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Blocked Tear Duct

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is a blocked tear duct?

The tear duct is a connection between your eye and nose. It helps your eye drain. A blocked tear duct means your tears do not drain easily. When the tear duct becomes blocked, you may be at higher risk for eye infections.

What increases my risk for a blocked tear duct?

What are the signs and symptoms of a blocked tear duct?

A blocked tear duct usually happens in 1 eye. You may have any of the following:

How is a blocked tear duct diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your eye. He or she may place drops in your eye and look at the eye with a special light. This can help the provider see blockages in the tear duct.

How is a blocked tear duct managed?

Blocked tear ducts usually get better without treatment. You may need surgery to open the tear duct if it does not get better without treatment.

What can I do to manage my symptoms?

Clean and massage your eye 2 to 3 times every day or as directed. Massage helps unblock the tear duct. This can decrease pain and swelling, and prevent an eye infection:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.