Suﬀering from these symptoms?
Painful swelling near the inside corner of the eye
Recurrent infection or inflammation (pink eye)
Crusting of the eyelids
Mucus or pus discharge from the lids and surface of the eye
What causes a tear duct problem?
Both adults and infants may struggle with excessive tear production (watery eyes) but the causes differ. In adults, the main tear duct can become blocked as its lining becomes thickened and inflamed over a long period of time. In infants, excessive tearing results from incomplete development of the tear drainage system. A membrane persists at the end of the duct which prevents tear drainage and leads to tear overflow.
How is it treated?
In adults, a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR or tear bypass surgery) offers a solution. This operation improves drainage of tears from the eye to the nose by one of two methods: a small incision on the side of the nose near the inner corner of the eye (external DCR), or from the inside of the nose through the nostril (endoscopic DCR).
Surgery on infants is approached much more conservatively. As the majority of infant tear duct blockages clear up spontaneously within the baby’s first year, antibiotic drops are used to control infections during this time. If the blockage persists after 12 months, then the tear drainage system can be probed under general anaesthetic in day surgery – a probe is pushed through the membrane to relieve the obstruction.
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