Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive
Shortly after my granddaughter was born, we took her to the pediatrician to find out why her eyes always had pus in them. The doctor said her tear ducts were blocked and to use the warm massages. Two years later, she still occasionally has "gunky" eyes, but now she frequently has tears rolling down her cheeks. Is this normal? Should we treat it in some way?
Eyes can tear and produce extra mucous when irritated. Tear ducts can become blocked from chronic infection and can be tested for openness with a dye test at the slit lamp microscope. There may be an abnormality in the tear duct system that occurs when the system is forming in babies. Many infants with tearing have Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction. Your granddaughter should see her Eye M.D. for a reevaluation if she is still experiencing symptoms. Massages may be sufficient, but other treatments may be necessary. Sometimes surgery is needed to reestablish the duct.
Answered by: Robert Spurny, MD
Categories: Children's Eye Health
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