Do you often notice swelling or mucus in the inner corner of the eye? If you do, then you might be suffering from “dacryocystitis”. It is a tear duct infection that can cause redness, pain and discomfort in your eyes down towards the nasal passages. Tear duct as a pathway that carries the tears that have washed away any dirt on the ye surface. As the used tears move away through tear ducts from your eyes, fresh tears come in. When there is any blockage in the tear duct, the process gets disturbed. This causes bacteria to be collected in the area inside the tear duct that limits tears to come out from the eyes.

As the symptoms of dacryocystitis or tear duct infection are similar to other eye conditions, it is important to see a proficient eye doctor who can make proper eye diagnosis and prevent the infection from causing serious conditions and complications. Both acute and severe dacryocystitis can cause symptoms like pus or thick discharge from tear duct, redness or irritation near the lower part of the eyelid, pain in the inner corner of the eye, excess tears and even fever.

Well, the symptoms of acute dacryocystitis start suddenly and often include pus from the eye. Commonly, acute dacryocystitis can be treated by certain antibiotics to eradicate bacterial infections within a few days. While in cases of chronic dacryocystitis, the symptoms can be more gradual or less severe. However, some people feel discomfort or long-lasting pain from the inner corner of the eye without the presence of pus or fever.

What are the causes of dacryocystitis?

Mostly, dacryocystitis is common in babies. However, adults of the age of around 40 also have a higher chance of developing dacryocystitis. In babies, tear duct blockage and minor infection are common that runs towards the nasal passages. Well, here are the common causes of dacryocystitis or tear duct infection in adults and older children:

  • Nasal Abscess

  • Sinusitis

  • Tumours in the nasal passages or sinus

  • Bacteria that cause staph or strep infections

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What are the diagnosis and treatment of dacryocystitis?

Diagnosing dacryocystitis or tear duct infection is relatively simple. An eye doctor may ask about the medical history of the person during the exam and then check the visible signs of dacryocystitis which include, redness, swelling or pus inside the eye. A doctor can also press the lacrimal sac to check if the pus comes out and collect the sample to proceed for the bacterial test.

When it comes to the treatment of dacryocystitis, doctors may prescribe some eye drops to reduce pain and discomfort in the eyes. Most people can help relieve symptoms if they use a warm compress over the eye to open up the tear ducts. However, doctors also treat a chronic dacryocystitis through surgery to widen the tear duct or remove the blockages. Thus, the condition of chronic dacryocystitis can be resolved after surgery or related treatments.

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