Watery or sticky eyes experienced by newborn babies, particularly after sleeping is a quite common issue. Most of the time this issue does not cause any harms to babies, although thorough treatments still need to be performed.
Causes of sticky eyes on babies
In infants, sticky eyes might be triggered by several different risk factors. Some factors lead to harmless watery or sticky eyes, while some others might cause problems which need further treatments. Among the most common causes of sticky eyes in infants are:
Although there are several kinds of conjunctivitis which attack the eyes, bacterial conjunctivitis is the most common cause for baby sticky eyes. This type of conjunctivitis may spread from one eye to another and causes pus-like discharge which makes the eyelids to stick together, especially when a crust is formed from overnight sleeping.
Clogged tear duct
Tear ducts located in upper and lower corners of the eye, and along the nose have a significant role in draining tears. When one of these ducts is clogged, tears cannot drain properly. This leads to tear build up around the tear duct, causing crust formation during the night and leads to sticky eyes. In infants, clogged tear duct is a familiar issue, in which the clogged tear duct is going to resolve within baby’s first 12 month of age.
Is sticky eye in babies harmful?
Sticky eyes itself is not a harmful issue, as long as it does not cause disturbances to the babies, such as fever, flu-like symptoms, red eye, or severe itching. Hence, infant sticky eyes caused by bacterial infection is commonly more dangerous than the one caused by blocked tear duct. Treatments at home can be applied if you do not see some signs of harmful eye infection, such as:
- Sensitivity to light
- Severe itching signed by excessive rubs
- Blurred visions
- Injuries—scratches and scrapes to the eye
- Excessive swelling and redness
Baby sticky eyes treatments
Although sticky eyes is mostly harmful for babies, proper treatments should be performed in order to minimize its effects on the eye. Some easy treatments which can be done for infant sticky eyes include: