Lacrimal Duct Stenosis
(Blocked Tear Duct; Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction; Lacrimal Duct Obstruction; Dacryostenosis)
- Excessive tearing
- Recurrent red eye or eye irritation
- Tear duct infection ( dacryocystitis ) causing redness, warmth, swelling around the eye, and discharge with pus
- Cloudy or mucous-like discharge from the tear duct
- Crusting on the eyelid
- Bloody tears
- Massage—The doctor may gently push on the area where the tear duct runs out of the eye, between the baby’s eye and nose. This helps to push tears through the duct. You will also do this at home 3 times a day until the tear duct has opened.
- Probing—The doctor may pass a tiny probe into the duct to open it up. In some cases, the ducts may be dilated with a balloon or stented to keep them open.
- Surgery—In some cases, surgery may be needed to open up the duct. In one type of surgery, the doctor puts a tiny, flexible instrument into the tear duct to see what is causing the blockage. The doctor may then flush fluid through the instrument. A laser may be used to cut away the blockage.
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
National Eye Institute http://www.nei.nih.gov
Canadian Ophthalmology Society http://www.eyesite.ca
Canadian Pediatric Society http://www.cps.ca
Blocked tear duct: risk factors. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/blocked-tear-duct/basics/definition/con-20033765. Updated October 2008. Accessed April 22, 2010.
Causes of blocked tear ducts. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/eyes/tear%5Fduct%5Fobstruct%5Fsurgery.html. Accessed April 22, 2010.
Hurwitz JJ. The lacrimal drainage system. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2004: 761-768.
Nasolacrimal duct obstruction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 8, 2010. Accessed April 20, 2010.
Tearing. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye%5Fdisorders/symptoms%5Fof%5Fophthalmologic%5Fdisorders/tearing.html?qt=tearing&alt=sh. Updated April 2009. Accessed April 20, 2010.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 12/20/2014 -