Newborn eye discharge is something that all parents will start to worry about. Parents will notice pus – something that they will believe is sleep crust – in the eyes and start to panic that something is wrong.
There are a number of reasons why a newborn will have discharge coming from the eye and it is a common condition that affects almost 50% of babies.
Blocked Tear Ducts Cause Newborn Eye Discharge
The block tear duct is one of the most common and the easiest to treat. The problem is that these ducts do not always completely open during the development, which means that the tears are not able to be released.
This causes them to become clogged and will often lead to tears welling up in the eyes. This water becomes stagnant and it gets infected. The good news is that a doctor will be able to help this condition.
Treating Blocked Tear Ducts
The first step a doctor will do is use some clean water on a soft cloth to help remove the newborn eye discharge. This will need to be done several times a day and is something that you will be taught how to do correctly.
It is possible to massage the ducts to help with opening and unblocking them. Your doctor will be able to show you this and it will help to treat the condition. This is something that will need to be done as part of your daily schedule and should be done six times each day, at least. This will help to force any fluid out from the ducts, which will help to prevent them from getting infected.
Surprisingly, breast milk has been known to help, due to the antibiotic properties in it. This is something that you can do if you have decided to breastfeed. You only need a drop or two on the finger and then massage it into the tear ducts. This is a great option for newborn eye discharge in sensitive eyes instead of using medication.
The doctor will be able to prescribe ointments that have antibiotics in them. These will need to be used regularly to open the tear ducts. You doctor will want to check the process of the infection and the problem at every visit that you have, to make sure that it is going away.
Natural Opening of Tear Ducts
The tear ducts will open over some time naturally. They grow as your baby does, so you will usually see that the condition goes away naturally. However, there are time that the tear ducts will not open and it is usually due to the ducts being sealed with some membranous tissue. If this is the case, your doctor will usually refer you to see an eye specialist to help with the opening.
Other Problems with Discharge
Closed tear ducts is not the only reason for newborn eye discharge and there are times that this is a serious sign of infection and a life threatening illness. It is usually from the mother, if she has had some type of sexually transmitted infection during the delivery process. This is something that you need to see a doctor about immediately – or even go to the ER department – to help get treatment right away.