29 answers

Watery, Crusty Eyes

my 6 week old daughter had a cold and her one eye is watery and gets crusty overnight. Her eyes are not red in any way and look fine throughout the day. I believe it may be a blocked tear duct. Anyone have any experience with this? I was going to make an appointment with the pediatrician but it is getting a little better every day.

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It was 12 years ago- but I remember it lasted a long time- at least 6 months, before it finally cleared up on it's own. Give it time before you try an operation. A blocked duct should only be sleepies in the corner of the eye, if I remember correctly.

If her eyes are crusted around the upper and lower eyelashes and are sticking together, then it is pinkeye.

Hi A.,

My son got this around 6 weeks also, even though he didn't have a cold. The pediatrician said it was a blocked tear duct, and that it should go away on it's own. It lasted probably about 1 month (it came and went). I would keep cotton rounds handy around the house and in his diaper bag. Just get one wet with warm water and wipe from the inside of the eye, out. The warm water melts the crusties away. Plus, the warmth seemed to be very soothing for him. Sounds perfectly normal to me - I wouldn't worry too much as long as there is no redness or irritation.

Take Care,
L.

Both my daughters got this when they had colds, especially my older daughter. Her eyes were always crusty, watery with green mucous whenever she was sick. She's three now and I dont remember the last time it has happend to her, must be over a year so I dont think it happens anymore. I never treated it with anything, when the cold went away, the goupy eyes went with it. I was never too concerned.

More Answers

She may have a blocked tear duct. Use a warm washrag to wipe her eye. then massage gently at the edge of her eye beside the nose. She may need surgery to open it. I did and one of my daughters did.
Mother of three, grandmother to 7
J.

Our son had the same thing happen, but it cleared up on its own. I did read about doing some kind of very gentle massage of the duct, but that sounds a bit scary so if I were you, I'd wait and see if it continues to improve on its own. Maybe just talking to the M.D. on the phone would be enough, without having to go in for an actual appointment...

Both my kids had a blocked tear duct. My daughter's lasted a little over a year, and my son's lasted about 5 months. Usually it will correct itself with time. The doctor will tell you about a "procedure" they do to unblock it if it's still bad after a year or so. Thankfully, we procrastinated on making that appt with our daughter, and it resolved itself just in time!

Hello A.,
My daughter has had goppy eyes lately, I think they may be allergies.
Anyhow, she also had this problem as a small baby and this is what I did. I used a warm wash cloth and applies a little bit of pressure with the washcloth and massaged where her tear duct is. It took a few days, maybe weeks, but it went away. I also wash her face every night. I use a warm wash cloth and start from the nose side of her eye and wash out, then use a new section of the wash cloth and do the other eye.
Best of luck
C.

Both my daughters got this when they had colds, especially my older daughter. Her eyes were always crusty, watery with green mucous whenever she was sick. She's three now and I dont remember the last time it has happend to her, must be over a year so I dont think it happens anymore. I never treated it with anything, when the cold went away, the goupy eyes went with it. I was never too concerned.

Shortly after my son was born, he developed a watery, goopey eye. Only one eye, too! The doctor told me it was a blocked tear duct and could take up to one year to clear up! They didn't seem to think there was anything I could do to help it other than to keep it clean by wiping with a damp cloth or cotton ball. Not much later, it was suggested to me that I try massaging the inside corner of his eye. Either it worked or the timing of his eye clearing up was coincidental, but he has not had any weepyness or goopy stuff in his since. Just be sure to be gentle and not poke her eye!

yeah, just use a clean warm washcloth to rub the crust out and away from the eye. oh those little immature ducts will get ya everytime.

might be ear infection too. lots of times would be the only way i knew my sons had ear infec b/c they wouldn't get fever or tugging at ears, but 'leaky' or 'goopy' eyes it was ear infection...

Hi there,

I am a PA student and you said your daughter had a cold recently. Sounds like she may have viral conjuntivitis, or "pink eye" now. Often times they will turn bacterial and end up in both eyes. Since your daughter is so young, I would take her to see her provider.

