Our eyes have a natural way of cleaning themselves by way of producing tears, but sometimes due to various reasons, a tear may fail to drain. In some cases, this can be caused by a blockage near the tear duct between the eyes and the nose. As the duct accumulates fluid, it may become swollen. The inflammatory condition may even lead to serious infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Tear Duct Obstructions
Excessive tearing can be a sign of a problem. It can be an indication that you have poor drainage or overproduction of tears. You might also have crusty eyelashes, blurred vision, discharge, and even have blood present in your tears. If you suffer from increased tearing and constant irritation or redness in your eyes, then you should consult your physician.
Treating Tear Duct Obstructions
Your doctor will assess your condition and develop a customized treatment plan to solve the problem. He may use a combination of different approaches to medication, simple massage techniques, and surgery to help you get better.
Tear system blockage may require a surgery called DCR or Dacryocystorhinostomy. Milder or less severe conditions are generally treated by eye-drops and in case of infection antibiotic eye-drops are prescribed. If your condition is more advanced, your doctor might flush the eye-hole and in more advanced situations, surgery will become unavoidable.
During the process, the bone between the nose and tear sac will be removed and the lining will be joined to create permanent drainage for the tears. In some cases a stent is required to be inserted which is easily removable in two weeks time. After the procedure you may notice some post-surgical marks, but they will fade over time.
After the procedure, your doctor will close any incisions made with sutures. After about a week, the sutures can be removed during a follow-up session. Since the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, you can return home soon after it is completed.
If you are concerned about scarring and want to avoid incisions on visible areas, you should talk to your doctor about endoscopic DCR, where the surgery is done through the nose.
Aftercare and Recovery
After the surgery is completed, you will be at an increased risk of nosebleed, so try to avoid blowing your nose vigorously and performing strenuous activities. There might be some discharge from the nostrils and for the swelling, you can use a cold compress to help ease it down. You will have to maintain a dressing for a whole day and take your prescribed medications on a regular basis to ensure optimal recovery.
Contact Our Office
You should not leave a teary eye unattended as you may develop a serious infection that can lead to further difficulties. You should talk to an experienced doctor about the options available to you for treating tear duct obstructions. If you’re having problems with your eyes and you feel as if you need specialized treatments to solve them, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Joseph to learn more.