How do I know if it is a blocked tear duct or conjunctivitis?
WThey eyeball is kept moist by tears that is continuously produced by the tear- producing gland. Every time we blink, tears are swept towards the inside corner of the eye and drained through two tiny tubes called lachrymal ducts, also called tear ducts. From there, tears pass into the nasolacrimal sac, then into the nasolacrimal duct to the nose and, ultimately, to the throat for swallowing.
Some babies are born with a blockage within the tear duct system, usually the nasolacrimal duct.
The thin membrane that seals the nasolacrimal duct fails to open at birth. The symptoms of blocked tear duct include watery eye, tears running down the face, discharge of pus and increased susceptibility to infections. These symptoms can be similar to conjunctivitis. Babies born with blocked tear duct often get better without any treatment.
Sometimes, if it is persistent, they need medical management or need surgical management. Babies may need deep massage of the nasolacrimal, but it is difficult to do well. If it becomes infected we may need to prescribe antibiotics, to treat any bacterial infections.
Surgical intervention is not usually done until the baby is over one year unless this is severe and causing skin irritation.