How are your child's eyes?

They are watery or red (irritated)

They are watery or red (irritated)

Watery eyes in children has two main origins: the first is a watering reaction to an inflammation of the eye; the other origin is mechanical where the tears will not be evacuated correctly from the eye.

The main cause of watering in infants is called puncture of the tear ducts. Tears are produced at the corner of the outer eye, they will lubricate the eye, and they drain at the inner corner of the eye, into the nose. Sometimes from birth, this escape route is blocked and can cause the eyes to water. It is a benign pathology that progresses favourably, in more than 95% of cases, between the age of one and two years old and it is something that will need to be monitored. In toddler babies, what you need to be aware of, but it’s usually associated with extreme light discomfort, intense watering and big doll’s eyes, is congenital glaucoma. It is due to high pressure in the eye, which is an ophthalmic emergency in infants.

The other cause linked to inflammation is reactive lacrimation, most often secondary to conjunctivitis in children, typically in cases of influenza. There are also the small traumas that we see in children who can get a finger in the eye, etc., causing scratching of the eye, which requires examination under a microscope to rule out these problems and to treat them.

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