Blocked Tear Duct
A blocked tear duct is the result of a partial or complete obstruction of the tear drainage system. The tear duct, or nasolacrimal duct, drains tears away from the eye to the inside of the nose. When the duct cannot drain the tears, the tears collect in the eye causing an irritation. This condition affects almost 20 percent of newborn babies.
Symptoms of a Blocked Tear Duct
Signs that a tear duct may be blocked may include the following:
- Teary eyes
- Recurring eye infections
- Recurring inflammation of the eye
- Swelling of the inside corner of the eye
- Watery eyes
- Discharge of mucus from the eye
- Blurry vision
- Bloody tears
These symptoms may only be noticeable when tears are created, either when crying or by exposure to cold or windy weather.
Treatment for a Blocked Tear Duct
Tear ducts that are blocked from birth usually clear up on their own within a year. If the blocked tear duct is not resolving itself, there are several simple techniques and solutions available. They may include massaging the tear duct or, prescription antibiotics, if an infection is present. Surgery, either minimally invasive or traditional surgery, may be required for those cases where more traditional treatments are not successful.