Home » Children's Health, Eye Health

Helping a Newborn With a Blocked Tear Duct

[27 Oct 2010 | No Comments | 287 views | Author: Dee Braun, DrR, CA, CCT]
If you enjoy this post, please share it using the buttons in the post, or email it to a friend, we'd really appreciate it! You can also get natural health articles delivered free by email or RSS - AND get a free mini-course on the Healing Art of Reflexology!

Helping a Newborn With a Blocked Tear DuctBlocked tear ducts are a common complaint of parents about their newborn babies. They present to the pediatrician with a child who appears to have tears spilling over onto their cheeks without evidence of crying. The child may also have mucus type material on the edges of the eyelid.

Parents are often concerned that their newborn has contracted pink eye before even being exposed to others.

Normally tears are cleared from the eye through the tear ducts. However, when those ducts are blocked the tears flow down the cheek or build up and dry out leaving clumps of yellow discharge in the eye. The nasolacrimal duct (tear duct) takes the tears and passes them through to the nasal cavity.

When infants have a blocked tear duct it doesn’t mean that they don’t make tears or that they make too much but rather that the duct that removes the tears from the eye is obstructed or closed and the eye becomes flooded.

This condition happens to approximately 20% of newborns. It can affect either one or both eyes. Sometimes these blocked ducts arent immediately evident at birth and aren’t noticed until the baby is a month old. Blocked ducts often open up themselves within the first few weeks or months of life.

Normally tears are produced by the lacrimal gland that is located just over the eye. They move across the eye with the help of the eye lid and they keep the eyes lubricated and moist as well as protected. Sometimes the nasolacrimal ducts aren’t completely open at the time of birth which is what causes the obstruction.

Treatment for newborn blocked tear ducts are mostly a wait and see treatment. Most of these conditions resolve by the time the child has reached 10 months of age as their body grows. The blockage appears to be most often caused by a membrane that remains over the tear duct from birth and which opens as the baby grows.

Sometimes professionals advise the parents to massage the area over the tear duct to help open it enough to accept most of the tears that are produced and thereby decrease the symptoms. This massage is thought to help break this membrane over the duct but if there isnt a build up of tears or the lacrimal gland isn’t swollen then this massage probably isn’t necessary.

If this condition has resolved with massage then a probing with a metal instrument under general anesthesia to break the membrane may be necessary and cures about 90% of those who don’t resolve spontaneously. In the rare instance that this doesn’t resolve with the probing then another surgical placement of a balloon to stretch the duct or the creation of a new passage may be necessary.

There are those instances when a blocked tear duct occurs in older children or adults who experience an infection of the tear duct or a nose injury or sinus infection can cause scarring of the nasolacrimal duct and obstruction.

Infants and older children who experience a blocked tear duct should have their eyes and face kept clean so they dont have an area that is set up for an infection. This increased amount of mucus type material residing in the eye is a breeding ground for infection. Keeping it clean while the eye is being treated and cared for will help to decrease the risk of a secondary infection.

During both the conception process and throughout pregnancy it is important that hopeful moms maintain their physical well-being and as well as their psychological health.

This broad field of women’s health includes psychological issues surrounding mood, stress and relaxation, as well as physical areas such as infertility, nutrition, morning sickness, labor and delivery and more.

At Native Remedies you will find a comprehensive set of herbal remedies to help you manage conception and pregnancy – naturally and safely.

Enrich your life and the lives of others by learning Aromatherapy, Reflexology or Color/Crystal Therapy at the Alternative Healing Academy! Convenient and easy-to-handle payment plans are available!

Free Health Ebook For You...

Natural Help for Dry, Scaly Skin

    Simply Right Click and choose Save As to save to your desktop!  More FREE Natural Health, Wellness and Pet Ebooks at Remedies4.com!

Technorati Tags: blocked tear duct, newborn blocked tear duct, newborn care

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Refresh Image

Enrich your life and the lives of others by learning Aromatherapy, Reflexology or Color/Crystal Therapy at the Alternative Healing Academy! Convenient and easy-to-handle payment plans are available!

 Get Quality Natural Health Information by Email and a Free Reflexology Mini Course! 

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.