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Baby health

Is my baby’s eye goop a sign of infection? 

Worried the gunk in your baby's eye is a sign of infection? Paediatrician Dina Kulik explains what's normal and what's not when it comes to baby's eyes.

Is my baby’s eye goop a sign of infection?

Photo: iStockphoto

My baby has goop in her eyes. Could it be an eye infection? 

Babies have goopy eyes, often right from birth. In newborns, this condition is usually a result of blocked tear ducts. Babies have small tear ducts, which means they block easily with discharge or tears. As they grow, the ducts open, allowing tears to drain more easily and goop to decrease. Tear ducts typically open by three months of age, though some kids still have discharge from blocked ducts past a year. If the eye is merely goopy, you can simply wash away the mucus with a clean cloth soaked in warm water. This discharge is typically clear or yellow but can be green as well. If your child has an eye infection, you will notice redness in the white of the eye (conjunctivitis), and your child will likely have itchy or painful eyes and maybe a fever. At any sign of an infection, take your child to the doctor.

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