Tear Duct Obstruction: What Is It?
Whenever your child cries, does he or she end up with watery, irritated eyes? Your child may be suffering from a tear duct obstruction.
The quicker a tear duct obstruction is diagnosed, the greater chance there is that more a conservative treatment will correct the problem.
A blocked tear duct prevents tears from draining normally from the eyes, causing irritation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
They are most common in newborn babies and occur in 6 out of every 100 newborns, according to the Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.
In addition to the possibility of your child being born with the obstruction (referred to ask congenital blockage), this condition could be caused by the following:
- narrowing of the punctual openings due to age;
- chronic eye infections or inflammation;
- an injury to the face;
- nasal, sinus, or lacrimal sac tumors;
- certain topical medications; or
- side effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, most babies that are born with a tear duct obstruction won’t even need treatment because the condition will correct itself. The symptoms of a blocked tear duct are:
- excessive tearing;
- recurrent eye inflammation or infections;
- swelling or pain in the inside corner of the eye;
- blurred vision; and
- mucus or pus discharging from the eyelids or eyeball.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it’s best to take a trip to the doctor. The quicker a tear duct obstruction is diagnosed, the greater chance there is that more a conservative treatment will correct the problem, eliminating the need for an invasive procedure, like surgery.