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My son is six months old and he has blocked tear ducts in both of his eyes since his birth. I have visited couple of doctors, and they recommend having surgery. This is not convenient, and I'm not sure if my 6-month-old son should undergo a surgery or if we should wait and maybe his tear duct may open by itself with some massage? I would really appreciate any of your comments that would help me and my son.

The timing of surgical treatment for nasolacrimal duct obstruction is variable. Some surgeons elect to do the procedure between 6 and 12 months of age, whereas many others will wait until one year of age. Earlier surgery has the advantage of fewer months of symptoms, whereas waiting for delayed surgery has the substantial chance that the condition will spontaneously resolve and no surgery is actually needed. You should discuss the two options and why your ophthalmologist is suggesting one or the other course. There is no significant difference between the outcomes from these two approaches for at least the first two years of life.

Answered by: Michael Repka, MD Dr. Michael X. Repka

Categories: Eye Conditions, Children's Eye Health

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Answered: Nov 23, 2010

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