Experts Treating Nasolacrimal Duct Blockage on the Gold Coast
The Nasolacrimal Ducts
Blockage of the nasolacrimal duct (dacryostenosis) can result from inadequate development of the nasolacrimal system at birth, a chronic nasal infection, severe or recurring eye infections or fractures of the nasal or facial bones. Blockage can be partial or complete.
Blockage caused by an immature nasolacrimal system usually results in an overflow of tears that runs down the cheek (epiphora) from one eye or, rarely, from both eyes in 3 to 12-week-old infants. This type of blockage usually disappears without treatment by the age of 6 months, as the nasolacrimal system develops. Sometimes the blockage resolves faster when parents are taught to milk the duct by gently massaging the area above it with a fingertip.
When Is Surgery Needed?
Regardless of the cause of the blockage, if inflammation of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis) develops, antibiotic eye drops may be needed. If the blockage doesn't clear up, an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) may have to open the duct with a small probe, usually inserted through the duct opening at the corner of the eyelid. Children are given general anaesthesia for this procedure, but adults need only local anaesthesia. If the duct is completely blocked, more extensive surgery may be needed.