You Have a Blocked Tear Duct? Here’s The Causes and Symptoms

When your tear duct is blocked, your eye can’t drain normally. While this condition is usually harmless for infants, it can be a sign of something more serious in adults. The blockage could be a result of an infection, injury or tumor. 

Thankfully, blocked tear ducts are usually treatable and temporary, so there’s no need to worry unless the condition lingers. To help you understand when to see an eye doctor in Brooklyn, let’s learn more about what a blocked tear duct is, the possible causes for it and what symptoms to pay attention to. 

How Do Tears Normally Flow? 

Most of your tears flow from the lacrimal glands, which are located above each eye. When you blink, the tears spread across the eyes to keep them hydrated and healthy. Then, they move into small holes, the corners of your eyes and your nose. The moisture is absorbed from the body and the process continues. But, when there is a blockage, the tears can’t drain properly. 

What are the Symptoms of a Blocked Tear Duct? 

The most common symptom of a blocked tear duct is watery eyes, with tears streaming down the cheeks. The tears have nowhere to drain, so they come out the eyes. Other signs to pay attention to are: 

Redness and irritation 

Mucus or discharge 

Crust forming on the eyelid 

Eye infections, like conjunctivitis 

Blurred vision 

Sensitivity to light 

Pain and swelling 

What Causes the Blockage? 

There are many reasons why tear ducts become blocked, and most are not a cause for concern. However, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms, as there could be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed. Most likely, though, clogged tear ducts are caused by: 

Infection or inflammation in the tear duct system 

Injury or trauma to the face 

Age-related changes that make the passages smaller 

Long-term use of certain eye drops

Tumor blocking the passages 

When to Call an Ophthalmologist Doctor in New York

If you experience symptoms of a blocked tear duct for more than a few days, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist. Your doctor will do a thorough eye exam and diagnose the condition. Sometimes, a CT scan or x-ray of your tear duct system may be ordered. 

Once the underlying source of the blockage is identified, your doctor can recommend proper treatment. Antibacterial eyedrops are generally prescribed if there is an infection or inflammation in the tear duct system. If age-related narrowing is to blame, your Brooklyn retina doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to open up the tear ducts.  

If a blocked tear duct is giving you trouble, schedule an appointment with Empire Retina for a thorough exam and effective treatment options.