Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction (Chronic Tearing)

Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction (Chronic Tearing)

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Patients with chronic or excessive tearing or epiphora often have a blockage in the lacrimal system. Most commonly, this blockage is in the nasolacrimal duct. Causes of this blockage include trauma, chronic sinusitis, and chronic tear duct infections (chronic dacryocystitis). Treatment of chronic tearing or epiphora includes open versus endoscopic dacryocystorhinostomy. The lacrimal sac collects tears from both the upper and lower eyelids, and these tears normally exit the lacrimal sac through the nasolacrimal duct, ending up in the nasal cavity. This is why people have runny noses when they cry. However, when there is a blockage in the nasolacrimal duct or lacrimal sac, the tears back up and cause chronic tearing.

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