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need advice about blocked tear duct

(21 Posts)
chicagomum Mon 25-Jul-05 22:33:21

ds is now 7 months, since birth he has had a block duct in his left eye (a drainage duct) which results in his eye periodically getting all "gunked up" and watery. it has greatly improved but still not 100% the paediatrician has said if its not resolved by about 10 months they may need to operate, has anyone had any experience of this, what the op invovles and any other forms of treatment possible

chicagomum Mon 25-Jul-05 22:55:29


edam Mon 25-Jul-05 23:20:36

No idea, really, sorry, but a friend of mine had this with her ds and don't remember it being particularly traumatic (think she got the same awful warning and then it turned out OK). Can ask her for more detail if you like but may not be for a day or two.

tiffini Mon 25-Jul-05 23:23:07

My DD has blocked tear ducts in both eyes, I was told they will operate when she is 2 if it does'nt fix itself.

Was also advised to massage down the side of her nose starting from the inside corner of the eye, for 5 minutes each time I changed her nappy, to help encourage the ducts to unblock, and I have to say this has improved it alot.

Fauve Mon 25-Jul-05 23:26:40

Keep asking - it's a while since mine were babies but I think it's common for the tear ducts to take a while to function properly. I seem to remember using breastmilk to clear dd's - could that be right? Anyway, it seemed like a big problem until I found out it wasn't if you see what I mean (in other words, it's quite common and can be sorted out without medical intervention). I'm sure someone on here knows. There's also a natural (herbal?) eye-drop thing called Eyebright which I think I used - sorry can't remember more! But with dd it sorted itself out, probably by about eight months or so.

ThePrisoner Tue 26-Jul-05 00:35:42

My dd had very narrow/possibly blocked tear duct and always had a tear running down her face! I was assured by the specialist that it was unlikely that surgery would be needed as it would hopefully clear itself as she grew - and she was fine (was about a year later?? can't remember, dd is now unemployed graduate so was a long time ago, and they probably still used rusty knives for surgery ...)

darwin Tue 26-Jul-05 05:34:47

hi my girl's eye cleared up after about 6 months with gentle massage under the eye near the nose. they still get bit gunky with eye goo -our name for it! when she is used to make me feel a bit sad when strangers came up and only commented on her eye .

katierocket Tue 26-Jul-05 07:09:11

my ds had this but the consultant I saw said they would always wait until 2 years as in the majority of cases they just get better naturally. My DS is nearly 4 now and his eye is fine.

franke Tue 26-Jul-05 08:13:11

My ds had this. Our doctor advised us to just press firmly once (not too hard) on the bone on the side of the nose by the eye socket once a day. Well we did that and it cleared itself up very quickly - not sure whether the bone pressing helped or not.

chicagomum Tue 26-Jul-05 18:01:13

thanks for the advice. is there anyone out there who has had to go down the surgical route? what does that involve? ds eye has flared up again today (was "glued" shut when he woke up this morning )

chicagomum Tue 26-Jul-05 19:29:31


chicagomum Tue 26-Jul-05 20:30:09

does no-one know about this?

hermykne Tue 26-Jul-05 21:06:30

my firends son has this , he is now 2 1/2, and went the surgery route.
the op was a general anathestic, no food from 5am that morning, op at 2/3pm, that went fine - he was ok as was the procedure, however it still occurs and she was told that he may need antoher operation, its about 6months maybe more since the op, and i am just back form hols with her in frnace and his eye was a gunked up again.

very annoying for her that it didnt work 1st time, we didnt know if that was a common result or not

billiejo Tue 26-Jul-05 21:40:14

Hi chicagomum, YES we have experience. My ds is 18mths and had a blocked tear duct from amount of massage seemed to clear it up, it was ALWAYS gunky and chapped/sore from constant cleaning and was also glued together several times a week after his naps. We went to our GP at 12mths and he immediately put us on the waiting list at Moorfields eye hosp as he said that if it hadn't improved now that he was one, it was unlikely to. He had his operation in June and voila!! BRILLIANT, complete success!! The op day was very stressfull as you can imagine, not because anything too painful happened, but because he was my little baby and i would have done anything to take his place. It was very quick, 1 hour from the anaesthetic to him being brought out from recovery, he was very weepy when he came round, but not in a "i'm hurting" way, more in a "what's going on" type of way. Within an hour of coming round he was stuffing cheese sandwiches in his mouth and running round like nothing had happened!! He didn't have an injection to put him under because he was too upset so they used gas instead and therefore i expected him to be really sickly afterwards, but not at all. I really would reccomend it, we still massage it every day, as they said that it was a condition that he would always be prone to, but other than that, absolutely no probs. HTH.


katierocket Wed 27-Jul-05 11:37:28

personally I would wait, why put them through an operation when it's likely to clear up by itself?

chicagomum Wed 27-Jul-05 20:12:21

i agree, katierocket, i have no intention of putting him through an op, and i hope it won't come to that, i just wanted to get the feel of how common a prob. this was, how people dealt with it and if he has to have the op, what its like and is it sucessful, thanks for all your comments everyone

chicagomum Wed 27-Jul-05 22:10:24

billiejo, if your around could you give me some details of exactly what the op involves the recovery period (for the eye i mean eg wearing a patch eye drops etc)

billiejo Thu 28-Jul-05 10:37:15

Actually, It's not that I CHOSE to put my son through this op katierocket, I am a mum for goodness sake, who would CHOOSE an operation unnecessarily. I was told very definately that it WOULDN'T clear up. Chicago mum, if you read on the many websites that cover this area , you will see that they mostly say that 12-18 mnths is the cut off point before they suggest it and that leaving it longer not only prolongs the agony of sore, weepy and chapped eyes, but also doing it earlier rather than later increases the sucess rate. TBH there was no recovery as my previous post says, no eye patch, just drops 3 times a day for 2 weeks.

billiejo Thu 28-Jul-05 10:40:29

Also, i forgot to mention that no cutting/ stitching takes place, just a small canula threaded down the tear duct to clear the blockage. THe procedure is so simple that in older children, they do it with a local anaesthetic.

SofiaAmes Thu 28-Jul-05 21:57:43

chicagomum, assuming you are in the usa, bear in mind that blocked ducts are dealt with differently in usa than uk. My ds had a blocked duct as a baby. Paed in usa was suggesting "operating" on it if it didn't clear up by 12 months or so. gp in uk was saying 2 years. Got gp in uk to refer us to moorfields at around 12 months...finally got 1st appointment at 18 months with referral for op at 2 years. I decided to wait and in the end it cleared itself up just before he turned 2. My understanding was that in the uk the op is always done under general anesthetic for a child that age, while in the usa it is generally done with a sedative. I think this may be the reason for the difference in waiting it out times.
Personally, I would wait it out. I would clean my ds' eye every morning with a damp tissue and when he had a cold, I'd do it once or twice during the night as well. He did get several eye infections as a result of the blockage, including one that was really severe (I was told off for waiting too long to take him in). So keep an eye out for any pink.

ggglimpopo Fri 29-Jul-05 10:54:06

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