Your tears do more than express your most intense emotions. They also lubricate your eyes, even when you aren’t crying. While they’re meant to drain into your body after they have done their job, a blocked tear duct can prevent them from flowing away from your eyes. This can cause swelling and constantly watering eyes.

A blocked tear duct will cause discomfort, but there are treatments that can leave you as good as new! The best place to start is always a visit with your eyecare professional.

What is a Blocked Tear Duct?

Your eyes make new tears in an organ called the lacrimal glands. These are located just above each eye, and they supply a constant stream of tears so your eye remains moist. These tears then drain away into the puncta, which are small openings at the inner corners of your eyes. Your tear ducts, or nasolacrimal ducts, join up with the puncta and let your tears drain into your nose.

When a tear duct becomes blocked, either partially or completely, your tears can’t drain properly. This means your tears remain in your eyes. Since new tears are always flowing, this blockage results in watery, uncomfortable eyes.

If you have a blocked duct, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Watery eyes
  • Redness in the whites of your eyes
  • Swelling at the inner corners of your eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Mucus or pus around your eyes, which can cause crusting

What Causes Blocked Tear Ducts?

The drainage in your eyes might become blocked for many reasons, including:

  • Congenital blocks – Some babies have very narrow ducts from birth. Others are born with ducts that are not fully formed.
  • Infections – If you experience chronic sinus infections, or constant eye infections, this can cause blocked ducts.
  • Age – For some people, the puncta narrow naturally as they age, causing issues with tear drainage.
  • Injuries – Even tiny scrapes, such as from dirt or dust particles, can cause blocked ducts.
  • Tumors – Tumors can cause a host of issues, blocked ducts among them.

Contact Valley Eyecare Center for All Your Vision Concerns

There are treatments available to give you relief from blocked tear ducts. If you suspect a blocked duct is causing your discomfort, or if you have other concerns about your eyes, Valley Eyecare Center is here to help. Contact us today at (602) 955-2700 to set up an appointment!