Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
My baby is 8 days old and all of a sudden his eyes are really watery, puffy and gone red. What is the meaning of this?     

Answer:
This sounds like an infection and he should be seen promptly by an ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.). It could be caused by a virus or bacteria. If it is gonorrhea, systemic as well as local antibiotics may be needed to save his eyesight. There is usually a lot of pus with this condition. Hospitals are required to put antibiotics or antiseptics in the eyes of all newborns to prevent infections, but these are sometimes irritating; however, these reactions are immediate and do not occur eight days later.

If the discharge is purely watery, his tear ducts may not be open, but he needs to see an ophthalmologist.  The treatment is massage and sometimes antibiotic eyedrops. If the condition does not improve by the time he is a year of age, a simple surgery can open the ducts. Enjoy parenthood.

Answered by: Richard G. Shugarman, MDDr. Richard Shugarman

Categories: Children's Eye Health, Eye Conditions

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Answered: Dec 09, 2012

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