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  • Dacryostenosis occurs when one or both of your child's tear ducts are blocked. Dacryostenosis is also called congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction (CNLDO). Congenital means that your child was born with this condition. A tear duct is a small passage extending from your child's eye to his nose. Normally, tears drain through a hole in the inner corner of your child's eyes into his tear duct. When your child's tear duct is blocked, tears cannot drain properly. Your child may be more likely to have dacryostenosis if he was born with a disease like Down syndrome. Dacryostenosis is also more common in children who were born with head or face problems.
  • Dacryostenosis often occurs because skin tissue blocks the opening of your child's tear duct into his nose. If your child has complete dacryostenosis, no tears can drain. With partial dacryostenosis, some of your child's tears may still be able to drain. Your child's symptoms may become worse during certain weather conditions such as extreme sun, wind, or cold. His dacryostenosis may also become worse when the skin tissue in his nose is swollen. Your child's tear duct will usually open up on its own without treatment. Having your child's dacryostenosis treated may stop tears from overflowing onto his eyelids and face. Treatment may help prevent your child's eye from swelling and getting a serious infection from germs called bacteria.



  • Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
  • Topical medicine: This medicine is put on your child's eyes. It contains antibiotic medicine to help treat or prevent infection. It may also contain steroid medicine to decrease redness and swelling.

Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.

Caring for your child at home:

Ask your child's caregiver for more information about the following ways to care for your child at home:

  • Eye rubbing: Prevent your child from rubbing his eyes for up to two weeks after surgery.
  • Massage: Put gentle pressure on the inner corner of your child's eye to remove fluid from his tear ducts. You may also need to clean your child's eyelids and eyelashes with warm water before and after massage.
  • Warm compresses: A warm compress (often a towel) may be pressed on your child's eye to decrease swelling.

For more information:

Contact the following:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
    655 Beach St.
    San Francisco , CA 94109
    655 Beach St.
    San Francisco , CA 94120-7424
    Phone: 1- 415 - 561-8500
    Web Address:


  • The tube inserted into your child's tear duct breaks, sticks out, or completely falls out.
  • Your child acts weak or unhappy (irritable).
  • Your child has a fever (high body temperature).
  • Your child has a yellowish fluid leaking from his eye.
  • Your child has a nose bleed.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition, treatment, or care.


  • Your child's eye becomes red, swollen, or painful.
  • Your child's eye starts to bleed.

Further information

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

Learn more about Dacryostenosis (Discharge Care)

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