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Blocked Tear Duct - can it cause permanent damage?

(12 Posts)
Kif Sat 15-Jan-05 20:18:36

My Dd (10months) has had a blocked tear duct from birth. I know that the treatment is a blunt needle to open it under general anasthetic. Am I risking any permanent damage putting it off?

GP up to now has said 'wait to see if it opens by itself', but now talking about refering us. We've had recurrent conjunctivitis in that eye. I've mainly been keeping it clean and massaging the corner... given up on going to GP for antibiotics ... hate idea of general anaesthetic... am I risking her health by these actions?

Marina Sat 15-Jan-05 20:26:50

Hm, I was about to say no, but our ds' tear duct blockage, which only resolved at two, never caused any conjunctivitis.
We have the recurrent antibiotics dilemma with dd for a different reason, hate having them all the time too.
I don't think you are risking her health - but why not take up the referral and discuss it all with a specialist anyway. If you are in London and can ask to see someone from Moorfields (because you are particularly reluctant about invasive treatment) you would be seeing some of the best in the land...

SofiaAmes Sat 15-Jan-05 22:57:37

My ds had a blocked tear duct from birth. It gave him lots of trouble with conjunctivitis and he often woke with his eyes glued shut from all the goo (especially when he had a cold). My gp also said to wait and let it resolve itself and that if it didn't by the time he was 2 they would pierce it. I was doubtful and spoke to our paediatrician in the usa about it and she more or less said the same thing except that in the usa they generally don't use general anaesthetic for the piercing. Anyway, the gp did refer ds to a consultant who did refer him for the piercing, but the waitlist process took so long (over a year) that it cleared up in the meantime. Ds was just over 2. There were no lasting effects from it.
It wasn't clear that there was any scientific evidence that massaging the corner has any effect at all. Just make sure that you clean the eye with sterilized water and go straight to the gp at the first hint of conjunctivitis. I once left it to long and ended up at a&e with ds and the paediatrician told me off for leaving it too long.

polly28 Sat 15-Jan-05 23:03:33

my ds had a blocked tear duct from birth.I massaged the corner of the eye not because I was told to but because I felt compelled to get all the gunk out!Yes I still pick and groom him like a monkey .

We were told to let it resolve itself and it cleared when he was about a year old.

I must admit it drove me mad at the time.No long term damage though.

Actually if I remember rightly it resolved after a bout of treatment for conjunctivitis.

Kif Sun 16-Jan-05 10:11:45

SA - why a&e? How bad was it?

mears Sun 16-Jan-05 10:18:06

Kif - my neice had this problem and was referred to opthalmic specialist. She did not have surgery but was prescribed eyedrops not available from GP. Made a big difference. Being referred is not necessarily a bad thing to do.

SofiaAmes Sun 16-Jan-05 19:35:09

Went to a&e because our gp at the time was useless and it was the weekend and we have a paediatric a&e near us. Ds woke u with what looked like two black eyes. I forget what it's called but it was an infection around his eyes rather than in the eye. I guess it's more serious than conjunctivitis and doesn't clear up on its own.

morocco Sun 16-Jan-05 23:07:37

has anyone actually had the surgery? we are thinking about it as its driving me mad constantly cleaning his eye but as it does't botrher him even when his eye looks stuck together it seems a bit of a selfish reason.
I was told that in the UK the waiting list is a year on average so I guess it is Ok to wait til hes 2 but here they usually operate at 6 months - now hes 11 months. I worry that at 2 he will be more aware and scared of the op
any advice?

lou33 Sun 16-Jan-05 23:09:48

dd1 had it done twice. She had it with both eyes. First time only one eye got sorted, second time it was all cleared. She was 2, no problems with her, few tears when she woke but apart from that it was fine. She is nearly 13 now.

Kif Wed 19-Jan-05 08:11:28

Thanks for advice, guys.

morocco Fri 21-Jan-05 22:22:29

thanks lou33 for putting my mind at rest (a bit anyway!)

lou33 Fri 21-Jan-05 23:32:53

Just ask if there is anything else you want me to answer

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