Hope that helps!
Andrea Gamez, PA-S

It was 12 years ago- but I remember it lasted a long time- at least 6 months, before it finally cleared up on it's own. Give it time before you try an operation. A blocked duct should only be sleepies in the corner of the eye, if I remember correctly.

If her eyes are crusted around the upper and lower eyelashes and are sticking together, then it is pinkeye.

This happened with my son as an infant. I would massage the eye and tear duct with a warm wash rag. It would usually clear up in a day or two. If this didn't work the pediatrician can prescribe an ointment to help clear it up.

All 3 of my children experienced this as newborns. My first had it for a long time - on and off until 8 months. The best remedy is a warm but not too hot washcloth placed on the eye to loosen the crustiness. Don't use any soap at all. If it is a blocked tear duct they won't do anything until 12 - 18 months anyway.

But, if you think she is in pain you should call her dr.

My daughter had blocked tear ducts in both eyes. When it was real bad (the crusty stage), the doctor gave me some prescription ointment, which I used and it cleared up right away (like maybe 4-7 days) in the eye that was less affected. For the other eye, the doctor said it should naturally go away by the time she turns 1, and it went away several months before that. I did not use the ointment very much, only when it got crusty or gunky.

Sounds like a blocked duct to me. Both of my boys (now 7 & 3) had blocked ducts. Children usually grow out of this. You can clean the goop up with a warm washcloth. Do not use your fingers or let anyone else clean your child's eye with their fingers as this can cause pink eye. I had a mess of a time with my oldest and everyone wanting to "clean" his eye. He kept getting pink eye and due to being on the meds so very often he got thrush. Thrush is a nightmare to get rid of! Had to always wash and steralize everything. I even had to get a germ doctor to help because maning the boiling water all day long was just not an option.

The meds that are typicaly giving for thrush just don't work very well and my son eventually had to be on dyflucan (sp?) anyway this med cleared up the thrush in about a day!! Big change from the messy purple stuff you have to swab all over the mouth of a baby. (Not so much fun!)

Also it is possible that your daughter could have allergies. I feel though that it is a pluged duct and just keeping the eye clean with clean hands wiping the eye with a warm soft cloth should help the eye. A duct can cause off and on problems up until a year of age. But it is always wise to check with the doctor!

most likely she is wiping her nose with her hand and then touching her eye. if her cold is not really bad she will get a few crustys at night. if there is alot af mucus she will actually get pink-eye from it, and be able to infect other children as well. just explain to her that she needs to wash her hands alot throughout the day and try not to touch her face where germs may be present. good luck.

My son had the same thing and the ped told me it was a blocked tear duct. Just wipe her eye with warm water every day. If it is really crusty, leave the warm washcloth on her eye for a couple of minutes to get it soft and just clean it up. It will correct itself in a week or two.
=)T.

I have a 6 week old and he ha5 this problem from week one to week 4. At first I thought it would just go away, but it didn't. So I called the pediatrician and they said as long as the whites of his eyes were not pink, then he just had a blocked tear duct and to massage below the eyebrow from the outside in, 3 times a day, and it should go away. And if not to take him in. The crustiness went away in 3 days. Good luck!

My daughter had the same thing when she was only a few weeks old, and we took her to the doctors. They said it was a blocked tear duct and gave us eye drops for her, and told us to use a warm, wet washcloth to loosen up the crusty stuff. With the drops and the warm washcloth, it went away in no time.

A.,
Sounds like she might have pink eye? .....If you have a cold or flu & rub eyes, you can infect the eye. It is also very contagious..be careful, wash hands often. Make a Dr appt cause if it is pink eye she will need an antibiotic....
Kids also will get pink eye when they are sick from drooling on thier pillow. I know it sounds kinda gross but we have had this happen. The doctor thought it was from being stuffed up and not being able to breathe very well which caused them to breathe thru thier mouth which caused some drooling on the pillow, once the flu bug got in the pillow, it got in the eye.... It may just be a tear duct but since she had been sick, more than likely it's conjuctivitis...pink eye.
Good Luck.....

