Learn About Blocked Tear Duct

What is the definition of Blocked Tear Duct?

A blocked tear duct is a partial or complete blockage in the pathway that carries tears from the surface of the eye into the nose.

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What are the alternative names for Blocked Tear Duct?

Dacryostenosis; Blocked nasolacrimal duct; Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO)

What are the causes of Blocked Tear Duct?

Tears are constantly being made to help protect the surface of your eye. They drain into a very small opening (punctum) in the corner of your eye, near your nose. This opening is the entrance to the nasolacrimal duct. If this duct is blocked, the tears will build up and overflow onto the cheek. This occurs even when you are not crying.

In children, the duct may not be completely developed at birth. It may be closed or covered by a thin film, which causes a partial blockage.

In adults, the duct can be damaged by an infection, injury, or a tumor.

What are the symptoms of Blocked Tear Duct?

The main symptom is increased tearing (epiphora), which causes tears to overflow onto the face or cheek. In babies, this tearing becomes noticeable during the first 2 to 3 weeks after birth.

Sometimes, the tears may appear to be thicker. The tears may dry and become crusty.

If there is pus in the eyes or the eyelids get stuck together, your baby may have an eye infection called conjunctivitis.

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What are the current treatments for Blocked Tear Duct?

Carefully clean the eyelids using a warm, wet washcloth if tears build up and leave crusts.

For infants, you may try gently massaging the area 2 to 3 times a day. Using a clean finger, rub the area from the inside corner of the eye toward the nose. This may help to open the tear duct.

Most of the time, the tear duct will open on its own by the time the infant is 1 year old. If this does not happen, probing may be necessary. This procedure is most often done using general anesthesia, so the child will be asleep and pain-free. It is almost always successful.

In adults, the cause of the blockage must be treated. This may re-open the duct if there is not too much damage. Surgery using tiny tubes or stents to open the passageway may be needed to restore normal tear drainage.

Who are the top Blocked Tear Duct Local Doctors?
Highly rated in

Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg

Halle, NI, DE 

Jens Heichel is in Halle, Germany. Heichel is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Blocked Tear Duct. He is also highly rated in 5 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Blocked Tear Duct, Dacryoadenitis, Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor, and Eyelid Bump.

Highly rated in

Center For Ocular Regeneration

L V Prasad Eye Institute 
Hyderabad, TG, IN 

Swati Singh is in Hyderabad, India. Singh is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Blocked Tear Duct. She is also highly rated in 17 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Blocked Tear Duct, Entropion, Lacrimal Gland Tumor, and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

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Highly rated in

Govindram Seksaria Institute Of Dacryology

L.v.prasad Eye Institute 
Hyderabad, TG, IN 

Nandini Bothra is in Hyderabad, India. Bothra is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Blocked Tear Duct. She is also highly rated in 6 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Dacryoadenitis, Blocked Tear Duct, Lacrimal Gland Tumor, and Malignant Teratoma of the Mediastinum.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Blocked Tear Duct?

For infants, a blocked tear duct will most often go away on its own before the child is 1 year old. If not, the outcome is still likely to be good with probing.

In adults, the outlook for a blocked tear duct varies, depending on the cause and how long the blockage has been present.

What are the possible complications of Blocked Tear Duct?

Tear duct blockage may lead to an infection (dacryocystitis) in part of the nasolacrimal duct called the lacrimal sac. Most often, there is a bump on the side of the nose right next to the corner of the eye. Treatment for this often requires oral antibiotics. Sometimes, the sac needs to be surgically drained.

Tear duct blockage can also increase the chance of other infections, such as conjunctivitis.

When should I contact a medical professional for Blocked Tear Duct?

See your provider if you have tear overflow onto the cheek. Earlier treatment is more successful. In the case of a tumor, early treatment may be life-saving.

How do I prevent Blocked Tear Duct?

Many cases cannot be prevented. Proper treatment of nasal infections and conjunctivitis may reduce the risk of having a blocked tear duct. Using protective eyewear may help prevent a blockage caused by injury.

Blocked tear duct
What are the latest Blocked Tear Duct Clinical Trials?
Comparison of Local Anesthesia and Induced Hypotensive Anesthesia on Quality of External Dacryocystorhinostomy Operation Under General Anesthesia
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Long Term Effectiveness of Dacryocystorinostomy With and Without Bicanalicular Intubation
What are the Latest Advances for Blocked Tear Duct?
The effect of endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy on different lacrimal duct obstruction.
Application of a symptoms score questionnaire after conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy: outcomes.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
Dacryoendoscopy-assisted incision of Hasner's valve under nasoendoscopy for membranous congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction after probing failure: a retrospective study.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : August 29, 2020
Published By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Dolman PJ, Hurwitz JJ. Disorders of the lacrimal system. In: Fay A, Dolman PJ, eds. Diseases and Disorders of the Orbit and Ocular Adnexa. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 30.

Olitsky SE, Marsh JD. Disorders of the lacrimal system. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 643.

Salmon JF. Lacrimal drainage system. In: Salmon JF, ed. Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 3.