Lacrimal System (tear duct) Disorders
The drainage outflow system of our tears starts from the inner corner of the eye and it passes through ducts that connect it to the nose. Any obstruction to this system will give rise to a backflow of tears perceived as excessive tearing or sticky mucous discharge by patients.
Congenital & Acquired Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction
There are many ways our tear outflow/drainage system can run into problems. Commonly presented as excessive tearing or discharge, the tear drainage system can get blocked partially or completely due to a number of reasons. It may be due to age, infection, inflammatory conditions, facial trauma and tumour. It can also present very early when it is due to maldevelopment of the facial bone or the tear outflow system. Depending on the cause, only surgeon will advise and manage accordingly. Management can be in the form of medical and surgical treatment. Surgical options include probing & syringing, tear duct intubation or stenting, lacrimal balloon catheterisation and a tear bypass surgery.
Lacrimal System Infection
As a result of slowing of tear drainage in a partially or totally obstructed nasolacrimal system, infection can settle in and this frequently gives rise to an entity called Acute Dacryocystitis. You will most likely need an admission to control the infection with intravenous antibiotics.
Lacrimal System Trauma
Injury to the face or particularly to the eyelid may involve the lacrimal system. If this happens, it needs to be attended to by an oculoplastic surgeon to ensure that the tear duct anatomy can be restored and function well after the trauma. A stent is normally put in-place for at least six weeks to allow healing process and to ensure that the duct is patent.
Meet our specialist
Dr Nazila Ahmad Azli
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic, Lacrimal & Orbital Surgeon