Lacrimal or Tearing Problems

Also known as: lacrimal disorders, tear duct obstruction, congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction

What are lacrimal or tearing problems?

When the tear ducts are blocked and do not allow tears to flow from the corners of the eyes properly, this is known as a lacrimal or tearing problem. It’s a common problem in infants at birth but can also occur in adults, as well.

What causes lacrimal or tearing problems?

In infants, the problem typically occurs because the tear ducts are not fully formed, or have a layer of tissue blocking them. Older children or adults can develop the problem due to an infection, inflammation or narrowing of the ducts.

What are the symptoms of lacrimal or tearing problems?

Without the ability to properly product tears, the eyes can become red, irritated and painful. Infections can also occur in the blocked tear ducts.  

What are lacrimal or tearing problem care options?

Some lacrimal or tearing problems can be treated with tear duct massages to open them up and medicated eye drops to relieve the eyes and prevent or treat infections. Surgery to open up the eye ducts is required in many with lacrimal or tearing problems.

Reviewed by: Zenia Aguilera, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:13:08 PM