Blocked Tear Duct: What You Can Do

If you have a blocked or clogged tear duct, it can cause an issue such as an infection, swelling, redness, discharge, or even problems seeing. A blocked/clogged duct can occur due to a number of different things. Read on for signs of a clogged tear duct, causes of a blockage, and what you can do about it.

What Is A Blocked Tear Duct?

A blocked tear duct is when the drainage area of the eye that tears come out of becomes clogged. You may not see the clog with your own naked eye; it's something that should be diagnosed by your optometrist, who can take a close look at your eye safely.

What Are The Signs And Causes Of A Blocked Tear Duct?

A blocked tear duct can usually be diagnosed when your eyes are watery, red, swollen, pus filled, or crusted or you have blurry vision. These are just a few of the signs, but they can also mimic the signs of pink eye and an infection. They both can occur as a result of a blocked tear duct as well. This is why a proper diagnosis by your optometrist is so important so the blocked tear duct can be treated and these other issues can also be prevented. A blocked tear duct can be caused by wearing makeup to bed, not cleaning your face properly, touching your eyes or rubbing your eyes, a tumor behind the eye, and age. As you age, the ducts become narrow and can cause a blockage easily.

What Can You Do About A Blocked Tear Duct?

If you do have a blocked tear duct, you can try to clear it out using a warm washcloth on the eye. Allow it to sit on the eye in order to help open up the duct and to clean out the crust and pus that you may also have in your eyes. Be sure that you are cleaning the makeup from your eyes each night before bed, and that you aren't touching your eyes with dirty hands or fingers throughout the day. Wash your hands often and try not to rub your eyes. Also be sure to wash your hands before touching your contact lenses. Talk to your optometrist about other ways to treat this condition. Prescription eye drops may be necessary to treat this condition, or you may have to have other forms of treatment depending on what may be causing your blocked tear ducts.

If you have blocked tear ducts or you suspect this may be going on with your eyes, make an appointment with your eye doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.