Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tearing/Crusting Eyes -- Infants

Kanti Pusulu -- Yellowish wet/dry crusting around the eyes of the babies is one of the common things that might be encountered in India. Some doctors actually give some antibiotic drops to the newborns in anticipation of any infection from the mother but in India, only when there is a problem do they give the drops.

There can be several reasons for tearing/crusting in an infant.

Make sure that the kid is not near any irritant or allergic object which is causing the tearing and crusting. If the tearing is accompanied by red shot eyes, runny nose or cough it might likely be an allergic reaction but this is indeed very rare in infants...

When there is such an occurrence, make sure the eyes are cleansed every once in a while before the discharge is crusted in the corners of the eye.
**Wipe the eyes clean with warm water cotton balls and clean them delicately.
**Do not let the kid rub the eyes excessively.
**Contact doctor immediately if there is any redness or swelling in the eye.

The reasons can be
* a blocked tear duct.
* a bacterial infection.
* a viral infection.

While the other two require medical intervention and confirmation that it indeed is an infection.. we can at home try some remedies to open up the blocked tear ducts as per my doctor.

A simple tip to stop tearing and crusting is
***When LO had crusting of the eyes, doc suggested me to press slightly on the nasal ridge and the place where the eye sockets meet the nose. Gently massaging the area between the eyebrows and eyes, around the eye sockets. It did help instantly. I was told to repeat the same gentle tapping massaging around the eyes and nose for about 20 times in the day, say 6 to 8 times rounds each time, 3 times a day.. ideally feeding times as the baby wont usually mind us doing that :).

If anyone at home has conjunctivitis be it bacterial or viral just keep everything separately including towels and bedsheets and if possible do not let them come near the infant. If it is you (the mom) who is infected take enough care not to stare into the eyes and take care of hygiene as much as possible.

If it is in the newborn stage, before 3 months of age, then it is most likely something to do with blocked tear ducts or nasal bone development or something like that, just the crusting and tearing, so do not worry...

watch out for external objects, redness, foul smelling crusts and keep the surroundings absolutely clean.

Thanks Renu for reminding me this one... LO had this as a newborn, so kind of missed my notice to update here.