WHY ARE MY BABY'S EYES CRUSTY?

Dr. Jim Martin 06/16/2014

african-american_baby.jpgIf your baby's eyes have become crusty, or tear more than usual, there are two primary possibilities that may be causing this issue. These symptoms will need to be assessed by an optometrist to provide the best methods for treatment and prevent damaging the delicate and developing eyes of you infant or child.

Are Blocked Tear Ducts In Babies Common?

The fragile structure of the eye and its supporting features are susceptible to complications. The tear ducts, which help to regulate moisture for the eye and play an important role as a self cleansing mechanism, can become blocked. If the duct is not draining the fluid from your infant's eyes normally, it gives the fluid no place to go. This causes a pooling of moisture.

When this happens you will notice that there is an excessive amount of tearing or crusting of your infant's eye, or eyes. It can also lead to a higher potential for the development of infection in one or both eyes.  

A blocked duct is common in infants, typically resolving without further complications as your child grows and the ducts become larger. It is not uncommon for the tear ducts of a newborn to not be fully developed and closed at birth, or to become blocked.

Depending on the underlying cause of the blockage this issues it aided by:

  • Gently clearing the crust away from the eyes when it develops. This can be done with a warm moistened washcloth or cotton.

  • Lightly massaging the tear duct to promote an open duct and flow.

  • Apply prescription ointment or eye drops as necessary for secondary infection.

In some cases, it may be necessary for a physician to open surgically the duct.

Could My Baby Have Pinkeye?

Pinkeye,  or conjunctivitis, is a very common infection that causes a pink or red discoloration of the eye and lids. It is also characterized by a yellow or green discharge and/or crusting. It can be caused by viral or bacterial pathogens or allergies.

This is a highly contagious infection that is easily treated with eye drops or ointment. It must be diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor to receive the appropriate medications and treatment.

To prevent reinfection it is vital that all family members follow preventive measures, such as regular hand washing and regular changing of sheets or linens.

When it comes to the care and treatment of your child's sensitive eyes, it is important to have knowledgeable professionals guiding you. At Broome Optical, the experienced Amarillo eye care team can provide you and your baby with premium attention. Whether you have concerns about your child's eye health or need routine care yourself or other family members, our eye care specialists can assist you.

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Guest Blogger, Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang

Education:
Graduated from West Texas A&M
Graduated from University of Houston College of Optometry with a Doctorate Degree in Optometry.
Northeastern Oklahoma State University College of Optometry  

Specializations:
Family eye care
Contact lenses
Pre and Post op care for LASIK
Pre and Post op care for Cataract

Post-Grad Work:
Therapeutic Optometrist and Glaucoma Specialist
 
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