Baby's eyes are watery: what it could be (and what to do)

Baby’s eyes are watery: what it could be (and what to do)


A baby’s watery eye occurs mainly due to conjunctivitis, however it can also occur due to the flu, cold or obstruction of the tear duct, and is characterized by the presence of a yellow secretion, which can be liquid or dry, like small pebbles on the side. inside the eye.

In most cases, yellowish patches can be accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, redness in the eye and tearing, which causes the baby to always put his hands over his eyes and scratch, which can leave the area irritated, and, therefore, it is It is important to observe the baby and keep the eyes clean at all times.

Treatment for a baby’s watery and watery eye depends on the cause, and the pediatrician may recommend cleaning the eye with saline solution, applying eye drops or using antibiotics, in some cases.

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Main causes

The main causes of bleeding eyes in babies are:

1. Flu or cold

The flu or cold in a baby can have nasal obstruction, cough and fever, as well as a yellowish discharge around the eyes.

What to do: The treatment consists of keeping the baby’s eyes clean and strengthening the immune system through adequate nutrition, giving the baby orange and lemon juice, for example, as long as it is advised by the pediatrician.

2. Blocked tear duct

The function of the tear duct is to lubricate the eye and keep it free of possible microorganisms. Therefore, when there is an obstruction, the production of tears is impaired, favoring the growth of bacteria in the area that cause the appearance of yellowish secretion, which is more common during the first weeks of life.

What to do: This obstruction usually improves without treatment within the first year of age. In this case, the treatment consists of cleaning the eyes with saline solution and giving the area a small massage. In more serious cases, the pediatrician may recommend minor surgery.

3. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis in babies is characterized by inflammation of the membrane that covers the eyes and eyelids, causing redness in the eyes, intense itching, tearing and tearing. See how to identify conjunctivitis in a baby.

What to do: Treatment for conjunctivitis in babies must be guided by a pediatrician and can be done with the use of antibiotic or anti-allergic eye drops or ointments, in addition to recommending cleaning the eyes using gases humidified with filtered water or saline solution, depending on the type of conjunctivitis. .

How to clean baby’s eyes

On a day-to-day basis, during the bath you should rub a little warm water on the baby’s face, without using any type of soap so as not to burn the eyes, but to clean the baby’s eyes correctly, without the risk of worsening the condition. the situation, in case of conjunctivitis, for example, one should:

  • Wet gauze or a sterilized compress with saline solution or freshly brewed, but almost cold, chamomile tea;
  • Apply the compress or gauze to one eye at a time, from the corner of the eye outwards, so as not to block the tear duct.

Another important precaution is to always use a gauze pad for each eye, and you should not clean both of the baby’s eyes with the same gauze. It is recommended to clean your baby’s eyes in this way until they are 1 year old, even if they are not sick.

In addition to keeping the baby’s eyes clean, it is also important to keep the nose clean and free of secretions because the tear duct can become blocked when the nose is obstructed, and this also favors the proliferation of viruses or bacteria. To clean your baby’s nose, it is recommended to clean the outer part with a thin cotton swab dipped in saline solution and then use a nasal aspirator to completely eliminate any dirt or secretions.

When to go to the ophthalmologist

You should take your baby to an ophthalmologist if he has a thick, yellowish patch, and it is necessary to clean the baby’s or child’s eyes more than 3 times a day. If the baby wakes up with very wet eyes and difficulty opening the eyes because the eyelashes are glued together, you should take the baby to the doctor immediately because it could be conjunctivitis, requiring the use of medication.

It is also recommended that the baby be evaluated by a doctor when he or she presents symptoms other than rhinitis, such as cough, phlegm, rapid breathing, fever or irritability, as this may be indicative of a respiratory tract infection.

Make an appointment with an ophthalmologist in the nearest region:

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Doctor graduated from the Federal University of Rio Grande with CRM nº 28364 and specialist in Pediatrics from the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics.

We regularly update our content with the latest scientific information, so that it maintains an exceptional level of quality.

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