A blocked tear duct is a condition that can occur in babies and children. Tears are essential for maintaining optimal eye health, so if your child has a blocked tear duct, take them to an eye doctor and have their condition treated so that your child’s vision and eyes aren’t affected. Here is some information about blocked tear ducts in children that you should be aware of: Pediatric Ophthalmology South Minneapolis MN
What causes blocked tear ducts in children?
Matting in the eyes and excessive weeping are prevalent in newborns and younger infants. Moist eyes without symptoms such as red eyes are more commonly caused by a clogged tear duct, a condition known as dacryostenosis. The most common cause of nasolacrimal duct obstruction in infants is due to a failure of the duct’s guard membrane—the Hasner valve—to open. A clogged tear duct in a child might impair one or both eyes.
What can happen if your child’s blocked tear duct doesn’t get resolved?
Recurrent eye infections are common in children who have clogged tear ducts. This can be problematic as frequent infections may result in the scarring of the nasolacrimal duct, making the condition more difficult to treat. In rare cases, a child may develop an infection within the tear sac known as dacryocystitis, which is considered to be a medical emergency. Antibiotics are frequently used to treat dacryocystitis.
How to treat a blocked tear duct in children:
Most cases of blocked tear ducts, fortunately, resolve on their own or with simple treatments. Treatments can include (but are not limited to):
- Nasolacrimal massage two to three times per day
- Using a warm washcloth and removing any discharge/debris from your child’s eyes
- Eye drops should be used
If your child’s clogged tear duct does not resolve on its own, especially by time they’re 9 to 12 months old, nasolacrimal duct probing may be required. Tear duct probing is an extremely effective treatment. It is conducted under general anesthesia and is commonly done in an outpatient surgery clinic. In certain cases, a silicone stent is put into the tear duct system and left there for many weeks before being removed in the office.
If your child is exhibiting symptoms of a blocked tear duct, or you have reason to suspect that they may have one, you should take them to see a pediatric ophthalmologist near Lakeville MN, such as Insight Vision, as soon as possible so that their eyes can be examined and diagnosed, and treatment methods can be recommended or prescribed for them to treat their blocked tear duct.