Blocked Tear Duct : Is it really significant ?
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Blocked Tear Duct : Is it  Really significant ?

When you are suffering from blocked tear duct, tears fail to drain normally, making your eyes watery and irritated. This may be caused by obstruction of the tear drainage system. Sometimes newborns suffer from blocked tear duct, but the condition gets better in the first year of their life. However, if it occurs in adults, it may lead to injury or tumor. One can cure blocked tear duct but the treatment depends on the blockage cause and age of person.

Symptoms of Blocked Tear Duct

Some of the common symptoms experienced by a person suffering from blocked tear duct is tears falling from the eyes and watery eyes. Other symptoms include:

1.    Blurry vision

2.    Mucus like discharge from the eyes

3.    Irritation, itching or redness in the eye

4.    Crust formation on your eyelids

5.    Infection in the eyes

6.    Pain or swelling in the corners of the eye.

You may suffer from watery eyes, eye infection, sinus infection when you have blocked tear ducts. Sunlight exposure and exposure to fast blowing wind may also cause excessive tearing.

Swelling near the eye area and redness in the eye may also occur due to some injury in the eye. If you have blocked tear duct because of any bacterial infection, then you have symptoms of fever too.


Blocked tear duct can occur to anyone at any age. They may occur in a person since their birth. Some of the causes which lead to blocked tear ducts are mentioned below:

Congenital blockage: A lot of infants are born with it. The tear drainage system fails to develop fully. often you have a slight tissue membrane remains above the opening which opens in the nose.

Age related problem: When you age, the tiny opening which drain tears may get thinner and cause blockage.

Inflammation or infection: Severe infection or swelling in the eyes may cause your tear ducts to get blocked.

Trauma or chronic injury: An injury on the face may lead to bone damage or scarring of the tear drainage system. It may disrupt the flow of normal tears via the ducts. Even little dirt in the duct can cause blockage.

Tumour: If you have a tumor in your nose, then it can block the tear drainage system.

Treatment of cancer: Your tear ducts may get blocked because of side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

How does normally your tear flow?

Most of the tears come out from lacrimal glands. They are present above every eye. As you blink, the tears get spread by the inner eyelids and lubricate your eye and keeps them healthy. The tears then flow in holes known as puncta, present in your eyes corner and reach to your nose. Finally, the moisture gets absorbed back in your body.

Treatment suggested for blocked tear duct

You have several ways to treat blocked tear duct. They are mentioned below:

1.    Massage: Rub the corners of your eye twice daily so that it releases fluid and opens up the tissue covering tear duct

2.    Balloon catheter dilation: The doctor puts a slim tube known as catheter in the tear duct which inflates like a balloon at the tube’s end and broadens the duct.

3.    Tear duct probing: If the tear duct fails to open right after the birth of your baby, then the physician will keep a thin probe in the puncta to open the duct covering tissue.

4.    Intubation: A small tube is passed through the tear duct to your nose. It remains there for 6 months to open the duct and allow the tears to drain.

5.    Surgery: There is a surgery to bypass the blocked tear ducts if it doesn’t get better with the other suggested treatments. It makes a new pathway for tears to drain from the eye.


In order to lower the risk arising from blocked tear duct in your life, you should immediately treat any swelling, inflammation or infection you notice.

1.    Make sure you don’t rub your eyes a lot.

2.    Replace your eyeliner and mascara frequently.

3.    Wash your hands before touching your eyes.

4.    Wear contact lenses after getting recommended by an eye care specialist.



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Posted By Dr. Ajay Jain
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