Tear duct obstruction

There might be
2
possible types: congenital or acquired
During the first year of life, it clears up suddenly in
90%
of all cases

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:

  • Ageing
  • 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.
  • Tear duct exploration
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy
  • Jones tubes

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