Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Blocked Tear Duct - Brief Version
What is a blocked tear duct?
When the pathway that carries tears gets blocked, that is
called a blocked tear duct. This happens often in very
young babies. Most of the time, only one tear duct is
blocked at a time.
Your baby may have a blocked tear duct when:
- One eye is always watery.
- Tears run down the face even when your baby does not cry.
- When your baby cries, the nostril on the blocked side is
- The eye on the blocked side is not red, and the eyelid is
- The problem starts before your child is 1 month old.
How can I take care of my child?
Gently rub the inner, lower corner of your baby's eye with a
clean cotton swab. That helps get rid of old tears that can
build up. To do this:
- Wash your hands.
- Start at the inner corner of the eye.
- Gently press upward.
- A small amount of clear fluid should come out.
Call your doctor right away if:
- Your baby's eyelid is very red or swollen.
- There is a red lump at the inner lower corner of the
Call your child's doctor during office hours if:
- There is a lot of yellow discharge from your baby's eye.
- Your child is more than 1 year old.
- You have other questions or concerns.