A Blocked tear duct is a common condition causing sticky eyes in infants and toddlers. Eyes tend to produce a sticky fluid that keeps accumulating in the eyelids. The tears that lubricate our eyes cannot drain normally out through the nose in babies and gather on the surface of the eyes. There is a tiny opening at the inner corner of each eyelid, which opens into a passage inside the nose. This is the opening of the nasolacrimal duct. The tears that moisten and keep the eyes clean drain from this opening into the nose. In many newborns, this tear duct is blocked or not completely formed. A child can have tear duct problems in one or both the eyes. About 25% babies are born with complete or partially blocked tear eye ducts in one or both the eyes.
Blocked tear duct symptoms are easy to recognize. Newborn babies do not produce tears until they are a few weeks old. So, a clogged eye duct is not noticed at birth. Blocked tear duct symptoms are generally noticed when the baby is about 2 weeks old. Some of the common symptoms include the following:
Gently wipe the baby's eyes with a cotton ball dipped in warm water or a sterile saline solution to remove the discharge built up during the night. Clean your baby's eyes regularly until the tear ducts open up fully.
Traditional remedies recommend putting a few drops of breast milk in the baby's eyes to prevent eye infection.
A doctor diagnoses a tear duct obstruction during a physical examination. He may also conduct one or more tests to confirm this diagnosis, and take a complete medical history of the child.
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Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.