Tear duct obstructions occur when there is a complete or partial blockage of the channels which conduct tears from the surface of the eye to the nose.
Usually, tears drain away from the surface of the eye to the nose through the nasolacrimal canal. If this channel is blocked, tears accumulate in the eye and fall down onto the face even when the patient is not crying.
In children, it is possible that the tear ducts are not completely developed at birth. This problem generally resolves itself without any intervention. In adults, the obstruction can occur as a result of infection, injury or a tumour.
The main symptom of a tear duct obstruction is an increase in watery eyes causing tears to continually run down the cheeks. In some cases, it may be necessary to treat the cause by reopening a channel. At Vista Laser we carry out a treatment which is minimally invasive by using a very fine laser beam and a nasal endoscope. The channel is reconstructed allowing the tears to drain from the eyes so that they stop spilling over onto the face.