as doctors refer to it. Mine was a bit more of an extreme case, and I had an operation when I was 11 to correct it, however, it does still turn when I am tired, read lots, use the computer lots etc. I wouldn't panic too much about it, as childrens eyes can move around a lot while they are still growing, particularly in the first year or so. Wait and see what your chn says at your next checkup and go from there. Usually it wont affect anything (My eye was weaker just by coincidence) and will right itself.
Hope this helps. :)
My little boy is 8 months and the problem has only just righted itself. We basically just cleaned his eyes regularly with saline solution and over the past few months did some gentle eye massaging. Hope it passes for you soon too.
How are things going with your bub now? Just thought I would let you know that my little boy is going to hospital next Thursday to have his fixed. I will be so happy not to have people say to me Awwww the poor little fella has conjunctivitus.
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