The body of a newborn child is not yet perfect, he will have a difficult period of adaptation to the world around him. To properly care for him, you need to know the physiological characteristics of the child’s body. One of these features is the absence of tears when crying. This is a normal situation and should not cause concern for the mother. From our article, young parents will find out at what months the first tears appear in a newborn, what to do if this does not happen.
Why does a newborn have no tears
During intrauterine development, the child develops in amniotic fluid, which constantly wets the mucous membrane of the eyes. It turns out that it performs the function of tears. Recent studies have shown that a child in the womb experiences emotions, but does not produce tear fluid. Their function is performed by amniotic fluid, which preserves the health of the fetal eyes.
After birth, the newborn does not have tears, even if he cries and experiences negative emotions. This is a normal phenomenon, which is due to the fact that the lacrimal canals in the baby are still closed with a mucous plug. It acts as a kind of valve that blocks the release of tears from the conjunctival cavity.
The body of the child immediately after birth is covered with a coating that protects the mucous membranes and skin of the newborn from the penetration of pathogens. The same plaque is in the lacrimal ducts and on the conjunctiva of the eyes. It forms a jelly-like plug, which after a while comes out and opens the channels for tears.
When the first tears appear
3-4 weeks after the baby is born, his tear ducts mature enough to form tears. The mucous plug after the birth of a child gradually decreases in size and is removed on its own. Usually this period takes 1.5 months. If during this time the baby does not have tears, then this is not a cause for concern and does not require a visit to the doctor. As a rule, tears appear on the 30-45th day of the baby’s life. At this time, you should not independently stimulate the removal of the mucous plug. This can cause inflammation of the tear duct.
Interesting! The first tears of a child can be both plentiful and meager, just a couple of drops. For the first time, any volume of tears is the norm.
If a newborn has tears right away, is this normal?
The appearance of tears in the first two weeks after the birth of a child is atypical, it is considered a deviation. Normally, at least 14 days must pass before the newborn cries. If he has tear fluid ahead of time, then this is a sign of the following problems:
Eye infection. For this reason, the newborn not only has watery eyes, but also reddens and swells the eyelids.
A blocked tear duct, which in some cases leads to infections.
Inflammation that usually occurs with conjunctivitis. This disease is manifested by swelling and redness of the eyes.
If tears don’t flow
It happens that after 1.5 months the lacrimal ducts of the newborn did not open on their own. This happens for the following reasons:
lacrimal canals are not ripe for independent work;
excessively narrow tear ducts;
weak functionality of the lacrimal gland;
thick jelly-like cork;
If it so happened that the tear ducts did not open in a timely manner, then this is often a sign of dacryocystitis. Of particular danger is the situation when the tears in the baby appeared and then disappeared. This point requires observation, possibly a sign of dehydration.
Obstruction of the lacrimal ducts
Sometimes in newborns, obstruction of the lacrimal ducts occurs. The reason for this condition lies in congenital pathology, obstruction of the nasolacrimal canal. There is a membrane in this channel, which should burst at the time of childbirth. The European Medical Center found out that this pathology affects children born before the term. Their membrane does not have time to break at the time of birth against the background of immaturity.
Studies by the European Medical Center have shown that the problem with the obstruction of the lacrimal duct occurs in 30% of newborns. Most often, boys suffer from this. Such children differ in behavior, they are restless, capricious. They have red eyelids and sticky eyes.
This problem cannot be dealt with by folk methods, ordinary hygiene measures will not help. You need to consult a doctor to determine the further tactics. The baby needs to restore lacrimation as soon as possible. Since the tear performs a protective function. Stagnation of tears causes inflammatory processes that are dangerous for the child.
When to see a doctor
If the child is less than a month old and does not have tears, this is a normal situation that should not worry parents. You should contact a pediatric ophthalmologist in the following cases:
if tears did not appear after two months of the child’s life;
if tears appeared in only one eye;
if, simultaneously with the absence of tears, there are signs of infectious processes, swollen eyelids, reddened eyes, purulent discharge;
there is blurred eyes.
What parents need to do until the newborn has tears
A newborn needs careful care and hygiene of all organs. For normal functioning, the eyes of the baby must be in a moist state. Tears regulate the control of moisture in the mucous membrane of the eyes, thereby protecting them from irritation and infection. While the baby’s tear ducts are covered with a mucous film, he is most susceptible to bacterial and viral lesions. Daily eye hygiene will help to avoid this.
