Blocked Tear Duct


What is a blocked tear duct? A blocked tear duct means your tears do not drain as they should. Tear ducts are small tubes at the inner corners of your eyes. The ducts drain tears from your eyes into your nose.

What causes a blocked tear duct? Some babies are born with a blocked tear duct. This problem usually goes away on its own. The following can also cause a blocked tear duct:

What are the signs and symptoms of a blocked tear duct? Watery eyes is the most common sign of a blocked tear duct. Tears can spill over onto your cheek. They may be thicker than normal tears. You may have blurry vision. You may have redness or irritation in or around your eye. If you have an infection, you may have a bump under your eye.

How is a blocked tear duct diagnosed? Your caregiver will ask about your symptoms and examine your eye. He may ask you to blink, and he may touch your eyelids or the corner of your eye. Caregivers also may do any of the following:

How is a blocked tear duct treated? You may not need any treatment. The duct may open on its own over time, especially in babies. You may need any of the following to help open a blocked tear duct:

What are the risks of a blocked tear duct?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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