Blocked or Clogged Tear Duct

Advice from PSP Parents who have dealt with their child having a blocked tear duct - and even one message from a parent who suffered from this condition herself as a child! 

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""I actually had this issue as a child and ended up having the procedure at age 5. In addition to discharge, my eye would occasionally swell up like a golf ball after age 3. I never had a problem after the procedure. I'm sure they have an updated approach now, but I wanted to share my positive experience even 34 years ago!"

 

"I had this w my son on and off. If your still breastfeeding you can put a drop or 2 of breastmilk in corner of eye.  You can see a cranial sacral therapist or osteopath who can make an adjustment to open up the area to prevent duct blockage. Def would avoid surgery."

 

"We had a blocked duct at birth but it cleared up on its own I think at about 3 months. We used homeopathic pellets called Euphrasia to make an eye wash which seemed to help.--Our son (who will be 3 on Wednesday) had the blocked tear duct surgery in May. I think we first saw an eye doc about it when he was about 18 months. The doctor said it would likely resolve on its own. At that point the blocked duct was just annoying but some time after my son's second birthday it started causing recurrent eye infections (throughout last winter). We returned to the doctor and he tried to manually "pop" the duct open right there in his office but that didn't work (apparently it does the trick in a small percentage of cases). At that point he did recommend surgery because he said it wasn't likely to clear up on its own (my son was probably almost 2.5 then). He also said that you don't want to wait too far past 3 because then the success rates for the surgery go down. We got a second opinion and that doctor agreed with the surgery recommendation so we decided to go through it. It was horrible to see my little boy go under anesthesia--but we were home by lunchtime and there was no residual pain or discomfort. We just returned to the doctor's office last week to have the stents removed and so far no more tearing. (The surgery involves inserting stents into the blocked ducts. Those stents are then left in for 4-6 months to stretch the ducts. They're removed on a few seconds at the doc's office--no more hospital or anesthesia.)  Our doctor is Brian Campolatarro. He is great. But the wait times in his office can be horrifying (like 3 hours horrifying) so now I only go first thing in the AM. Before we did the surgery we got a second opinion from Ann Arthur (in Brooklyn) and she too seemed very competent. The surgery was at NY Eye and Ear."

 

"My son's duct issue is not fully diagnosed, but I'm certain he has the same thing. My cousin's baby had the procedure at around a year old with no complications.--We'll be bringing this issue up, again, at his 2-year appointment. I'm really curious about the responses you get so I appreciate a follow up post from you with the information!"

 

""Our son had the same thing--his eye was constantly running, and his face was a mess of eye boogers. Our pediatrician said to give it until his first birthday, and then we'd have to do something about it (i.e. open the duct through a fairly minor procedure). We fretted about it for months, and then just as the birthday was approaching, we noticed that it had cleared up. Your pediatrician obviously knows more about [your child]'s specific situation, but I wouldn't worry about it too much--it may well take care of itself."

 

"My son was born with the same thing. We tried everything until I accidentally got breastmilk in his eye and - voila! try expressing a little milk in the effected eye."

 

"My daughter also had this up until almost 6 months (both eyes until about 3 months and then one that persisted longer). Our eye doctor friend recommended warm compresses (just gently on the affected corner) and massage - again just very gently on the affected corner. Actually once we started the massage it cleared up with a week! This may totally have been a coincidence but we were happy to see it go.  My friend said they do the procedure at a year. It is straightforward but does require general anesthetic for the baby - which is scary. So it's probably worth it to try the massage. However from what I hear it clears up for almost all babies by the time they are one."

 

"Our daughter went past her first birthday with the blocked tear duct in full force. Our ped wasn't worried. "Give it a couple more months," she said. Then, around 15 months, one day we realized it was gone. The constant goopiness, the redness...done. We hadn't even noticed. Turns out some things do take care of themselves..."