The treatment of the eyes of the baby is carried out twice a day, in the morning after waking up and before going to bed at night. The second hygiene measures should be carried out after the bath and before feeding. For the procedure, you should prepare:
sterile cotton balls;
warm boiled water cooled to room temperature;
During eye treatment, do not use non-sterile cotton pads.
How to wash your eyes
Before starting eye treatment in a newborn with an unopened tear duct, parents should wash their hands thoroughly so as not to introduce an additional infection. This is a simple procedure that requires the following steps:
Wash your hands.
Soak cotton pads in warm solution, squeeze out excess water well.
Washing is carried out along the cilia from the outer edge of the eyes to the inner.
Blot the child’s eyes with sterile gauze to remove excess moisture.
Do the same for the next eye.
Do not use the same cotton ball and gauze to treat both eyes. As a hygienic solution, you can use:
Infusion of chamomile. Take 1 tsp for 1 cup of boiling water. chamomile flowers, insist 2 hours, strain, sue. It can then be used as an eye wash.
Furatsilina solution. Dissolve one tablet in 1 glass of warm boiled water.
Never use breast milk to wash your baby’s eyes. Thus, the risk of infection in the eyes of the baby, which is already not protected by tear fluid, increases.
What to do with obstruction of the lacrimal canals
If a child does not have tears within two months, parents observe reddened eyelids, eyes stuck together, you need to seek advice from a children’s oculist. The doctor will conduct a test to establish the fact of obstruction of the tear duct. To do this, drop a solution of furacilin into the eyes of the child, insert turundas from cotton wool into the nose. If the turundas remain uncolored, then the fluid has not left the eyes, the reason lies in the blockage of the lacrimal canals.
Back in the 20th century, such children were given bougienage – a surgical intervention, during which the nasolacrimal canal is dissected. Today, medicine offers parents to solve this issue with other, more gentle methods, with the help of a special massage. Usually massage helps to cope with the problem. In a baby, by 6 months, the obstruction of the lacrimal canal is eliminated on its own. Only in 2% of cases it is necessary to do bougienage.
During the massage, parents need to massage the area of the inner eye with careful movements, just below the tubercle, you can’t press hard. The procedure lasts about 2 minutes per eye. But, during the day it must be repeated 10 times. A young mother will be able to cope with the task on her own. To do this, she needs to do the following:
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
Take a sterile cotton ball.
With gentle movements, press on the clouds of the inner corner of the eye.
Repeat the same movements for the second eye.
During the massage, pressure is exerted on the lacrimal fluid that has accumulated in the lacrimal canal. The procedure helps to burst the membrane, thus opening the way for tears. Simultaneously with the massage, the doctor prescribes special drops that ensure the dissolution of the mucous plug in the lacrimal duct.
Usually massage helps to cope with the problem. After a few days, there is a gradual leakage of tears. Usually, the blockage of the lacrimal canal occurs in one eye, but the area of both eyes should be massaged. Since, as practice has shown, after the treatment of the first channel, the problem may manifest itself in the second.
Hygiene during massage
During massage, hygiene procedures are especially important, since the risk of infection in the child’s eye increases. The famous pediatrician Komarovsky gives the following advice:
Remove excess fluid from the eye with a sterile cotton swab.
If a newborn accumulates purulent discharge, then it is necessary to wash the eyes with furacilin. To do this, dilute the furacilin tablet in 1 glass of warm boiled water.
If the liquid in the eye is clear, then washing is carried out with saline.
If there was no saline in the house, but you need to do a flush, then you can cook it yourself. For 1 cup of warm boiled water, take ½ tsp. salt. Mix everything well.
If massage does not help, then bougienage is performed under local anesthesia. During the operation, the doctor cuts the membrane with a thin probe. After this manipulation, an antibiotic is instilled into the child’s eyes to relieve inflammation and prevent the development of an infectious process. Otherwise, the development of an abscess of the lacrimal canal is possible. If the parents exactly follow all the recommendations of the doctor, then in a month there will be no trace of the obstruction of the lacrimal canal.
Normally, immediately after birth, the child does not have tears. The tear duct opens gradually, during the first 3-4 weeks of his life. If there are no tears after 2 months, then it is necessary to visit a pediatric ophthalmologist who will diagnose, prescribe a therapy that allows the tear plug to dissolve.