Skip to main content

COVID Safety Protocols: Please refer to our safety guidelines here.

Home » News » My baby has a blocked tear duct – what does that mean? Learn with Dr. Jason Holtom

My baby has a blocked tear duct – what does that mean? Learn with Dr. Jason Holtom

Hi everybody. It's Dr. Jason Holtom from The Eye Studio. And today I want to talk to you about blocked tear ducts.

So the tear duct is also called the nasal lacrimal duct is a system that actually starts in the eyelids. There's a little hole that drains the tears called puncta. These holes connect to a tube towards the side of your nose and down your nose in the back of your throat.

And in 5% of infants, it's actually pretty common that you'll get a blocked tear duct.

And really what happens is just part of the tissue just never opened up. It's really common. It's nothing to worry about. There's no long term side effects, but we will wanna talk about what those things to watch for. Most of these kids will actually get better on their own within the first year, but there are some signs to watch for.

And so probably the hallmark sign is the teary watery eye. Just one side, especially just keeps watering all the time and it can be swollen. And generally we'll see some crusting or some discharge, usually a green snotty discharge along those eye ashes that will keep them almost stuck shut. The problem of those are also symptoms of other things like infections and other things. And so if you're in doubt, just give us a phone call at the office. We can always bring you in for a consult. You can also send us a picture. We can do a virtual consult. If you don't live in the area, then you can also just see a local eye care provider.