Eye Burr and Tear Duct Obstruction in Babies

What causes eye burrs in babies, how does it pass? What causes tear duct obstruction, how is it treated? In which cases is surgery required? What are some of the home remedies you can use for your baby’s eye health? Let’s start!

Why do babies’ eyes droop?

The main causes of eye burrs in children;

  • eye infections,
  • tear duct obstruction
  • Foreign body in the eye,
  • It could be a trauma to the cornea.

If there is continuous burring in the eyes within 3 months after birth, the reason for this is due to lacrimal duct obstruction.

  • If the burr in the eye is caused by a bacterial infection, a yellow-green discharge may be seen.
  • If the burr is unilateral, the reason may be a foreign body or trauma to the eye.
  • If the burring, which improves with the use of antibiotics, recurs when the use of the drug is stopped, the reason for this may be obstruction in the tear ducts.

What causes eye burrs in newborn babies?

  • If burrs occur in the first days after birth, the baby may have gotten an infection from the birth canal.
  • If burring in the eyes occurs after the first week of birth in babies, it is possible to get microbes from the outside or to block the tear ducts.

What is good for eye burrs in babies?

  • You can wipe or wash your little one’s eyes with a clean cloth dampened with warm water to remove the burr.
  • Eye burrs in babies can also be treated with a tea dressing. Especially boiled tea water is one of the factors that are good for burrs.
  • Eye burrs in babies can be removed with physiological saline. Saline drops used for nasal congestion in babies are also good for burrs in the eyes. For eye burrs caused by infection, appropriate medical treatment should be applied.

How is eye burr in babies treated?

Antibiotic treatment is usually applied for burrs in babies. Healing is achieved with antibiotic drops in burrs caused by microbes coming from outside.

General anesthesia may be required for treatments that extend beyond the baby’s 6th month . Therefore, if your baby has a chronic burr problem, it would be beneficial to act early. If burring is not treated, it can cause obstruction in the tear ducts.

How to do eye burr massage in babies?

  • You can massage your baby’s eyes with the help of cloth, cotton or gauze. During this time, your baby’s eyes should be closed.
  • If the lashes are stuck together, you should soak a cotton ball in sterile water and gently massage it from the inner corner of the eyelid to the side of the nose and wipe it off.
  • You should use separate cotton pads for both eyes. You should use each cotton ball once, moving it from the inside out, without rubbing it back and forth, and then throw it away.
  • Although this type of light discharge can happen many times in the first few months, it does not harm your baby’s eyes. Your little one will most likely get rid of the burr problem without the need for further treatment.

What causes tear duct obstruction in babies?

Obstruction of the lacrimal duct is a very common condition in newborns and young infants. Some babies are born with one or both tear ducts partially or completely blocked. These ducts usually open at the end of the 2nd week when tears begin to be produced.

Tear occlusion in newborn babies usually occurs when the membrane that covers the eyes is not lost at birth.

Sometimes a membrane or a small cyst can cause blockage or inflammation in the tear. Tear occlusion can cause recurrent tears and discharge from babies’ eyes. 

How to detect tear duct obstruction in babies?

If the blockage in the duct is not opened, it causes watery or mucous tears. In this case, the tears accumulate backwards and instead of flowing down the nose, they flow down the cheeks, giving the appearance of excessive tears in the eyes (may be in one eye). In such a case, you can understand that your baby has a blockage in the eye canals.

How is eye canal occlusion in babies treated?

Tear occlusion is not a harmful ailment. Eye canals are opened in the baby’s 9th month without any treatment. If the duct remains closed, it prevents the tears from flowing properly. This can cause eye inflammation in infants.

You may see that your baby has a yellow-green or white discharge from his eye, his eyelashes dry and stick together at night, and therefore he cannot open his eyes when he wakes up in the morning. But this discharge is not treated with antibiotics as it does not indicate infection.

On the other hand, if the doctor believes it is a real infection, he may switch to treatment with a special baby eye drops or cream. But for most babies, gently cleaning the eye with sterile water is sufficient.

Massage in the form of stroking downwards from the root of the nose during the first year is one of the effective solutions applied in the treatment of tear occlusion in babies. It is enough to repeat this 3 times a day, 10 times.

In the early intervention, the probability of opening the clogged canal is around 90% with a one-month regular antibiotic treatment and massage application. If there is no improvement despite this, tear duct obstruction in infants is treated with probing. The obstruction is removed by entering the tear duct with a thin wire-like instrument.

How is tear duct occlusion surgery performed in infants?

Tear duct obstruction may very rarely require surgical intervention. If drip, massage and probing applications do not produce results, it is necessary to turn to more complicated surgery. The surgery can be performed in 2 ways:

  • In the first method, after entering the pouch, the closed part is opened towards the nose with a special laser probe.
  • The secondary method is the mechanically applied microsurgery method. In this, the closed sac is opened and combined with the nose.
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