Moisture is vitally important to healthy eyes. Glands at the edge of the eyelid produce an oily film that mixes with tears to keep the eyes lubricated and protect against infection. Normally, this liquid then drains out of the eyes through the tear ducts in the inner corners.
However, up to a third of babies are born with tear ducts that are not fully developed, or are blocked. This condition, also known as dacryostenosis or congenital lacrimal duct obstruction, can result in excess tearing and eye infections.
Symptoms of blocked tear ducts usually develop within a few months of birth. Parents may notice:
Should your baby have any of these symptoms, call your pediatrician. More than 90 percent of these cases clear up on their own by your baby’s first birthday, but treatment may be needed to prevent infection and complications.
Depending on the severity of your child’s condition, you may be referred to a Mercy Kids pediatric ophthalmologist who can offer several treatments for blocked tear ducts:
Mercy Kids pediatric ophthalmologists treat babies and children with eye problems with expert, gentle care. Any time you have a concern about your child’s eyes or vision, give us a call.