Home > Health Library > Blocked Tear Duct
A blocked tear duct occurs when the opening (duct) that
normally allows tears to drain from the eyes to the nose is obstructed or fails
to open properly. If a tear duct remains partially or completely blocked, the
tear duct sac fills with fluid, becomes swollen and inflamed, and sometimes
Most babies with blocked tear ducts are born
without an opening in the thin tissue (membrane) that covers the duct. In
adults, several conditions can block the tear ducts, such as a sinus infection
or a broken nose.
Usually no treatment is needed for a blocked
tear duct in a baby. In time, the duct will open on its own. If the duct does
not open, a procedure called probing can be used to open it.
adults, the type of treatment for a blocked tear duct depends on the cause. A
blockage caused by infection may be treated with antibiotics. A blockage caused
by a problem with the size or shape of the tear duct may require
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
I Want To...
Join Our Social Network