Tear Duct Obstruction - Causes And Methods Of Treatment

Blockage of the tear duct leads to disruption of the normal flow of tears, which causes irritation and redness of the eyes, and affects people of any age and women are considered to be the most vulnerable to infection, and it is a common disease in newborns and often does not need treatment so that the infant heals on its own during the first months. But the matter differs for adults, as the blockage may indicate a health problem that requires diagnosis and treatment, and in general, the injury does not cause concern, and the patient usually responds to treatment options, which depend on the cause and degree of injury.

Blockage of the tear duct

Symptoms of a blocked tear duct:

  • Redness and irritation of the affected eye.
  • Tears secretion profusely.
  • The eyes are frequently exposed to infection, which is known as B.Pink eye Or conjunctivitis.
  • Swollen eyelids.
  • A crust forms on the eyelids.
  • Swelling with pain near the inner corner of the eye.
  • Discharge of pus or mucous fluid from the eyelid and the surface of the eye.
  • Blurry or blurred vision.

Causes of a blocked tear duct:

  • Congenital lacrimal duct obstruction in newborns and infants, often as a result of the thin membrane covering the tear duct not opening, or less commonly as a result of an abnormality or incomplete growth of the tear drainage system.
  • Changes associated with aging, such as narrowing of the tear points, which are holes in the corners of the eyes in the upper and lower eyelids through which tears are drained. 
  • Infection or recurrent inflammation of the eye such as conjunctivitis, tear ducts, or nasal passages K.Sinus infections Chronic.
  • Exposure to trauma or injury, which may be minor that causes dirt and foreign bodies to enter the eye, or as dangerous as exposure to a blow to the face that causes a broken nose or injury to the eye or its socket, which may lead to scarring near the tear drainage system that disrupts the natural secretion of tears.
  • The presence of nasal polyps or nasal polyps (polyps) which are benign tumors, or the infection of any other tumors somewhere near the tear drainage system, causing pressure on it and thus blockage.
  • Inflammatory conditions causing swelling, such as sarcoidosis or so-called granulomas with vasculitis.
  • Craniofacial malformations such as septal deviation.
  • Long-term use of eye drops, such as those used to treat glaucoma, is rare.
  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, especially if it is focused on the head or face, may cause blockage of the tear ducts as a possible side effect.
  • Undergoing previous eye, eyelid, or sinus surgery, which causes some scars that cause blockage of the tear ducts.

Blockage of the tear duct

Contact lenses and tear duct obstruction:

Actually, the wear contact lenses do not necessarily increase the risk of developing blocked tear ducts, but wearing contaminated lenses may cause infection or blockage in them later, which means that you must pay attention to contact lens hygiene in terms of always washing your hands before wearing and removing them, in addition to paying attention to the cleanliness of the lens storage box and being careful Changing the lens solution every time you wear them, and other recommendations of a medical optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Treatment of blocked tear ducts in adults and infants:

Some people may resort to treating a blocked tear duct with natural herbs, which are commonly used among people and are widely popular on the Internet, and it is worth noting that these methods are not based on sufficient medical evidence, and it is also not recommended to use them in the treatment of a sensitive and vulnerable organ such as the eye, especially in children. And infants, in addition, it may delay the time of treatment and increase the size of the problem, so it is necessary to visit the specialist doctor and follow the appropriate treatment, which he decides according to the diagnosis, the cause of the injury, and the degree of obstruction, as follows: 

  • To be described Antibiotics In the form of eye drops or tablets, if the infection was caused by an infection or bacterial infection.
  • Watch and wait, in case the blockage was caused by exposure to a trauma to the face or eye, the doctor asks the patient to wait for several months until the swelling subsides and the tear ducts get rid of the blockage on their own, as for infants; The doctor may recommend waiting and monitoring so that most babies who are born with blocked tear ducts improve during their first year and recover gradually, and that is through the completion of the growth of the tear drainage system in the first two months after birth, and if your child does not improve, the doctor will guide you to the method of massaging the tear duct in infants And shown in the video To help open the membrane, as the massage is the home treatment recommended by doctors, in addition to using a clean cloth moistened with warm water and gently to clean the crust and secretions from the child's eyes, especially before using eye drops.
  • The method of expansion and cleaning is to treat the narrowing of the tear points, and it is done by inserting a special expansion tool through the tear holes into the tear ducts and then washing and cleaning them, a method suitable for adults and infants.
  • Balloon catheter method, usually used in the event that other methods do not succeed or the blockage returns, and this procedure is effective for treating infants and young children and is also used to treat adults, and this procedure, which requires general anesthesia, involves the doctor inserting a catheter or tube through the blocked tear duct and is Provided with a deflated balloon at its end, the balloon is then inflated and deflated several times to get rid of the blockage.
  • Placement of stents, which are thin tubes inserted through the puncta into the tear drainage system, to allow tears to leak naturally.
  • Treating tear duct obstruction with surgery through a process known as a dacryocystorhinostomy, which involves opening a passage to drain tears through the nose, and is done either by external or internal surgery using an endoscope.


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