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Baby blue eyes

Will your baby's blue eyes change colour? Facts and health information about your baby's eyes

Posted: 25 October 2008
by Laura Lee Davies

If you're wondering if your newborn baby's blue eyes will stay blue, then the old wives' tale is true: blue eyes can change colour and you might not know the true colour of her eyes until she is about nine months old.
Some babies' eyes will stay blue and some will change and fix on their colour much earlier than this. If your baby is born with brown eyes, they will stay brown.

Crossed eyes
Babies often look cross-eyed in the early months, which can be because the skin around them is layered and is making them look this way. As the baby's face grows, this will be resolved.
Until a baby has exercised her eye muscles, you may notice slight irregularities in the eyes working together. This should right itself by about three months and beyond this time, you should talk to your doctor if you're worried that they still do not appear quite right.

Sticky eyes
If a baby's tear ducts become blocked, you may find your baby gets a yellowy ooze and might wake from sleep with her eyelashes stuck together. If this is the case, simply wipe the eyes gently with cool boiled water on cotton wool. Wipe each eye from the centre out and use a different piece of cotton wool for each eye.
Sometimes this condition occurs as a symptom of teething.
If sticky eye recurrs then see your doctor, who will give you antibiotic ointment or drops. You will get a different tube of ointment for each eye to prevent any cross-infection.
In some cases, babies can pick up conjuctivitis at birth. If this is caused by a bacterial infection it can be cleared up quite easily, but your doctor may take a swab from her eye to check she has not contracted the eye problem from a mother with a condition such as chlamydia.

Blocked tear ducts
Recurrent sticky eye problems are usually caused by a blockage of skin in the tear duct of one or both eyes. This can mean that, when your baby's eyes get sticky, they are prone to longer lasting infection than another baby. Your baby may also be more prone to teary eyes. For example, her eyes may water easily if she is out in cold weather.
As your baby's face grows, the ducts are likely to open up themselves. However, if your doctor refers you to a specialist, they may suggest a simple operation to clear the ducts by passing a small instrument down into the ducts. This is done under general anaesthetic but it is a short and painless operation with a good success rate, especially in children under two years of age.

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conjuctivitis, tear duct, cross eyed, crossed, gluey, sticky, tearduct, colour, eyes, blocked tear duct, chlamydia, eye

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