Blocked Tear Duct

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Up to 70 percent of all newborn babies are believed to have blocked tear ducts, causing noticeable symptoms in many of these babies. The condition also occurs in adults, as Dr. Edward Hill explains in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A blocked tear duct is a common condition in babies, and may occur in adults. It occurs when the normal drainage system for tears fails to open or becomes blocked. The blockage is usually congenital, or present at birth.

In adults, there are several conditions that can block the tear ducts. These include thickening of the tear duct lining, nasal or sinus problems, injuries to the bone and tissues around the eyes, and infections.

Symptoms usually affect only one eye. They include excessive tears, buildup of a yellowish drainage at the inner corner of the eye, swelling and redness of the eyelids, and irritation of the surrounding skin.

Usually no treatment is needed for a blocked tear duct in a baby. Keeping the babys eyes clean to prevent infection until the duct opens may be all that you need to do.

In more complicated cases, antibiotic treatment may be necessary and surgery may be required for structural problems in the tear duct.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.