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Is surgery the only option for my child's watery eye?

Q: My son is 15 months old. His right eye waters constantly. I have consulted both child specialist and eye specialist here in my country, and they were saying that there is a small opening inside his eyes near the nose, which is blocked. They suggested me to massage the area frequently so that the blockage opens. I tried to massage as per the doctor's advice, but it did not work. Now the doctors are suggesting that my son should go for a minor operation. Is surgery the only option for my little child or can medication cure his condition?

A:If the eye is just watering without getting stuck up in the morning and you have tried massaging the tear sac area (between eye and nose) and used antibiotic eye drops and ointment, it could get better when he grows older. If there is a yellowish discharge, then it may not get better and the child would have to have a minor procedure called sac washout or syringing and probing under general anaesthesia. I want you to remember that there is no 100% guarantee that this procedure will cure the condition. This will show where and whether there is an obstruction in the naso-lacrimal duct, and he may need treatment even after this. Sometimes, a major surgery may be required either through the nose or on the skin to make another communication between the eye and the nose to drain the tears. When children get frequent cold, which causes stuffy nose, this can exacerbate the problem. There is no urgency in treatment though, as this condition does not usually affect the vision.


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