What can cause a baby to have watery eyes?


Quick Answer

In babies, persistent watery eyes are usually caused by blocked tear ducts, explains Mayo Clinic. Tear ducts carry away tears, and tears usually drain through puncta. Puncta are small openings in the inner portion of the eyelids, close to the nose. An infant's tear duct may not be fully open and functional for the first several months of his life, causing watery eyes.

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Full Answer

Massaging the tear ducts can help loosen tears that have collected in the upper region of an infant's tear duct, explains the National Health Service. To massage baby's tear ducts, a parent or caregiver should apply light pressure with his index finger and massage from the corner of the infant's eye towards the infant's nose. This massage can be repeated multiple times a day for a couple of months, and it can also encourage further development of the baby's tear duct.

A parent or caregiver can also soak a cloth in warm water and hold it against the infant's eye, states the National Health Service. Doing so can help the baby's tears to drain. If the infant has an infection, such as conjunctivitis, antibiotic eye drops may be required.

Watering eyes, also referred to as epiphora, usually resolves on its own when the cause is a blocked tear duct, reports Kids Health. However, if the condition does not resolve within 12 months or is leading to frequent infections, a doctor may recommend treatment via a minor surgical procedure. Since watering eyes can be caused by other conditions, parents are advised to consult with a doctor and schedule an eye examination for the child.

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