How Do You Treat Tear Duct Obstructions?
When you take your child to the doctor, the doctor will perform several tests to determine the cause and location of the blockage. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of these tests may include:
- A tear drainage test: This measures how quickly the tears can drain from your eyes by placing a special dye in each eye.
- Irrigation and probing: The doctor may use a saline solution to flush out your child’s eye or insert a probe through the drainage holes in the corner of the eye to check for any obstruction. This may sound a little scary, but the good news is that probing may solve the problem right there!
- Eye imaging tests: This could be one of two procedures where a dye is passed through the tear drainage system, then an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI is used to find the location of the blockage.
More than 90% of all cases resolve by the time kids are 1 year old with little or no treatment.
Treatment options will depend on the outcome of these tests. According to KidsHealth, many kids who have a blocked tear duct can be treated at home.
In many cases, the obstruction will clear up on its own. At-home treatments may include massaging the eyes several times every day. This will prevent fluid buildup in the tear ducts. The doctor will probably also recommend keeping the eye area clean in order to prevent infection or inflammation. In the event of an infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointment.