21 answers

Does a Blocked Tear Duct Go Away?

My 6 month old daughter always has a tearin one eye.She's had it since birth. She often gets conguntivitus in this one eye. The Dr said not to worry, to massage the area. I do it all the time and it seems to cause a Conjun. episode. I have also tried squirting breat milk into it (this was fun for my husband :)
Any homeopathic or other recommendations would be so appreciated.
Best to all you incredible and loving Mommys

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It does. It just takes time. Keep it clean and massage it like the doctor said. I think my child's doctor also said to use warm compresses, if my memory serves me right. She will more than likely outgrow it. It's just the tear duct is so small that it gets blocked. As she gets bigger, so should her tear ducts.

Have you been to see an Opthalmogist for this problem yet.
Usually the Doctor can try to open the tear duct and irragate it with saline. This usually work.

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Have you been to see an Opthalmogist for this problem yet.
Usually the Doctor can try to open the tear duct and irragate it with saline. This usually work.

Hi D.,
My son had a blocked tear duct (so does my daughter presently - she's 6 mos old) which cleared itself when he was about 9 months. I too massaged and squirted b-milk and that def. helps. The pediatric eye surgeon i went to said that if it doesn't clear by 12 months, they have to do that operation where they insert a tube into the duct while the baby is under anesthesia. Luckily, we didn't have to go there. Keep massaging and squirting and hopefully it will clear! We do have a homeopath and she didn't recommend anything beyond the massaging etc.

I find this so ironic that you post this question. I posted the same question a couple months back. My daughter actually just got the procedure done last week!!!!

First off, my son, now 7yrs, had a blocked tear duct since birth, with him we did a eye drop and massaging, and it went away by about age 1.

My daughter is now 19mo old. She's had a blocked tear duct since birth, but it became a huge problem this past fall with chronic infections, green goopy stuff and tearing from the eye. We saw a eye dr, and did the drops and massaging and it just wasnt working for her.

So....... if it doesnt clear up by age 1yr, they talk about the eye probing and suction. It sounds a lot worse than it is. It is under general anthesia, and I can tell ya how well it went. It isnt "surgery". And the anthesia is more so they will be still, and it only takes about 10min to do. We were told she will still have some tearing for a couple days. So it will be a couple weeks to find out for sure if her eye is now fixed. I know a few people that had it done, and it worked wonderful!! Dont worry if it came to her having the procedure, it really was not at all as bad as I thought it would be ........
If you are concerned about it, I would request to be refered to a eye dr, that is what I did.
Best of luck!!


My daughter had a blocked tear duct. Same experiences as yours. Her duct cleared on its own by 7-8 months. My son's duct did not clear on its own and at 1 year had to have the duct opened surgically and hasn't had any issues since. I tried the breast milk, didn't seem to help. Try warm soaks w/ the massaging. Just try to keep the area as clean as possible. To minimize infections I would boil water (to sterilize), cool and put it aside to use just for the eye. Good luck.


My son has the same thing and we took him to a pediatric opthamologist who said it usually self-resolves by about a year. I also just saw a homeopath for myself and I had my son with me and his eyes were tearing~she suggested trying the homeopathic remedy: Silica for the blocked ducts.


My daughter had the same thing. It magically disappeared at 9 MOS. We always got a warm washcloth a few times a day and wiped toward it....it eventually went away. :)

Hi there,
I had the exact same situation with my daughter as you describe. The doctor kept saying that it would resolve on its own and to massage it, use a warm cloth, etc. It was so bad at times that she couldn't open her eye. I asked the doctor several times, but same answer. When she was 1 year old, we moved and I had to find a new pediatrician. He prescribed drops and the problem immediately resolved itself. She is now 4 1/2 years old and has never had a problem since then. So, just from my experience, I would suggest getting another opinion if it seems to linger for a while longer. Good luck!

My daughter had this until almost 15 months. We did see a pediatric opthamologist at Boston Children's Hospital around 6 months. She said it should resolve on its own, but if not they wouldn't do anything until at least a year. Although the procedure is very simple and quick, I was in no hurry to have her under general anaesthesia so would have waited much longer.

She told me I was massaging the eye incorrectly as the blockage is not at the corner of the eye but further down the nose. She also said they didn't know if that actually helps or not.

Breast milk does help to keep infection at bay. A couple times I did have to resort to antibiotics but other than that I just used breast milk every time I nursed and warm compresses in the morning. One day she woke up with a goop free eye and it has been perfect ever since.

Yes, it does go away. You can gently massage as you've been doing a couple of times a day. At some point, the membrane that's covering over the tear duct will break either on it's own or with the gentle help of the massaging. The breastmilk helps get rid of conjunctivitis, which of course is an infection, but the regular goo of a normal blocked tear duct is not an infection.

It should go away on it's own regardless by the time she's 10-12 months old. If not, then at 12 months, the pedi can do a very simple and painless surgery which is simply using a laser to break the membrane. It's outpatient, although she'd need to be sedated for the procedure.

Otherwise, you just have to wait it out.

Hi D.- a friend's infant daughter has the same condition and her doctor recently said the blocked tear duct should open it and not to worry and that surgery was an option if the duct doesn't correct itself.

I have heard Boric Acid is used as a natural remedy for ecxema and as an eye wash although it is a poisen if ingested so be careful but might be worth researching.

Take care!

My daughter is now 19 months old, but had the same problem as your child. I did what the dr's told me and massaged the corner of her eye, but that never seemed to do much to help the issue. Eventually, they say that the eye drops to clear up the conjunctivitus will no longer work if they are used all of time and she will develop an immunity to them. But there is good news...not long after my daughter's 1st birthday..it seemed to just go away. They say if it doesnt go away on its own, and Im sure you have heard this too...they will have to do a minor procedure and straighten out the tear duct. But honestly..I think the majority of children grow out of this condition. I just always tried to carry a baby washcloth with me and use warm water to try and keep the area as clean as possible without irritating the eye and skin around it. Good luck and I hope this is helpful for you

Hello D.- My son (who is now 3) had blocked trear ducts in both eyes from birth until 9mths. I would just wash it a few times a day with a warm face cloth and always have soft tissues on hand to clean it away when we were out and about. Thinking back I reall that it bothered me more than it bothered him. People used to commit on it and ask if he was sick and i had to explain. It did just go away on its own though, there really was no magic cure unfortunately.
I wish I was more helpful but just wanted to send some support your way and say, I know how you feel.

J., Mom of Riley 3yrs 3mths and baby due 2/13.

Hello! I just wanted to say that I had never even heard of the breastmilk thing. My daughter is ten months old today actually and she has had a blocked tearduct since birth. I used the erythromicin stuff for awhile and it helped a little but then I stopped and it didn't get worse... I massage it whenever it gets goopy, but still most days she wakes up with one crusty eyelid, and at times its been crusted shut... I don't have any advice for you, but I wanted to tell you that I had never heard of this method, maybe I will try that! Although at 10 months, she may get mad at me!!

My daughter had this too. They say, when the child is 6 months, he/she can undergo a quick procedure to fix this. My daughter's miraculously cleared up right after I got this appt. on my calendar!

Hi D.,
My 11wk old son had a blocked tear duct a few weeks ago. The MD advised massaging as well. I had really good luck with it -You should "massage" at duct (corner of eye, as i'm sure you know) in a clockwise fashion with a firm press while going around the clock and end at about 8:00 on the clock. I did it at every diaper change (with clean hands before changing diaper). It is normal to see stuff squirt out...You could try a warm compress before hand as well (but not if in a conjunctivitis episode...) I hope this helps- sometimes when docs say "massage", or something of the like, they don't really give specific instructions. I am glad mine did, as it really worked. Hope your little girl stops tearing!
Have a good day-

DO NOT squirt ANYTHING in your daughters'eye unless instructed to so by her doctor. The blocked tear duct will heal itself. if you must massage the corner of her eye... WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST!!!!!!!!! That is the reason she gets pinkeye.

Hi there. Both of my children had a blocked tear duct. It cleared up for my daughter around a year old. My son turned 1 this past December and it is just about gone right now. The doctor said he wasn't going to worry until he turned 13 months which is when it finally cleared up. So just wait it out and give it time!

It does. It just takes time. Keep it clean and massage it like the doctor said. I think my child's doctor also said to use warm compresses, if my memory serves me right. She will more than likely outgrow it. It's just the tear duct is so small that it gets blocked. As she gets bigger, so should her tear ducts.


My daughter had a blocked tear duct a couple of days after birth. We were prescribed an antibiotic ointment that I had to put in her eye three times a day (erythromycin I think?). It went away after about 4 days and hasn't happened again. I was also told that while she had the infection to be sure not to clean both eyes with the same cloth because you can infect the healthy eye. Good luck.

massaging it is pretty much it. it takes some time.. my son always has a tear in his eye too and his isn't blocked.. just sensitive to bright lights.. good luck

One of my sons had this until he was around 7 or 8 months. I didn't think it would ever go away either. But I did as you are doing now.... massage and breast milk.

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