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Tears in the baby: anxiety or harmless phenomenon

Most often, parents do not immediately begin to worry, noticing increased tearing in newborns and infants on one or both eyes. But, of course, if it is not accompanied by reddening of the mucous membrane, and even more so - by suppuration of the eye. Most often, the cause of this symptom can be easily eliminated, but sometimes it is necessary to resort to treatment and even to certain surgical procedures.


The most likely causes of a symptom

So, should one be alarmed if one or both eyes have started watering in a child for no apparent reason? In many cases, this symptom can disappear as spontaneously as it appeared. Tears, for example, can stand out in the cold or when a baby gets into a warm room from a cold street. Moreover, if this phenomenon becomes protracted, parents need to pay attention to this, since such a symptom may indicate the presence of problems with the health of the baby.

Cold and viral diseases

A child suffering from ARVI or flu will surely have watery eyes. Increased tearing in this case is accompanied by fever, runny nose and cough. So here the reason lies on the surface.

SARS in the newborn

When the child has an acute respiratory viral infection or flu, along with the traditional symptoms of these ailments, tearing is present.

Allergic reaction

The immune response of an infant to allergens can most often be caused by certain foods, if it is artificially fed or complementary. Babies that eat only breast milk are also not immune to allergies if the nursing mother's menu contains substances that cause a negative reaction in the baby. In addition to the discharge of tears, this symptom is also often accompanied by a rash, runny nose, cough, desquamation and itching of the eyelids.

In addition, babies with allergic tearing can cause pet dander, plant pollen, household dust, certain medications, etc.


Inflammation of the conjunctiva is characterized by redness of the mucous membrane of the eye, itching and discomfort in the eye, photophobia. The child is restless and constantly trying to rub his eyes. After sleep, the eyelids may turn sour, that is, suppress.


Unilateral conjunctivitis - there are signs of inflammation

Usually conjunctivitis begins on one eye, and then the second is involved in the process. The cause of inflammation may be a minor injury to the eye, which the infant may accidentally inflict on itself, scratching the cornea or mucous membrane with a fingernail while making unconscious movements with handles.

Baby anxiety with conjunctivitis

When conjunctivitis, the child tries to rub his eyes, which aggravates the disease

Conjunctivitis - School of Doctor Komarovsky: video

Foreign body

Active secretion of tears can be observed when small particles enter the eye - specks, eyelashes and small insects. In this case, lacrimation will continue until the foreign body is washed out of the eye in a natural way or removed by a doctor. In no case should you try to remove it yourself, as inept actions can cause injury to the eye.


Dacryocystitis is the inflammation of the lacrimal sac, which occurs as a result of the disruption of the normal outflow of fluid, causing the contents to stagnate, and active reproduction of pathological microorganisms begins in it. Causes leading to the development of pathology in infants:

  • congenital anomalies of the lacrimal canal - narrowing, lengthening, tortuosity, closure of the canal with an embryonic film, etc .;
  • traumatic damage to the canal during medical procedures (rinsing, sensing, etc.), resulting in adhesions.
Eye Suppuration with Dacryocystitis

Persistent suppuration of the eye in infants may indicate the development of dacryocystitis

What do we have to do

If tearing in infants is not episodic, but steady, you should contact a specialist even in the case when there are no signs of inflammation and suppuration. The pediatric ophthalmologist will determine the cause of increased tearing and prescribe appropriate treatment, if necessary. Parents should firmly grasp that the choice of therapy is the prerogative of the doctor, self-treatment is by no means permissible!

As therapeutic measures, depending on the cause of the symptom, the following can be proposed:

  • rinsing eyes for 2-3 days with a weak solution of furatsilina;
  • administration of anti-inflammatory nonsteroid and antibacterial drugs;
  • administration of antihistamines;
  • rinsing and compresses on the basis of natural products - weak tea leaves, chamomile infusion, sage or dill seeds (2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water);
  • special massage of the tear pouch;
  • surgical correction or sensing of the tear duct.
Eye wash

Eye rinsing of the baby is performed using a cotton pad.

The eye wash technique is very simple; any young mother can handle it. Pre-cooked herbal extract should be allowed to cool to body temperature (36–37 degrees), then strain. It is better not to moisten the cotton pad completely in the solution, but to drip on it with a pipette. The flushing direction is from the outer corner of the eye to the inner.

Among young mothers of more than one generation, there is a tenacious myth about the benefits of washing baby’s eyes with breast milk, which allegedly have healing properties. This can not be done in any case! Breast milk is an excellent nutrient medium in which pathological microorganisms successfully multiply!

Tips of authoritative experts on how to eliminate pathology

Pediatrician Yevgeny Komarovsky recommends that when making a diagnosis of conjunctivitis not rush to prescribe antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drugs, but to carry out allergy tests beforehand in order to be able to eliminate the provocative factor and select the appropriate therapy.

Scheme of the massage of the tear pouch

For dacryocystitis, a special massage of the lacrimal sac will help.

Pediatric ophthalmologist E. A. Komarovskaya believes that in many cases with dacryocystitis, one can do without surgical manipulations by applying a special massage of the tear pouch. In her opinion, the appointment of antibiotics will not help eliminate the main cause of eye suppuration, and a correctly performed procedure will contribute to breaking the tender adhesions of the lacrimal canal, as a result of which its patency will fully recover. One way or another, the final decision is made by the attending physician.

Massage of the lacrimal canal: video

Episodic tearing in infants does not mean that he has any pathology and does not require a visit to a doctor. However, when alarms appear - purulent discharges, signs of irritation or inflammation of the eyes, restless behavior of the child, his constant attempts to rub his eyes, he should be sent to the children's clinic without delay.


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