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The baby's eye watering happens mainly due to conjunctivitis, however it can also happen due to 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 some small pebbles inside the eye.
In most cases, yellowish crusts can be accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, redness in the eye and tearing, which makes the baby always put his hands over his eyes and scratch, which can make the area irritated, and, therefore, it is important to observe the baby and keep the eyes clean.
Treatment for watery eyes in the baby depends on the cause, and the pediatrician may recommend cleaning the eye with saline solution, applying eye drops or using antibiotics, in some cases.
The main causes of watery eyes in babies are:
1. Flu or cold
The flu or cold in the baby can have nasal obstruction, cough and fever as symptoms, in addition to a yellowish discharge around the eyes.
What to do: the treatment consists of keeping the baby's eyes always clean and strengthening the immune system through proper nutrition, being able to give the baby orange juice and lemon, for example, if advised by the pediatrician.
2. Obstructed tear duct
The function of the tear duct is to lubricate the eye and keep it free from possible microorganisms. Thus, when there is an obstruction, the production of tears is impaired, favoring the growth of bacteria at the site 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 in the first year of age. In this case, the treatment consists of cleaning the eyes with saline solution and doing a small massage on the spot. In the most severe cases, the pediatrician may recommend a minor surgery.
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 rumbling. See how to identify conjunctivitis in the baby.
What to do: The treatment for conjunctivitis in babies should be guided by a pediatrician and can be done with the use of antibiotic or antiallergic eye drops or ointments, in addition to being recommended cleaning the eyes using humidified gases with filtered water or saline solution, depending on the type of conjunctivitis.
How to clean baby's eyes
On a daily basis, during the bath, you should pass 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 properly, without the risk of aggravating the situation, in case of conjunctivitis, for example, you should:
- Wet a sterile gauze or compress with saline or freshly brewed chamomile tea, but almost cold;
- Pass the compress or gauze in one eye at a time, from the corner of the eye outwards, so as not to clog the tear duct.
Another important care is to always use a gauze for each eye, not cleaning both eyes of the baby with the same gauze. It is advisable to clean the baby's eyes in this way until he is 1 year old, even if he is not sick.
In addition to keeping the baby's eyes always clean, it is also important to keep the nose always clean and free of secretions because the tear duct can be clogged when the nose is obstructed, and this also favors the proliferation of viruses or bacteria.To clean the baby's nose, it is advisable to clean the outermost part with a thin cotton swab soaked in saline solution and then use a nasal aspirator to completely eliminate any dirt or secretions.
When to go to the eye doctor
You should take the baby to the ophthalmologist if he has thick, yellowish oozing, 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 it is difficult to open the eyes because the eyelashes are glued together, the baby should be taken to the doctor immediately because it may be conjunctivitis, requiring the use of medication.
It is also recommended that the baby is evaluated by the doctor when he/she presents other symptoms besides the sneezing, such as cough, phlegm, rapid breathing, fever or irritability, as it can be indicative of an infection of the respiratory tract.