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Blocked Tear Duct Treatment


newborn with blocked tear duct

Our 5 week old son has a blocked tear duct.  I have been told to massage it and apply breast milk several times a day, however it does not seem to be improving.  It is to the point now that his eye almost completely fills up with the yellow discharge several times a day.  We have been washing it out with warm water. 
Is our son in any discomfort because of the blocked duct.  Do we need to be concerned with any future side effects that this may cause his eyes?/ vision? 
Do you have any recommendations that can expedite the healing process?  As I said, it has been well over 2 weeks and we have not seen much improvement- if any.

It takes several months for a blocked tear duct to resolve. Most resolve between 6 to 8 months of life. The daily amount of discharge varies and if often worse when children have colds.

This is not a painful condition and should not affect his vision. Blocked tear ducts are a drainage problem. Normally tears drain into ducts near the nose. Your son’s drainage ducts are either too small or completely blocked. Without adequate drainage the tears collect in the eyes. The water portion of the tears evaporates and he is left with a yellow discharge in his eyes.

There are many remedies for blocked tear ducts: massage, antibiotic drops and breast milk. While I doubt any of these to be harmful, I am unaware of any research to support there continued use. I normally recommend warm washcloths to clean out the gunk and time.


see Blocked Tear Ducts

My 2 month old daughter’s eyes have had a yellow discharge since birth. Our pediatrician said it is a “clogged tear duct”. He prescribed antibiotic drops and encouraged us to massage her tear ducts but they a (... more on Clogged Tear Ducts)


Written March 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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