Newborn Eye Discharge – Reasons and Solutions

A baby teary eye discharge

It can be a scary moment for parents when they find their newborn having any physical ailments. Sometimes newborns experience eye discharge and it is common in many infants. Understanding why and how it occurs will ease some of the worries and help address it better.

What are the Causes of Eye Discharge in Newborn Babies?

There might be many reasons for eye discharge in infants, and it could be something as simple as a common cold. Hence, it is important to observe the various aspects of eye discharge in newborn babies. Find out what might be causing this in babies. The causes of eye discharge in newborns are listed below:

1. Eye Infection

A baby may have teary eye discharge or watery eyes, which is a sign of an eye infection. An infection may develop due to bacteria, fungi, or virus your baby may have come in contact with. It can even occur when the baby is moving through the birth canal and has come in contact with a bacterium from the mother. If your infant has redness or watery discharge and continues to rub his eyes frequently, it is a sign of an eye infection.

2. Blocked Tear Ducts

Around 10 percent of newborn babies have this condition called, blocked tear duct. In this condition a baby has persistent watery eyes and the water does not drain properly. This leads to water pooling in the eyes of a baby which later runs down the cheeks even if a baby is not crying. Some of the other symptoms of this are pus-like discharge or redness of the eyelids particularly in the nasal corner of the eye.

3. Foreign Particle in the Eye

It is common that some small particles of dust or dirt blown into the eyes of the babies. If these dust particles are not removed, it can lead to a baby teary eye discharge. Other signs to watch out for are constantly blinking and rubbing of the eyes to remove the particle.

4. Common Cold

Eye discharge in babies suffering from cold is also common and it is mainly due to blockage. As common cold is contagious, a baby might get it from his parents if they are sick. If a baby suffers from common cold, it can lead to a runny nose and watery eyes.

5. Bacterial Conjunctivitis

This is a highly contagious infection that an infant may have from you or your family members. Common symptoms of this are pus discharge and sticking of eyelids together. This can occur in one or both eyes.

How to Treat Infant Eye Discharge?

If you notice these symptoms mentioned above in your baby, you must not panic and take necessary steps to treat them. You can tackle these causes at home but consult a paediatrician if the conditions persist for long.

A few things that parents can do to control baby eye discharge are mentioned below:

1. Wipe Away any Discharge

If you notice persistent watery eyes in your baby, make sure you wipe away any discharge with a clean, soft sterilized cloth. If it is sticky, you can also use warm water with it. Use a soaked towel to gently wipe away any discharge from your child’s eyes.

A mother cleaning her baby's eyes

2. Treating Blocked Tear Ducts

If your baby has a blocked tear duct, one of the ways you can help open them up is by gently massaging the inner lower corner of the baby’s eye also known as the lacrimal sac. You can even massage your baby’s nose a couple of times.

3. Pink Eye or Conjunctivitis

If your baby shows symptoms of pink eye, which is caused by a virus or bacteria, talk to your paediatrician. He will prescribe an eye drop and administer it as instructed by your physician. Keep a keen eye on any signs for the next few days once you start the treatment.

4. Antiviral Treatment

To ensure that pink eye does not become a recurring issue in your infant, consult your doctor for some antiviral medication to address any underlying condition your child may have. Pink eye leads to eye discharge, so it is better to take preventing measures.

Your baby will not be able to express any discomfort they feel by using words, but there are observable signs when it comes to eye discharge. To keep your child happy, it is important to watch out for these and treat them immediately.

Also Read: Baby Eye Infections