Eye Care

Tear Duct Infection – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Dacryocystitis is the tear duct or tear sac infection. It is also called as the lacrimal sac. Tear ducts carry tears to the eyes so the eyes can be rinsed. This duct may get infected when it becomes blocked and bacteria gets collected in the lacrimal sac or the ducts.

Causes of Tear Duct Infection

At any age, acryostenosis can occur. This condition is most commonly seen in infants who have nasocrimal duct obstruction at birth. Blockage occurs mostly at the end of the duct in the valve of Hasner.

Blockage can be caused in adults by the following:

  • Facial bones’ enlargement near the nose due to aging.
  • Tear duct infection
  • Nasal polyps
  • Idiopathic inflammation
  • Sinus disease
  • Tumor
  • Trauma to the nose or eye

Dacryocystisis is a tear sac infection that may result from blockage of the duct.

Signs and Symptoms

Excessive tearing is the primary symptom of tear duct blockage. The tears overflow on the face and run down the cheeks. You may also notice mucous discharge.

Symptoms of this infection include:

  • Swelling or redness of the lower eyelid
  • Tenderness
  • Discharge
  • Excessive tearing
  • Fever

Treatment for Tear Duct Infection

    • Orally taken antibiotics can treat dacryocystitis.
    • Acute infections are cleared quickly with the help of antibiotics and can lower symptoms of chronic infections.
    • In some cases, antibiotic ointment or eyedrops may be prescribed. Avoid excess application of antibiotic ointment.
    • If the infection doesn’t get treated with antibiotics, you may need to undergo surgery.

There are different types of surgical treatments:

  • Surgical probing – In this procedure, a thin wire is moved through the tear duct in order to clear any blockage.
  • Dacryocystorhinostomy – In this procedure, the blocked or narrowed duct is expanded. This surgery involves removal of bone which causes the duct’s narrowing. This is commonly done with the help of laser.
  • Removing a part or all parts of the lacrimal sac.

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