The lacrimal sac helps drain excess tears from the eye. The sac starts near the inner corner of the eye and runs along the side of the nose. Tears move through tear ducts into this sac. The tears are then passed out into the nasal passages.
Dacryocystitis is swelling and irritation of this sac.
Dacryocystitis is caused by a blocked tear duct. Tears become trapped in the sac and form a pool. Bacteria can then begin to grow in the tear pool and create an infection. Both the trapped tears and infection will cause swelling and irritation.
Problem with tear duct structure such as narrowing of ducts
Injury to eye or surrounding tissue
Dacryocystitis may cause:
Reddening of the side of the nose near the inner corner of the eye
Tenderness of the side of the nose near the inner corner of the eye
Swelling or bump on the side of the nose
Mucus or pus in the corner of the eye
Crusty eyelids or eyelashes after sleep
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. Your eye will be examined. The diagnosis can be made by appearance. Fluid samples may be taken from the eye or sac. The fluid will be examined for bacteria. This test will help determine which antibiotic may work best.
For a tear duct blockage without signs of infection, the doctor may advise:
Warm compresses over the area
Gentle massage of the duct to encourage drainage
Antibiotics may be prescribed if there is an infection caused by bacteria. They usually given orally. Severe infections may need IV antibiotics.
The cause of the tear duct blockage may need to be investigated. This may require additional procedures or treatment such as:
Balloon procedure to open narrow tear ducts
Surgery to open or create a new drainage path for tears
There are no current guidelines to prevent dacryocystitis.
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