Blocked tear duct


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Blocked tear duct occurs when the tears can not flow normally, accumulating in the eyes and irritating the eyeballs. This condition is caused by partial or complete obstruction of the drainage system of the eye, created by various factors.

Blocked tear duct is most common in newborns and usually goes away without serious treatment after the first year of life. In adults, tear duct blockage can be caused by trauma, infection or cancer. This health problem is not difficult to treat, but everything depends on the cause of obstruction and age of the person affected.

Symptoms of blocked tear duct

The main symptoms associated with occlusion of the tear duct include:

  • lacrimation,
  • redness of the white part of the eye,
  • recurrent infections of the eye or inflammation causes pinking eyeball,
  • painful swellings near the inner corner of the eye,
  • abscesses in the corner of the eye,
  • dry eyelids,
  • slimy secretions from under the eyelids or on the surface of the eye,
  • blurred image.

If these problems persist for several days or are frequently repeated, consult your doctor. In more severe cases, blockage of the tear duct can be caused by lump in channel tears, and early diagnosis can give you more treatment options.

Causes of blocked tear duct

Blockage of the tear duct can happen at any age. This may, however, be a congenital disability. Among the main reasons contributing to the blocked tear duct are:

  • congenital disabilities – many babies are born with a blocked tear duct because the eye drain system may not be fully developed in them or the developmental abnormalities of the tear duct develop; often growing a thin film on the tear duct directs fluids into the nose;
  • changes associated with age – over the years, the small channels responsible for draining tears become narrower and clogged tear ducts causing the lock;
  • infection and inflammation – chronic infections of the eye or eye inflammation, nasal congestion or dehydration may cause blocking of tear ducts;
  • injuries and dirt – when dealing with facial trauma, including bone damage, scarring, etc. in the vicinity of the eye drainage system, they may interfere with the flow of tears through the ducts; even small particles of dirt or skin can block the tear ducts causing the symptoms;
  • tumors – cancer of the nose or those directly associated with the circuit tear ducts may cause clogging;
  • eye drops – rarely, but it happens that long-term use of certain drugs (e.g., in the treatment of glaucoma) may cause the lock tear ducts;
  • cancer treatment – blocked tear ducts may be a potential side effect of chemotherapeutic drugs and radiotherapy.

Tear glands produce tears and are located inside the upper eyelid over each eye. Usually, tears flow from the lacrimal gland to the surface of the eye and flow into the inner corners of the lower and upper eyelids.

The small tubules in the eyelids move the tears into the teardrop bag from the side of the nose. Blocked tear duct may, therefore, occur at any point humidification system of the eye, and when this occurs, your eyes are watering excessively, increasing the risk of infection and inflammation.

Risk factors increase the probability of occurrence of blockage of the tear ducts are:

  • age and gender – older women more often suffer from this ailment,
  • chronic inflammation of the eye – continuous irritation, redness, and inflammation of the conjunctiva, can cause the lock at tear ducts,
  • performed operations on the eyes, eyelids, nose or sinuses, which contribute to scarring,
  • glaucoma – use of certain drugs in the treatment of various forms of glaucoma can block the tear ducts,
  • previous treatment of cancer.

The appearance of a blocked tear duct carries with it the risk of recurrent infections and inflammation caused by the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.


Diagnosis and treatment of blocked tear duct

For the diagnosis of blocked tear duct, it is necessary to carefully examine and analyze the symptoms of the eye, allowing you to determine the cause of the blockage in the tear tubule, as well as to find its location.

Treatment depends on the problem may involve:

  • administration of anti-inflammatory drugs,
  • waiting for self-willing or warm wraps and massages,
  • dilatation, probing and rinsing – in infants under general anesthesia,
  • treatments for widening the tubule,
  • surgical procedures of many kinds.

To reduce the risk of tear duct blockage, you should take care to keep your eyes clean – regularly wash your hands, avoid rubbing your eyes, regularly change eye cosmetics (mascara), wear contact lenses as recommended, etc.

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