Estimates suggest that blocked tear ducts are common among children and affects six in every 1000 newborns. When the blocked tear duct is present at birth it is referred to as congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction. Though tear duct blockage and infection are less frequently observed among adults, the condition can be associated with trauma, injury or aging.
What are the Reasons for Tear Duct Infection
Blocked tear ducts can result in secondary infection of the tear ducts. However there are a wide range of factors that are responsible for infected tear ducts:
- Abnormal Nasal bone growth tends to block the ducts which are prone to get infected.
- Congenital anomalies like underdeveloped or closed corners of the eyes tend to prevent drainage of tear drops into the tear ducts which makes it prone to infection.
- In adults thickening of the tear duct lining due to aging or a injury to the tissue or bones around the eye can result in blockage and infection.
- Abnormal growths and tumors along with recurrent sinus infection are also responsible for tear duct infections.
Common Symptoms of Blocked Tear Duct
Some of the common symptoms associated with infected and blocked tear duct include:
- Excessive tearing primarily due to failure of the tear drops to drain through the duct.
- Redness and inflammation around the eyes and the nose are commonly observed with infected tear ducts.
- Collection of yellow mucus around the corners of the eyes is another common symptom associated with tear duct infection.
- Often tear duct infection is associated with upper respiratory tract infection.
Home Remedies and Treatment for Infected Tear Duct
Here are some simple tips that can be beneficial in the management of infected tear ducts:
- Massage the sides of the eyes gently in clockwise and counter clockwise direction. This will help open up the ducts and help in draining of tears.
- Avoid splashing cold water or rubbing the eyes.
- Hot formentation using tea bags can be beneficial as it improves circulation around the region and helps open up the blocked tear ducts.
- Homeopathic drug Staphysagria is considered beneficial in the management of infected tear duct. Eye drops comprising of eyebright herb are also considered useful.
- Maintain utmost hygyine of the eye. Wipe the eye with a handkerchief and don’t share the handkerchief with any one or don’t use it for the other eye ( especially if the other tear duct is not blocked or infected).