Is newborn eye discharge a cause for concern?


Quick Answer

Newborn eye discharge is quite common and easy to treat, according to baby and parenting expert, Dr. William Sears. This condition is called blocked tear duct and is caused by small tear ducts that did not completely open at birth or that somehow got clogged. The blocked ducts then cause the tears to accumulate in the cavities of the eyes near the nose.

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Full Answer

Dr. Sears explains that the excess water build-up causes a slight infection, which appears as the noticeable discharge. To treat this condition, wash the drainage away using a soft, clean cloth. Do this repeatedly throughout the day, as necessary. Next, in the area between the corner of the eyes near the top of the nose, use the tip of a clean finger to gently massage the area in a semi-circle motion. The movement should go inward toward the nose from the corner of the eye. Repeat the movement for up to 10 cycles several times a day. The pressure helps the tear ducts open.

Mother's milk can also be used to help the blockage, Says Dr. Sears. Express a couple of drops of breast milk and, with the tip of a finger, place them in the corner of the affected eye. Breast milk contains natural antibacterials and white blood cells that help combat infection.

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