What can cause blocked tear ducts in babies, and how can they be treated?

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If your baby constantly has 'sleep crust' or pus coming out of one of their eyes, your baby might possibly have blocked tear ducts.

Have you ever noticed your newborn having some "sleep crust" or sometimes pus coming out of one of their eyes, causing them to have some difficulty in opening their eye? If that's the case, then your child might have blocked tear ducts.

What causes blocked tear ducts?

Blocked tear ducts are pretty common among newborns, so there's no need to worry. Blocked tear ducts usually happen if the tear ducts are not completely open from birth, or if the tear ducts get clogged later on.

What happens in the body is that if the fluid can't be drained, it gets infected. And if tear ducts are blocked, it can potentially cause an infection, which explains the pus, inability to open their eyes, and the "sleep crust."

How can it be treated?

Fortunately, blocked tear ducts aren't something that you should be very worried about, and they're pretty easy to deal with. Here are some things that you can do in order to treat blocked tear ducts in your baby:

  1. Use clean water and a soft cloth to gently wash your baby's tear ducts. Just rub the wet cloth softly over your baby's eyes to help wash off the build up. Sometimes you need to do this several times a day until the tear ducts have been cleared.
  2. Another option would be to softly massage your child's tear ducts to help free the blockage. The tear ducts are located just beneath the nasal corner of the eyes, and you can use your fingers to softly massage this area in a circular motion towards the nose. This helps clear the passages and helps open them up. Just make sure that your hands are very clean before you massage your baby's tear ducts.
  3. Using your breast milk is also a good way of treating blocked tear ducts. Just place a few drops of breast milk on your finger, and gently rub it on the nasal corner of your child's eyes, near the tear ducts. Breast milk has antibiotic properties and can help fight the infection. It's a better way of treating blocked tear ducts as compared to giving your newborn antibiotics.
  4. Lastly, if your baby's tear ducts still haven't cleared up or is causing your child pain, you should consult your pediatrician about it. Usually, doctors will prescribe some medicine as well as tips to help treat the blocked tear ducts.


Source: Parenting

This article is republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines. 

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Written by

Alwyn Batara