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My son is 2 weeks old. I recently found that whenever he cries there are no tears. My cousin s son, who is 6 months old, has tears while crying. Why is my son not crying tears? Is it normal? What should I do? I am very worried. Please help.
The question is answered by Dr Raju Shah, Former Professor and HOD, GCS Medical College, Ahmedabad.
You need not worry, as newborns don t shed tears. This is a natural phenomenon as the babies' tear ducts are not fully developed at birth. However, this doesn t indicate that infants don t have tear ducts. Every baby is born with basal tearing, which means that their tear ducts create enough moisture only to keep the eyes moisturised. Babies start shedding tears while crying only when they are 3 to 12 weeks old. In some cases, it can take even longer up to the first few months of a baby s life.
In some extreme cases, it might take upto six months for the baby to cry with tears. However, it can also indicate a sign of dehydration or clogged tear ducts. Dehydration is quite common in older infants and in such cases, drinking plenty of fluids and keeping the baby hydrated is the key to improve the condition. Some babies might suffer from a condition known as blocked or clogged tear ducts, that usually clear up within a few months. It indicates that the tear ducts are functioning properly and producing tears, but are not draining properly. This leads to accumulation of tears in the ducts and might appear as yellow discharge. The condition can be treated with the help of ointments or a gentle massaging of the inner corners of the eyes to unclog the ducts. But if the problem still persists, you need to consult a paediatrician or a paediatric ophthalmologist to know the exact cause of the condition and get treated accordingly.
So don't worry till he is 2 - 3 months old and if he still don't cry with tears, consult a paediatrician at the earliest to rule out any health complications.
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