Dacryostenosis; Blocked nasolacrimal duct; Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (NLDO)
A blocked tear duct is a partial or complete blockage in the pathway that carries tears away from the surface of the eye into the nose.
Tears are constantly being made to help protect the surface of your eye. They drain into a tear duct through a very small opening in the corner of your eye, near your nose. This opening is called the nasolacrimal duct. If this duct is blocked, the tears will build up and overflow onto the cheek, even when you are not crying.
In children, the duct may not be completely developed at birth. It may be closed or covered by a thin film, causing a partial blockage.
In adults, the duct can be damaged by infection, injury, or a tumor.
Olitsky SE, Hug D, Smith LP. Disorders of the lacrimal system. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 624.
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885