Little Munchkin with Clogged Tear Duct

by Isabella on June 16, 2012

So yesterday Eitan woke up with light yellow crusty discharge on his eye, it wasn’t enough to glue his eyelashes shut, but it was gooky :)  Of course, my first response is to go into doctor mode or PA mode I should say, and to start thinking about all the possible diagnoses that he can have, and diagnosing your own child is one of the most difficult things to do, and actually not recommended, but considering how tired I was, I didn’t want to drag myself and Eitan to the local pediatric office.

I took a clean paper-towel and wet it with warm water and gently cleaned the crust off his eye.  Then, I proceeded with my examination, which basically consisted of staring into my son’s eyes…romantic…isn’t it ? ;)  What I noticed is that mostly only his left eye was affected and that it was just tearing a lot, for no reason.  His sclera (white part of the eye), wasn’t red, and his lids didn’t look inflamed.  I figured I’d keep wiping the discharge as it comes and observe to see if his symptoms get worse.

Examination number 2 happened a few hours later, while we were reading “Pat the Bunny”, and thankfully his eye didn’t look much worse and still wasn’t red,and didn’t spread to his right eye, but the tearing persisted.  Based on those symptoms, I concluded that his left eye has a clogged tear duct.  That duct drains tears through the hole in the eye next to the nose and when it’s clogged, the tears can’t drain, pool in the eye, and overflow.

Thankfully, it is not conjunctivitis, as his eye would have been much redder, it didn’t look like a stye, since his lids weren’t red and didn’t have any lesions on them, and watery eyes secondary to allergies usually cause symptoms in both eyes.

Now all I had to do is decide on the course of treatment.  Essentially, a clogged tear duct usually resolves on its own, but it’s important to keep the area clean so it it can unclog.  I wiped his eye with a moist warm paper-towel a few times a day, and then decided to soak his eye with some chamomile tea, which has some antibacterial properties.  I basically made some cammomile tea, let it sit for a while, then cool down.  Then I placed the slightly warm teabag, which I squeezed lightly, onto his eye.  Of course after a few seconds he fought it, and I gave him a break.  3 times of soaking before sleep, and today his eye is tearing less.  Gotta repeat the treatment again, and hopefully it will resolve.

Arrr....I'm a chamomile pirate!

Another treatment option that is actually better than any tea is mother’s breast milk, and unfortunately, unless I start spontaneously lactating, I got none :( Lets hope that his eye doesn’t get worse, because if it does, it may need to be unclogged with a metal probe at a doctor’s office…and we don’t want that.

As an aside, speaking of Pat The Bunny, we liked the book a lot and all the textures and smells stimulated our imagination!  So Eitan gives it 2 very enthusiastic thumbs up!

So those are our adventures, wish our eye a speedy recovery :)

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