Your baby 0-1 year

Clogged lacrimal canal: what treatments?


Your toddler has a tear in your eyes all the time? Its lachrymal canal may be blocked. Dr. Joseph Bursztyn, ophthalmologist, tells us more about this particularity that affects about 4% of babies.

What is the role of the lacrimal ducts?

  • Located between the eye and the nosethe two lacrimal ducts (one for each eye) are 15 mm long and 3 mm in diameter. These small pipes allow the natural flow of tears to the nasal cavity. In some babies, one or both of these channels may be clogged, mostly at the nose. Involved: a "defect" during the formation of these channels in the embryonic stage.

What are the symptoms in case of blocked duct?

  • Tears can no longer be evacuated internally, they are evacuated from the outside and cause a large tearing, usually quite clear. Pus and crusts can sometimes form at the corner of the eye, as in conjunctivitis. When in doubt, it is best to consult an ophthalmologist.

What treatments are possible?

  • An intervention is possible, but ophthalmologists generally do not intervene before the 6 months of the child (except big infection), in order to give a chance to the canal to unload spontaneously. These flows are not painful, but they can be troublesome. To relieve your baby of these untimely tearing, eye baths, several times a day, are usually prescribed. Antibiotics should be avoided (except infection) because the secretions will stop the time of treatment, but will come back as soon as it stops. Ineffective, therefore, in the long run.
  • In some casesif the obstruction is at the punctum sac, the small pocket located between the inner corner of the eye and the nasal wall, a massage with your finger can relieve your baby. To be done only if your ophthalmologist recommends it.

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