Sometimes, during birth, there is a phenomenon of constriction or complete obstruction of one of the draining tubes that drain the tears from the eyes. Due to the obstruction, the lacrimal (tear) sac fills up with fluid that cannot be drained. This undrained fluid constitutes fertile ground for bacteria, enabling these to reproduce and causes inflammation and a discharge of pus. (This phenomenon characterizes approximately 6% of newborns).
The phenomenon is manifested by constantly wet eyes. We will often also see a discharge of pus and even eye inflammation.
In 90% of the cases, the phenomenon passes on its own as the child g
rows, by the time the child is one-year-old. In order to treat the problem, the discharges should be cleaned with cotton wool soaked in lukewarm water, or with special wipes. If there is a discharge of pus, antibiotic eye drops sho
uld be given. Performing massage of the lacrimal sac may help open the obstruction, drain out the bacteria, and assist the prevention of inflammation.
In case the obstruction has not opened by the time the child is one-year-old, it is necessary to perform opening of the nasolacrimal (tear) ducts.
How do we open the nasolacrimal ducts?
The nasolacrimal ducts are opened through surgery in which the infant is under general anesthesia. A tiny metal tube is inserted through the nasolacrimal ducts and with it, the nasolacrimal ducts are opened. A fluid is injected into the duct to check and ensure that the fluid flows freely. This method has a high success rate.