Probing of the lacrimal canal in newborns

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 25.06.2018

Probing the lacrimal canal in a newborn is a procedure for clearing the eye of a secret, which can not be evacuated by itself. This procedure is considered operational manipulation, which is carried out with the inefficiency of other methods. The procedure is not as complex as scary for parents, which is absolutely unjustified.

Indications for the procedure

When a child is in utero, the greater amount of time his eyes are closed. The structure of the eye is such that at the inner corner there are tear ducts and a tear sack where tears and any secret are collected. This bag opens into the nasal cavity, where excess tears or fluids flow. At the child, when he is at the mother's abdomen, this canal can be closed by a mucous stopper, which after birth must depart. But it happens that it does not completely retreat or remains in the same place. This leads to the fact that tears can not flow freely from the mucous sac and stagnate there, which causes inflammation. This process is called dacryocystitis.

Symptoms of dacryocystitis mum can see right away when the child cries. This is often a one-way process, so changes occur on one eye. In this case, the inner eyelid of the eye swells and tears constantly. After sleep, a cork can form there, which even hampers the normal opening of the eye. If the process is prolonged, then the discharge from the eye can be purulent and green. The body temperature can rise, as a reaction to such local inflammation.

In any case, in order to confirm the diagnosis, an ophthalmologist must be consulted.

Treatment is carried out first by conservative methods. Initial therapy is a massage of the eyelid, which improves the outflow of secretion and can pierce the plug. If the process is purulent, then the massage is not shown, as there will be a spread of infection. In this case, treatment with antibiotics and invasive interventions can begin.

Massage with dacryocystitis is done by the mother according to the doctor's instructions. This treatment can be used for two to four weeks. As a rule, it is very effective and enough for everything to pass. But if such treatment is ineffective, then the lacrimal canal is probed, thereby piercing this mucous plug.

Indications for such a procedure is dacryocystitis, which is not treated with a massage. If the case is started, sometimes it is probed right after the diagnosis is established.


Before the procedure, parents often ask the question, is it dangerous to probe the tear duct in newborns? In fact, this is not at all dangerous, because the procedure is performed only by an experienced doctor and does not endanger life. The danger is always exaggerated due to the fact that manipulation is carried out on the eye, so it can be scary for parents.

Preparation for the procedure does not require any special action, the only condition is that the child should be completely healthy at that moment. After all, if there is a runny nose or any other disease, it will complicate healing.

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Technique of the sounding of the tear duct in newborns

The technique is very simple and the procedure takes a few minutes. This is done under local anesthesia after instillation in the eye antiseptic. The child is injected into the inner part of the eyelid with a special probe and moves it towards the lacrimal sac. After several movements, it is possible to push the slimy plug through the nose and all the mucus and tears flow through this channel. Then the antipsytic is instilled in the eye and washed again. That's the whole procedure on this one.

Contraindications to the procedure

Contraindications for sounding are an acute disease of the ENT organs or a respiratory infection.

Consequences after the procedure

The consequences after the procedure are rare if the child is properly cared for. Complications after the procedure are rare, but there can be external infection of the eye with the development of inflammation.

Care after the procedure

It is necessary to drip the eye with special means and avoid diseases in the first days after the procedure. 

Reviews about the procedure

Reviews of moms, whose children have suffered a similar procedure, are only positive. Moms say that the child thanks to this just started to "live normally" and there are no problems with the constant glaze of the eyes and lachrymation.

Probing the tear duct in newborns is not so terrible and dangerous procedure as it is necessary for dacryocystitis. The technique of its execution is simple and complications are very rare. The main thing in treatment is proper care after the procedure, and then the child will always "cry without pain".

It is important to know!

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