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Tips To Treat Blocked Tear Ducts

For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed one of Kara’s eyes running.

I called her doctor, and based on my description of her symptoms, she did not believe it was pink eye. I mentioned that Kara had some mild sinus issues, and she said that the eye issue could be related to a cold.

The eye continued to water, and soon we noticed some green discharge, so we scheduled an appointment with her doctor to figure out exactly what was going on.

One glance, and the pediatrician told us that Kara has a blocked tear duct. Interestingly, blocked tear ducts don’t have anything to do with the production of tears, rather, their ability to drain from the eye. The green discharge indicated an infection in the eye, and we were prescribed an antibiotic ointment to apply three times a day.

The pediatrician told us that blocked tear ducts are very common in babies, and recommended some home care tips to treat the issue. We were told that it could take a very long time for the problem to remedy itself, but that following these instructions would help.

1. Wipe away drainage with a moistened cotton ball — Use warm, but not hot water to moisten the cotton ball. Wipe the baby’s eye gently from the corner near the nose, outward. Use a different area of the wet cotton ball with each wipe.

2. Use massage — Using your pinky finger, massage the area under the inner corner of baby’s eye in slow circular movements. Do this three times a day, for several minutes.

Remember, if you see green drainage coming from the eye, you will probably need an antibiotic. Our pediatrician recommended we not begin the massage until the infection had cleared.

Has your baby ever had a blocked tear duct?

Crying baby photo from Shutterstock

Read more of Crissy’s writing at Dear Crissy.
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