Things To Know

If there is a blockage of the nasolacrimal ducts (tear ducts), the eye will be watery and sometimes sticky. Very occasionally, infection can occur resulting in dacryocystitis and a painful swelling on the side of the nose.

In cases of blocked nasolacrimal ducts, DCR surgery is required. This is surgery to make a connection between the tear sac and the inside of the nose to allow tears and secretions to flow out of the tear sac.

A syringing test is done in the clinic to determine if the tear ducts are blocked. If needed, DCR surgery is performed under General Anasesthetic and a small incision made on the side of the nose. The scar is usually small and hidden by glasses if worn. As part of the surgery, plastic tubes are left internally to keep the connections open.

These are usually removed after 4 to 6 weeks. After the surgery, there may be some oozing or bleeding from the nose but this usually stops after a few hours but can last for a few days.

It is advisable to keep the skin wound dry and healing usually takes about 10 days when the skin sutures are removed. Hot drinks should be avoided for 24 hours after surgery and it is not advisable to blow the nose for 10 days.

Illustration of Flow of tears

Flow of tears is indicated by the arrows. A blockage in the system will cause a watery eye.