What is it?
Sometimes, tears cannot drain from the eyes and this can lead to a blockage of the duct that transports tears from the surface of the eye to the nose. There are two types of tear duct obstruction:
- Acquired: This is the most common type and usually affects adults. It may result from a variety of causes (infections, conjunctivitis, etc.). This type of tear duct obstruction becomes more common with age.
- Congenital: This affects children and is caused by a membrane that prevents tears from emptying into the nasal cavity.
What causes it?
The main causes are:
- The use of certain drugs such as chronic eye drops and chemotherapy
- A congenital defect from birth
- Radiotherapy in the eyelid area
- Blurred vision, especially when reading
- Watery eyes
- Constant tear production that increases in adverse conditions (wind, air-conditioning, heating, etc.)
- Recurrent conjunctivitis (several times a year)
- Sometimes patients experience inflammation of the skin on the eyelid (eczema) due to irritation caused by the constant tear production.
- Dacryocystitis or lacrimal sac infections, a fairly common infection that causes fever, pain and inflammation.