Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction

Nasolacrimal ducts or tear ducts are fully developed by 3 weeks of age. Congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction is found in 15% of newborns. It is caused by the obstruction in the duct opening located in the nose. Symptoms are often shown after 3 weeks of birth.

The eye with blocked tear duct has excessive tearing all the time, sometimes with inflammation or eye wax that often come and go.
It is the anatomical abnormality of lacrimal duct or the tear drainage system when duct opening is blocked by a thin tissue membrane. Eighty percent of the cases have this duct fully open during the first 12 months of age.
Conjunctivitis, lacrimal sac abscess
Ophthalmologist visit is recommended for examination, diagnosis, and ruling out. Tests might be done to see how tears are flown and drained using fluorescein drops, or fluorescein disappearance test.
  • Children before 1 year: Crigler massage will be recommended many times a day (e.g. 4 times, 10-20 rubs each) with antibiotics in case of infection.
  • Children after 1 year: Probing might be considered, or other procedures such as silicone tube insertion. In some cases, procedures might be needed before 1 year if infection is frequent.

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