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Blocked Tear Duct


A blocked tear duct means your tears do not drain as they should. Tear ducts are small tubes at the inner corners of your eyes. The ducts drain tears from your eyes into your nose.



  • Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for a blocked tear duct at home:

  • Massage: Gently rub a finger between the corner of the eye and the side of the nose. Do this several times a day to help open the blocked duct.
  • Warm compress: A warm compress can be a small towel or washcloth. Moisten it in warm (not hot) water. Apply the warm compress over the blocked duct area.
  • Use warm water: Flush your eyes with warm water. Clean around your eyes with a clean, soft cloth.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or ophthalmologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or ophthalmologist if:

  • There is white or yellow discharge coming from your eye.
  • The white or colored part of your eye appears bumpy.
  • Your tears are bloody.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your pupil looks larger than the pupil in your other eye.
  • The area around your eye is red, swollen, or painful.
  • You cannot see as well as usual.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.