Blocked tear ducts are also known as nasolacrimal duct obstructions. It occurs when a membrane (a skin-like tissue) in the nose fails to open before birth, blocking part of the tear drainage system.
If tears do not drain properly, they can collect inside the tear drainage system and spill over the eyelid onto the cheek. They can also become infected, which may lead to the development of conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye.” You should contact your eye doctor if the discharge becomes thicker or changes color from white to yellow or green, or the white of the eye becomes red.
Common symptoms include:
Redness of the white part of the eye
Painful swelling near the inside corner of the eye
Crusting of the eyelids
Mucus or pus discharge from the lids and surface of the eyes
Treatment of this condition may include applying antibiotic eye drops or ointment to the eye once or twice a day, as well as a lacrimal massage.
Often, the blocked tear duct will spontaneously open six to eight months after birth. However, if the overflow of tearing persists, Dr. Piccione may recommend surgical correction of the condition with a lacrimal probe or silicone tube placement. This procedure is performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia and causes little to no pain.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to determine your individual eye health and create a treatment plan that works best for you and your family.