Tearing, or epiphora can result from dry eyes, inadequate tear drainage into the lacrimal tear ducts, or overproduction of tears from the lacrimal gland.
What causes tearing?
The most common causes of tearing are dry eyes, which can trigger a reflex tearing from the tear gland. Another common reason is blockage of the lacrimal (tear) ducts (nasolacrimal duct obstruction) located within the drainage pathway from the tear drain in the eye into the nose, which may result from inflammation, injury, tumors, sinus infection or other reasons.
Who can get a blocked tear duct?
Blocked tear ducts can occur in infants, which can often resolve on their own, or can be acquired as an adult. Excess tearing can be a nuisance, and can also cause an infection that may threaten vision if untreated.
What is the treatment for tearing? If tearing occurs from dry eyes, Dr. Amato will work closely with a dry eye specialist to with ocular lubrication and other therapies to improve the tear film and health of the eye surface.
What is the treatment for tearing in children?
Tearing can frequently occur in infants, and with medical therapy and message, the obstruction often resolves. If tearing persists after one year of life, probing and irrigation of the lacrimal system are recommended. If there is a recurrence, often children will require a small silicone stent to be placed into the tear drainage system.
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What is the treatment of tearing in adults?
For dry eyes, there is a procedure that can permanently close the tear drains. Tear duct surgery can vary from office procedures to widen or open or close the punch or opening, to nasal probing, or intranasal surgeries such as DCR (dacryocystorhinostomy) or CDCR with Jones tube to open a blocked tear duct. All of these procedures are typically outpatient procedures performed usually under general anesthesia and last about an hour. Patients are often asked to stop blood thinners for 2 weeks before surgery to avoid the risks of bleeding. For blocked tear ducts in adults, nasolacrimal duct obstruction often requires a procedure called dacryocystorhinostomy, or DCR, which creates an opening from the tear duct into the nose. Dr. Amato is one of few surgeons in Austin to offer endoscopic, or no scar DCR (dacryocystorhinostomy) whereby the tear duct blockage is opened from the nasal side, and a stent is placed temporarily in the tear drain system until healing occurs. This stent is easily removed in the office. If there is a recurrent blockage or if the tear duct is too damaged, a Jones tube can be offered, which is an artificial tear duct implant.
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