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Personal stories about having a probing procedure to open a baby's blocked tear duct

These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.

Marta, age 35: Sevi was born with blocked tear ducts, and both eyes were mucky from the beginning. It really stressed me out worrying that his eyes were infected. I used antibiotic drops on and off when his eyes were red. But I worried about using the drops too much. Every morning his eyes were glued shut with gunk. It bothered me that people were always commenting about his eyes. When the ophthalmologist said he could have a probing at 6 months, I was ready.

Stanley, age 22: I have a 12-month-old son, Ismail, whose tear ducts just finally opened up. I was very resistant to probing. I just could not be adequately convinced that the procedure was necessary. I know that the possible serious side effects of anesthesia are very rare, but I couldn't justify that risk for a condition that caused me some inconvenience but did not jeopardize my son's well-being.

Beverly, age 26: When my eldest daughter, Whitney, was 1 year old, we decided it was time to have the procedure to open her tear duct. We had waited patiently for it to open on its own, but it had not. She would not let me clean them, and it was becoming very difficult to keep her eyes clean. She began to rub them a lot and they were red most of the time. We had the procedure, and her eye is fine now.

Myna, age 40: My daughter Tamera was born with a blocked tear duct. It really bothered me because she always had a teary eye. When she had a cold, she used to have mucus in her eye and her eye was matted in the morning. In some of her baby pictures, she has tears in her eye. I hated that my perfect little baby didn't look perfect, but I just could not stand the thought of putting something sharp near her eye, especially while she was awake. Eventually, when Tamera was 8 months old, the tear duct opened.

Author Debby Golonka, MPH
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Updated April 11, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 11, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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