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Lacrimal Duct Obstruction

What is lacrimal duct obstruction?

The lacrimal gland is a gland in the eye which is responsible for producing your tears. Your tears then drain from your eye into a "duct" in your nose known as the nasolacrimal duct. Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO) is a blockage in this duct causing excessive tearing or mucous discharge from the affected eye. Nasolacrimal duct obstruction often results in red eyes, excessive tearing, infection, and sometimes changes in the skin on the lower lid.

What causes lacrimal duct obstruction?

Nasolacrimal duct obstruction is very common in infants. About 6% of all babies are born before their tear ducts have opened, however, 95% of these cases will resolve itself by their first birthday.

How is lacrimal duct obstruction treated?

In the cases where the blocked duct causes infection, antibiotics can be prescribed. In approximately 5% of infants where the obstruction does not resolve on its own by age one, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.

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