Do you find sticky, yellowish discharge at the corner of your baby’s eyes? Well, it is quite normal among babies to develop sticky eyes that sometimes appear as flaky and crusty after sleep.
This happens due to narrow tear ducts in newborns. Accumulation of tears results from slight blockage in the tear ducts. The eyes look sticky when tears have dried up. If your baby too has the same symptoms, there is no need to worry as long as it does not happen in excess.
Sticky eyes are not a problem themselves, but you need to be careful and ensure your baby does not develop eye infection.
Signs You Should Look For:
If you find sticky eyes in newborn baby, you should be watchful of the following symptoms:
- See if there is redness of the eyeball resulting from inflammation or mild infection.
- Sticky eyes may develop into conjunctivitis in some cases. See if your baby is rubbing eyes too frequently.
- Consult your doctor. He may prescribe antibiotic eye drops.
- Make sure to wash your hands before applying the drops to avoid spreading of any further infection.
What You Can Do To Prevent Sticky Eyes In Infants:
There isn’t much you can do to prevent stickiness in eyes when your baby is born with blocked tear ducts.
- The ducts start opening and begin to drain normally after few months of life.
- In case they don’t open on their own, your doctor may suggest a fine probe under influence of anesthesia once he turns around 1 year.
What You Should Do?
You must know what you can do when your baby has sticky eyes. Here is what you should know:
- Sticky eyes in baby are caused by blocked tear ducts.
- If the condition worsens you need to consult the doctor for antibiotics.
- The doctor shall diagnose if it is the result of any bacterial infection.
- Bath the affected eye with saline water to keep it clean.
When To Visit The Doctor?
You need to seek immediate help of a healthcare professional in case of the following:
- If you find the discharge getting severe.
- If you find any sort of swelling.
- If you find redness or irritation in the eyes.
- In case the discharge turns green or yellow in color.
Any of these symptoms point towards a probable infection. You must take your baby to a doctor as early as possible in these cases.
Treatment For Sticky Eyes In Infants:
Your baby’s condition will start improving once the tear ducts are completely developed. It takes few weeks, which can even extend to several months in few babies. Here is what you should know:
- Use damp cotton if you find gluey substance developing around the eye.
- You can consult your doctor if you should massage the tear duct for few hours every day.
- You can use gentle pressure on the outsides of your baby’s nose while massaging.
- This helps clearing the blockage and aid development of the duct.
- If the duct remains blocked even after a year, talk to your doctor or may be an eye specialist.
- The specialist may suggest a procedure to insert a thin instrument in the duct to open it up.
- You must immediately talk to your doctor if condition starts deteriorating. This will help him diagnose if there is anything wrong with the eyelids of your infant.
Babies generally tend to outgrow these conditions post 6 months. In case the symptoms still persist, you must not hesitate to consult a doctor or an eye specialist. With proper diagnosis and treatment you can help your child enjoy a problem free future. Also remember that anything you do to help your baby should be done in consultation with the doctor.