WATERING OF THE EYES IN INFANTS
Most common problem in infants in the first 6 to 10 months after birth is watering or pus discharge from one or both the eyes.
Major cause for this is blockage of the nasolacrimal duct. Lacrimal duct connects the eyes to the nose. Tears from the eyes pass through this duct into the nose. Usually the duct gets connected to the nose before the baby is born. Occasionally this is delayed. In that case, the tears cannot pass from the eyes into the nose. Frequently it gets infected and there is watering of the eyes and / or pus discharge. On close observation one may find slight swelling between the nose and the eye. It occurs because of collection of water, mucus and at times pus in the lacrimal sac. When one presses on the swelling, mucus discharge comes out of the eye.
Treatment is to press on the sac area, remove the discharge and then clean the eyes with boiled water (cooled) and cotton, after which the secondary infection should be treated with instillation of antibiotic drops as advised by the ophthalmologist.
Normally the connection of nasolacrimal duct into the nose may take place in few months of time. Very rarely syringing of lacrimal sac with antibiotic is done and in extreme rare cases surgery is advised.
Last updated on 08-08-2001