Hi A.,

My son got this around 6 weeks also, even though he didn't have a cold. The pediatrician said it was a blocked tear duct, and that it should go away on it's own. It lasted probably about 1 month (it came and went). I would keep cotton rounds handy around the house and in his diaper bag. Just get one wet with warm water and wipe from the inside of the eye, out. The warm water melts the crusties away. Plus, the warmth seemed to be very soothing for him. Sounds perfectly normal to me - I wouldn't worry too much as long as there is no redness or irritation.

Take Care,
L.

Sometimes with colds stuff will come out of the eyes. Also, a clogged tear duct is a possibility, in which case you could try massaging the corner of the eye throughout the day. If it isn't red, it probably isn't pink eye, but it's still worth a look by a doctor just in case.

Hi A.,

I have experienced this with my twins just recently.Not sure if your breastfeeding but if you are you can place a few drops in the affected eye either before you put her down to sleep or after she wakes. It may sound strange but this really works not sure why. Should clear up in a day or two.

My son had a clogged tear duct. The Dr. did prescribe some drops for us since the crust was greenish in color but he also suggested that I lightly massage the inside corner of his eye with my pinky in order to loosen the clog. It seemed to work. I am sure your daughter is fine.

A.,

My daughter gets this when she has a bad cold (14 months now)- it seems to be her sinuses actually draining through the tear ducts- is harmless just annoying- I know with my daycare- I had to get a note from her doctor stating that it is not contagious- just an mild annoyance.

I have had to deal with clogged tear ducts and pink eye. Clogged tear ducks usually occur from birth, but not always. Pink eye is contagious. There is usually redness to the white part of the eye and the inside of the lower eye lid and possible swelling. There is pink eye that is bacterial in cause and viral in cause. Bacterial is not common in babies unless someone else in the house had it and accidently spread it to the baby. Viral pink eye is common in children with colds. The congestion in the nasal cavities from the cold can irritate the tear ducts. The tear ducts drain into the nasal cavities. Bacterial pink eye requires antibiotic ointment to help clear the infection. Viral pink eye does not require antibiotic ointment. Using a warm wash cloth on the affected eye will help soften the discharge and help the eye to clear itself. Your daughter may have a clogged tear duct or viral pink eye from her recent cold. Either way a warm wash cloth will help. If she has a clogged tear duct, massaging the inner canthus of her eye will help remove debris from her tear duct and promote opening of the duct. My daughters clogged tear ducts took months before they opened. If you are seeing improvement everyday, it was most likely the cold that caused your daughters eye discharge. You know your daughter best. If you feel like she needs to go to the doctor, take her.

Although it sounds weird, putting a few drops of breastmilk in her eye, if you are still breastfeeding, actually works great. There are anitibacterial and antibiotic properties in it that work wonders... I heard it from another mom when my baby had a similar issue at a couple weeks old and although it sounded weird, and gross, I tried it and it worked. Just thought I'd throw it out there...

Hello,

My daughter who just turned two in July had problems with a blocked tear duct in both eyes. My pediatrician recommended that I put a couple of drops of my breastmilk in the corner of her eyes. Who knew breastmilk would help. Anyways, her eyes always cleared up the next day. Good Luck!

This very old remedy has worked many many times....if you are a breastfeeding mom you are in luck because all you have to do is squirt some breastmilk into your babies eye and really let it flush around. The breastmilk has something iin the composition that clears up clogged ducts. If you are not a breastfeeding mom you might have more trouble with a fast easy alternative...unless you know a lactating healthy woman!

Yes, actually,.... what I did was warm water compress with a rung out soft washcloth... (This helps keep the duct from getting or staying clogged.) You can also go to a health food store, and purchase a very small eye dropper bottle of Calloidal Silver.. as it has antiseptic/antibiotic qualities. (They make it for this purpose, and can be found in the children's section.) It doesn't sting, isn't goopy like the ointments your doc may use,... and doesn't create other complications that some antibiotics can on new babes little systems....Another thing I've heard/read about is using breastmilk drops... as they too, have similar qualities, and come from the same household as the "germs"... custom cooked medicine. (La Leche website will have details...)Hope that helps...
J.

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