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7 Things I've Learned About a Blocked Tear Duct

We had our first appointment with the pediatric opthamologist last Friday for Avery’s blocked tear duct. The appointment went very well and exceeded all of my expectations. I’m not nearly as nervous about it as I was before visiting the doctor, which is incredibly relieving.

As soon as we got to the office, they brought Avery in a dilated her eyes so that the doctor could get a good look inside of her eye. Once dilated, we went into the eye exam room where the doctor performed a series of tests on her eyes. The tests were easy and required very little effort on Avery’s part. He looked at her eyes with a light, saw how well she was tracking objects, and covered each eye individually to see how her eye reacted. Avery didn’t even realize that she was being examined.

We concluded the visit with a follow up appointment in three months. If the blocked tear duct has cleared up by then, then it requires no surgery to correct it. Yay! If it hasn’t cleared up by then, then we need to do the procedure to unclog it.

All in all we were in and out within an hour, which makes for a great appointment and two happy girls ( I had to bring my toddler along.) The appointment was rather insightful and full of information that I didn’t find online while researching the subject. I feel so much more informed and relaxed about the subject than prior to the appointment.

For those of you that have a little one with a blocked tear duct and are looking for information on the subject, here are seven things that I learned from our pediatric opthamologist about a blocked tear duct.

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  • It’s Very Common 1 of 7
    It's Very Common
    Our opthamologist says that he sees this all of the time with babies. It's quite common when babies are born (like Avery) and some show up a couple of months after the baby is born. I was so relieve to know that it occurs often and that this was something that he is familiar with.
  • Usually Goes Away on Its Own 2 of 7
    Usually Goes Away on Its Own
    Most of the time blocked tear ducts go away on their own without any treatment. The doctor told me that they will usually go away on its own before the baby turns nine months old. After that is when you should start talking about what treatment needs to be done to take care of it.
  • Gently Massage From Under The Eye Into the Inner Eye 3 of 7
    Gently Massage From Under The Eye Into the Inner Eye
    Prior to the appointment, I had only been massaging the inner part of Avery's eye 3-5 times a day. The opthamologist told me to gently massage directly under her eye and press towards the inner part of her eye only once a day. By doing this, it should help get the excess discharge that gets caught up under her eye (and causes the swelling) as well as the discharge towards the inner part of her eye.
    Image Source
  • It’s Not Uncomfortable For The Baby 4 of 7
    It's Not Uncomfortable For The Baby
    I've been so worried that this has been bothering Avery. The doctor assured me that is does not affect her at all. Because she was born with it, this is all she knows. He did assure me that if it did bother her, she would let me know.
  • It Gets Worse During the Winter 5 of 7
    It Gets Worse During the Winter
    Ever go out on a cold and windy day and have your eyes tear up because of the weather? The doctor said that because of the way that our eyes react to the colder and windier weather, the blocked tear duct tends to get worse and tears up more causing more discharge. He mentioned that I should give him a call if it gets too bad or looks like it is infected.
  • Treatment is Quick and Easy 6 of 7
    Treatment is Quick and Easy
    I mentioned that we are going back in three months to see if further treatment is necessary. If it is the doctor assured me that it is a fairly quick and easy process. He said the entire procedure lasts about 30 seconds. He does not put his patients under general anesthesia (although some doctors do) and it can be done right in his office.
    Image via iStock Photo>
  • There are No Long Lasting Effects 7 of 7
    There are No Long Lasting Effects

More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year

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