EYES

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EYE COLOR: Almost all babies are born with dark blue eyes. This is because the pigment that gives the eye its color has not yet developed. Over the next 4 to 8 weeks you will notice the eye changing to its permanent color. Usually the eye color becomes permanent by 3 months of age. Some hazel colored eyes will start out blue or green and will get the hazel color around 6 months and this is why some relatives will tell you that the eye color can change at 6 months. Predicting eye color is a little science and a little guess work. Everyone has 2 genes for their eye color and the combination of these genes determines the eye color. The main colors are brown, blue and green. Your baby has received one eye color gene from each of his or her parents. The brown eye color gene is dominant over both the green and the blue. The blue and green eye color genes are about equal. This means that if your baby inherits one brown eye gene and one blue eye gene, then your baby will have brown eyes. This also means that in order to have light colored eyes (blue or green), your baby must have two light eye color genes. That's the science. The guess work is which eye color gene each parent will give their baby.

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EYE CROSSING OR TURNING: All babies eyes appear to move all over the place and move independently. If one of the eyes turns in, out, up or down occasionally and especially when the infant is tired, then this is considered normal until 3 months of age. If the eyes do this often or constantly and especially after 3 months of age, then please call the office.

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EYE HEMORRHAGES: A large number of babies will have some blood vessels on the outside of their eyes broken during birth. This will look like a blood red patch on the white part of your baby's eye. This is perfectly normal, will not harm your baby's eye or vision and will fade in 2 to 3 months.

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EYE DISCHARGE: The usual cause of an eye discharge is a blocked tear duct. The tear duct is that knot you feel at the inside corner of your eye. This duct drains tears from your eye into the nose. This is why you get a runny nose when you cry. A blocked tear duct results in too many tears in the eye, not less tears. When these tears lay in the eye, they may become infected. Sometimes the tear duct itself becomes infected first and this will look like a red swelling where this knot at the corner of the eye is. There is occasionally a normal small amount of a yellow-green discharge for the first few days after birth that is a result of the erythromycin that was put in the eyes just after birth to prevent infection. If there is a discharge, then treat as follows:

The tear duct should be massaged by placing your little finger in the corner of your child's eye in the same place that you felt the knot in the corner of your eye. With medium pressure, press on this area in a downward motion about 10 times on each side. Remember you are trying to milk the tears along the duct, even though this area is only about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch long in your child. Simply massage the tear duct several times at each diaper change or about 4 or more times a day. Make sure to wash your hands first and change the diaper after massaging the tear duct. Blocked tear ducts usually go away on their own by 3 to 6 months of age. If the discharge is yellow or green, or the eye ball is pink or red, or the eye lid is red or swollen, then call the office immediately.

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PUFFY EYES: Puffy or swollen eyelids, face and certain body parts are common after birth and, like any swelling, will fade in a few days. No special treatment is necessary unless you notice the swelling worsening, redness developing or notice that your baby acts ill in which case you should call me.

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