Tearing & Blocked Tear Ducts

About Tearing & Blocked Tear Ducts

A blocked tear duct is a common problem in infancy. Most of the time, it’s noticeable due to frequent tearing along with some mucous discharge and crusting of the affected eye. This blockage affects the outflow duct that normally drains tear fluid from the eye down into the nose.

The condition is usually caused by one of the valves inside the tear duct not opening normally. The lack of flow makes the duct vulnerable to infection and swelling. Vision is not affected by a blocked tear duct, though it may be associated with amblyopia. It’s not a serious issue, but it can be incredibly annoying and bothersome for your child.

Treatments We Offer 

Massage of the sac that leads to the affected duct can help reduce the severity and encourage the duct to open. Antibiotics are sometimes necessary if there is an infection. Most cases will resolve spontaneously over a few weeks to months.

Chronic cases, or those involving particularly severe infections, may require a short surgical procedure. This involves passing a tiny metal probe through the tear duct to push through the blockage and is a highly successful procedure. More advanced procedures may be recommended if simple probing fails.

Why Choose Columbia?

Our pediatric ophthalmologists are experts in diagnosing and treating excessive tearing and blocked tear ducts. We know that these conditions may not be medically serious, but as a parent, they are incredibly serious to you. You want your child to not have to worry about their condition, and we can have the resources, skills, cutting-edge technology to treat your child’s condition with compassion and understanding.