Blocked Tear Ducts: Why they Happen and What you Can Do about It

Blocked Tear Ducts Southfield, MIFor adults, blocked tear ducts can be caused by an injury to the tissues or bones in the face. In other cases, the cause is connected to aging or problems from a facial surgery. For children, blocked tear ducts can be due to infections, undeveloped openings in the corners of the eyes, or abnormal nasal bone growth. It is important to know that blocked tear ducts can run in families.


If you have blocked tear ducts, you may experience any one or combination of the following: heavy tearing, white or yellow buildup and discharge in the eye, eyelids that stick together, and swelling or redness near the eyes or nose. If you have an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, your symptoms will likely worsen.


If you exhibit any of the symptoms associated with a blocked tear duct, schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately. During this appointment, your doctor will likely assess your medical history then conduct a physical exam. Next, we may test and measure some tears you are producing. Other tests helpdetermine where the blockage is and why you have it.


If your child suffers from a blocked tear duct, there are specific steps you can take to remove the blockage. First, keep the eye clean by wiping away any drainage using a warm washcloth. If suggested by your child’s doctor, carefully massage the area that is blocked. Be sure to be mindful about how much time your child spends in the wind, sun, and cold. Last of all, always wash your hands before and after you touch the eye area.

For adults, treatment depends on the reason for the blockage. If the infection is causing the problem, we will prescribe antibiotics. If there is an issue with facial bones or tissues, surgery may be necessary before the blockage will get better.

Schedule a consultation

If you think you have a blocked tear duct, schedule an appointment with Consultants in Ophthalmic and Facial Plastic Surgery today. You can contact our team at 248-357-5100. We look forward to helping you!

Posted in: Blocked Tear Ducts

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