Obstruction of the lacrimal duct can usually occur due to various causes, such as infections, malformations, trauma, etc.. When the nasolacrimal duct is blocked, tears accumulate and spill involuntarily.
The main symptom, therefore, is constant tearing and occasionally becomes infected, causing purulent abscesses in the area between the lower eyelid and the nose. Some children do not have the canal fully developed at birth and it may be closed or covered by a thin layer that creates a partial blockage.
In most cases you do not need to do tests to detect the obstruction of the lacrimal duct. Even so, in the event that it is required, the exams may include:
- Ophthalmological examination.
- Special staining of the eye to observe how the tears drain (fluorescein).
- Radiographic studies that examine the tear duct (although they are very rare).
Before resorting to surgery, the patient may try to treat the obstruction by frequently wiping the eyelids with a warm, wet cloth.. If there is an infection, the doctor may also recommend the use of eye drops or ointments. Sometimes, these measures are not enough and it is necessary to reconstruct the canal so that the normal drainage of tears is restored.
Endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a technique that allows access to the lacrimal sac inside the nose through the use of endoscopic lenses. This process allows to reestablish the communication between labrimals and nasal things.
Previously, the techniques were performed through an incision in the skin between the lower eyelid and the nose, with the consequent external scar after surgery. The advantage of using endoscopy is that there is no external scar and there are fewer complications of nosebleeds.
The care after surgery are few. Be careful not to rub on the inner corner of the eye, moisten the nose to avoid scabs and little else.