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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Recurrent sticky eye...

(12 Posts)
Cheezywotsit Tue 31-Aug-10 16:22:54

Hi all

my dc has a recurrent sticky eye, which often results in greenish mucus and a wartery eye. We have had numerous courses of drops (cloramphenicol?) and whilst these temporarily help, stopping using them results in the sticky eye again. The dr says she will prob need an operation on the tear duct after the first birthday but I really want to avoid a general anesthetic if possible. Does anyone have any experience of this or ideas of things to try?? Thanks in advance

DBennett Tue 31-Aug-10 17:21:25

It sounds like there is an issue with the nasal lacrimal duct.

This will stop drainage and leave the eye open to recurrent bacterial infections, which seems to be what is occuring.

Surgical treatment is the only option and there can be some pretty severe complications if this isn't performed.

In the mean time, if you don't like using antibiotics then boiled (then allowed to cool) lightly slated can be used to bath the eye.

But really, you are keeping the problems at bay until the surgery.

On a side note, talk with your Dr. about avoiding a general.
It's not likely they'll consider other options due to your dcs age but they should be able to talk through your concerns and clear up any misunderstandings you may have.

Northernlurker Tue 31-Aug-10 17:25:17

My dd3 often had a slightly gunky eye but it wasn't as bad as yours. I used to gently stroke that area when feeding her as I read that could help keep it unblocked. I also used to squirt a bit of breastmilk in it when occasion demanded grin

Cheezywotsit Tue 31-Aug-10 17:29:58

Thanks fOr the swift response! You mention serious complications if the surgery isn't performed. Can you offer any further info on this? Thanks again!!

gordonpym Tue 31-Aug-10 17:30:20

While operating her eye, her whole face (and part of body) will be covered, and children get very scared and distressed by this. A GA has to be given, sorry

DBennett Tue 31-Aug-10 20:20:51

The conditions main complication is an infection of the clear window of skin (cornea) at the front of the eye.

If this occurs prompt treatment is required to avoid scarring of the cornea.

Obviously the likelihood of this will depend on the severity of the your child's condition but if the infections are as regular as you say the surgery will probably need doing to avoid this complication.

4nomore Wed 01-Sep-10 16:17:59

My son had this pretty much constantly throughout his first year (I'd been told 18 mths for the consideration of an op tho') and somewhere around 14 months it pretty much cleared up. He went on to have a few more gunky eyes up to about four years old (no more than the average child really) and he's been ok since then. Don't panic yet, it may be ok

clareanna Sat 04-Sep-10 20:14:27

Hi my ds had this. The first op was at 12 months and was a very light ga- procedure took about 15mins. That was to use a probe to poke through the tear duct. In (I think) 80% of cases that solves the problem. My ds was unlucky and continued to have a watery eye, so had to have a further op when he was 2 - this was to place tunes in his ducts to help 'teach' them to stay open. They are kept in place for 6-8 months then removed. Unfortunately my ds's popped out after 4 months and he had to have them removed early. But they worked and his eye is perfectly fine now.
The ga is distressing, but they are very quick procedures and done in the day. He recovered very quickly and was soon eating and drinking. Afterwards he had some minor discomfort for a day but was fine. Hope this helps

ShirleyL Sat 04-Sep-10 23:20:16

My ds had this too, doc said he would need an operation at 12 months but when he seen the consultant he wanted to leave it another year. At around 15 months it got really bad and the gp prescribed a cream fusidan or something like that can't remember the exact name and within 2 days it was cleared up.
I also tried an old wives tale at this time too, it was to swipe your saliva first thing in the morning across his eye, ie before you've had anyhting to eat or drink and only one sweep each morning.
I honestly don't know which of these worked but I was willing to try anything as his was really bad from a few weeks old

DBennett Sun 05-Sep-10 00:01:55

The saliva thing is probably a bad idea.

Human mouths are full of some pretty nasty bacteria.

Stick with boiled (and cooled) water.

Karoleann Sun 05-Sep-10 10:30:49

Have you been advised to try duct massage? The ducts usually get blocked due to something called a mucocele. If you google nasolacrimal duct massage you should find a link on how to do it.
Any probs post and I'll find a link for you.
If it doesn't clear the surgical procedure is very straight forward now.

NellyTheElephant Tue 07-Sep-10 20:46:33

My Ds had this throughout his first year. I was told that they would consider the op around 18 months if it didn't clear. He had endless drops / ointments etc, which would clear it while I used them but then back again immediately, around 8 months I decided enough was enough with all that and followed advice of one doctor to gently massage the tear duct and keep it clean by washing with cotton wool and cooled boiled water. This really helped to manage the problem. When I massaged each eye huge amounts of gunk would come spurting out which I could clean away and then the eyes would remain fairly clear for some hours so i could manage it for him. Like one of the previous posters I suddenly realised at around 14 months that it had pretty much cleared up. He was fine until he got a cold and it all went haywire again, but cleared again after a few weeks. He also has problems with glue ear - my doctor says that it is not uncommon for the two to go together (all ducts and tubes being too small it seems!). I am hopeful that he wont need the duct op, but may still need gromits for his ears when he hits 2.

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