Ever wondered why we have tears and what would happen if we didn’t? If you’ve thought, ‘we simply wouldn’t cry!’, well, we’re here to tell you there’s more and this read is certainly for you.
Our tears serve a great function for the body. Since there are no blood vessels on the surface of the eye, oxygen and nutrients are transported to the surface cells by tears. Each time we blink, a film of tear fluid coats the surface of the eye. This prevents dryness, as well as protects the eyes from external irritants.
However, tears are not meant to stay static in the eyes. When they flow across the surface of the eyes to clean and moisten them, they then leave the eyes through a system of tiny drainage tubes that run along the nose.
Blocked Tear Ducts
Sometimes these tubes can get narrowed or blocked, which prevents the tears from draining out of the eyes.
When you have a blocked tear duct, your tears can’t drain normally, leaving you with a watery, irritated eye. The condition is caused by a partial or complete obstruction in the tear drainage system.
A blocked tear duct is common in newborns. The condition usually gets better without any treatment during the first year of life. In adults a blocked tear duct may be due to an injury, an infection or rarely, a tumor.
A blocked tear duct is almost always correctable. Treatment depends on the cause of the blockage and the age of the affected person.
In mild cases, the following basic treatment methods are an option:
- cleaning of the eyelids
- warm compresses
- prescription creams to reduce swelling
If these methods do not work, a doctor can provide some stronger treatment methods.
In more severe cases, doctors will use a surgical procedure called dacryocystorhinostomy. This surgery involves creating a new passage between the lacrimal sac and the nose to bypass the blockage.
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