Tear duct obstruction

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