Clogged Tear Duct Problem.

Updated on January 19, 2011
B.L. asks from Akron, OH
13 answers

Hello i am the mother of a 6 month old who has just recently in the past month and a half came to have problems with his eye. It started out with cellutitis which came out of no where, there was no signs of the infection it kind of showed up over night. After having the infection he was given anitbiotics for 10 days. we gave him the antibiotics. then stopped. a couple days passed looked at his left eye again. and it was pink and goopy and swollen all over again. i then took him to the doctor again they told me he had conjunctivitis. i waited and it was getting worse so i then took him to the hospital. they put him on a eye ointment called bactracin zinc and polymyxin B sulfate. He was on that for 1 week 3 times a day in his eye. the medicine finished with that. they told me at the hospital he had a clogged tear duct also. and that the infection caused it. now since that ointment has stopped after giving to him for 7 days. the syptoms are starting to come right back. he seems very irritated and rubbing his eye alot. crying all the time it seems. and i have been massaging his eye but it just seems to upset him more. also when he crys no real tears come out sometimes it just the goopy stuff coming out of his eye. i really need some help. i dont know what to do about his eye.

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answers from Phoenix on

I had that problem with my kids and I always just kept their eyes cleaned with warm water and a moist cloth. I'd wipe their eyes as often as it gooped up and it helped every time. They had clogged ducts as newborns and I did this too and it always helped. Good luck!

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answers from Indianapolis on

Both my boys had this...massage, warm compresses and if you nurse a couple drops of has healing properties...I did this and they were both fine by a year!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My son wsa born with 2 blocked ducts. We also did the massage to help them drain but had re-current infections and goop and crust for the first 6 months. We went to a pedi. opth. and both he and our pedi wanted to give it until 9-12 months to open on their own, b/c as the baby grows, so don't the "pipes" so to speak. Well, his never did open and we had probing surgery when he was a year. Basically, they insert a thin needle into the duct in the corner of the eye and slide it down the nose to open the passages. The surgery is less than 10 mintues...the prep and after care take longer than the actual surgery. He is 2 1/2 now and has had no issues at all with his eyes, infections, etc. I am SO glad we did it and would def. recomm. to other parents with kids with blocked ducts. Hope this helps!



answers from St. Louis on

definitely seek further medical tx, but in the meantime....not hot, but warm, compresses on the eye will do wonders! When he first wakes or when he's taking a bottle is the best time.....or even during diaper changes!


answers from La Crosse on

for my niece we would wash it in the morning and at night with baby shampoo. the rest of the day with a clean warm wash cloth. starting at the outter corner going toward the inner corner and cleaning up all the gunk that came out. one eye did clear up and the other one they had to fix with surgery.



answers from Boise on

My daughter had clogged tear ducts. I would get a warm, wet wash cloth and really gently press on the tear duct. But I'm no expert.

Below is quotes from

Clogged tear ducts are a common problem at all ages, although they are far more common in young children. While surgical intervention is sometimes required, most blocked tear ducts can be treated at home with common household products.
Diagnosing a tear-duct blockage is simple. Symptoms include excessive tearing, pain, and redness or swelling in the inner corner of the eye and lower lid. The swelling may be warm to the touch, and painful when pressed. A thick discharge, the same consistency as pus, is also common in a blocked tear duct.
Massage Treatment
To treat a blocked tear duct, massage from the inner corner of the eye down and across to the bridge of the nose. Alternate between massaging and pulsing the area gently. The eye will begin to flood and tear--the effect you are going for. The theory is that by stimulating the duct, the blockage will wash out.
Hot Compresses
After massaging the area, place a hot compress over the affected eye for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The compress will help with the pain and swelling, and loosen any residual blockage. Reapply the compress every two to three hours, as long as the swelling persists.



answers from Dallas on

Go to a pediatric opthamologist, it wold be covered same as a normal doctor by your insurance but you may need a referral from your pediatrician.
My youngest son had a clogged duct, it showed it's ugly mess at about 2 weeks. According to the opthamologist he was on the older end - most they saw were at the 6 month mark (but if you talk to pediatricians they tell you to wait till 9 months for the most part) follow the eye professionals on this one. They'll do a harmless check and dilate his eyes to make sure there are no further serious issues (bring him some sunglasses to wear home or a blanket to throw over his carrier). My son's was bad enough they wanted to open it up. It was done the same day as his consult in office, the doc said it was pretty bad - my husband stayed in the room with him- and there was the possibility of it closing back up. If it had closed up he would have had to go under for surgery, also if he had been closer to the 1 year mark they would have preferred to do a full surgery because they tend to be less tolerant of the whole thing as they get older. We had to give him drops for 10 days after the unclogging 3 times a day and haven't had any problems since.


answers from Kansas City on

Both of my kids had clogged tear ducts, my daughter had both, my son was only one. They were both cleared up by the time they were both 1. Their doctor said if they hadn't cleared up by the time they were 1 they would need a simple surgery to fix them. He told me something like 1 out of every several hundred cases only need surgery that most clear up on their own.



answers from Chicago on

My son had this and the tear duct may spontaneously open up. Doctors would like you to wait unti they are a year to a 18 months - then they will do a minor surgical procedure - but this is done after anethesia in the hospital.



answers from Chicago on

Take him to a pediatric opthamologist. Eyes are NOTHING to toy with.

There is a reason they call it "practicing medicine". Go to a specialist and take care of your LO.

I'm sorry you're going through this. We've had 3 blocked tear ducts in 2 different kids. Ended up having to have the surgery to open 1 up after it didn't clear on it's own. Spent a year of goopy eye off and on.

Have them check his eye for a scratch. It's possible with all of the irritation and rubbing that he actually scratched the cornea.



answers from Cleveland on

hey girl - i think the responses you have gotten are really good - i would just add one thing - make sure you are changing his bedding very very frequently. when he sleeps, the goopy stuff leaks out onto his bedding, and will reinfect him very easily. I learned the hard way on this one - when my oldest was 3, he had the same thing, an eye infection that would be back a few days after the medication was finished & my doctor recommended washing his sheets & pillowcases every day & that finally did the trick. My 6 mo old little girl now had an eye infection a couple weeks ago & we did the same thing - i changed her bedding after every nap (i used a lot of those thin receiving blankets & would tuck them in around the matress, 'cause lets face it, changing crib sheets are a real pain) and (knock on wood) it hasn't come back. Good luck!


answers from Austin on

We took our DD to an pediatric opthamologist and he "popped" it. It took 3 appointments, the introductory evaluation, the procedure, the follow-up. No problems since then... Ask your pediatrician for a referral to an pediatric opthamologist. It's a common issue.



answers from Indianapolis on

My son also had a blocked tear duct. We did the ointment and massage, that didn't work. Then he had the procedure where to use the needle to try to open it up, it was way worse on me then my son, but that didn't work. Finally they ended up putting a tube in his tear duct, much like ear tubes. Again, the surgery was way worse on me then my son. He had the tube in for a year or so (I don't really remember) and then they removed it. He has not had any problems since. Good luck getting this resolved!

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