A blocked tear duct occurs when the tear drainage system becomes partially or completely obstructed, resulting in the improper and incomplete drainage of the tears from the tear ducts. Blocked tear ducts can occur at any age, but are often seen in newborn babies where the blockage will mend by itself after a few hours or days. Understand why blocked tear duct home remedies are important.
In adults, blocked tear ducts can usually be treated effectively.
Not all tears are drained from the face, there is a whole drainage system designed to carry tears through to the nose, hence why you get a runny nose when you cry or your eyes water.
Here's how it works. The lacrimal glands are found inside of the upper eyelids and produce the majority of our tears. Under normal circumstances, tears will flow down from the lacrimal glands, over your eye and then drain off into the puncta (tiny holes on the corners of your eyelids).
The canaliculi canals on your eyelids will move the tears down to a sac located where the side of the nose joins the eyelid (also called the lacrimal sac). From the lacrimal sac, the tears travel down the nasolacrimal duct and drain into the nose where the tears are reabsorbed into the body.
Blockages to the tear duct drainage system can occur at any point, causing your tears to drain improperly and increasing the risk of infection.
There are several symptoms of a blocked tear duct that go beyond simply excessive tearing, you may notice that the whites of the eye become red, the corners of the eye become painfully swollen, repeated bouts of pink eye are suffered, there is crusting on the eyelids or pus/mucus discharging from the eyelids onto the eye's surface.
There can be many different reasons as to why a tear duct has become blocked.
Blocked tear duct home remedies are a great way to treat a baby's problem until the problem resolves itself.
With a clean finger, massage the corner (crook) of the eye gently and clean the area after sleep with a sterile, moist cotton bud - or use baby eye wipes when away from home. In around 90% of cases the issue will resolve itself with time, so using these simple home remedies can give your baby some comfort until then.
Blocked tear duct home remedies in adults can also be used to alleviate symptoms.You can use the massage method at the corner of your eyes to try to stimulate and unblock the puncta. Lay a warm, moist, cotton washcloth over your eyelids for a few minutes as a warm compress and massage your eyelids clockwise and counterclockwise to try to soothe and open up the canaliculi and lacrimal sac and pinch the bridge of your nose to help blockages in the lacrimal sac area.
Choose one, two or all of these methods, depending on where you believe your blockage to be, which methods are more effective for you should help determine this, and repeat at least twice a day.