Tear Duct Infection

Tear Duct Infection is a common eye infection that affects many children and also adults around the world every year. Read and know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this syndrome.

What is Tear Duct Infection?

It is an infection of the tear duct that carries tears from the lachrymal glands. The condition is also known as Dacryocystitis.

Image Source: Drugs.com

Tear Duct Infection Symptoms

Some of the main infected tear duct symptoms are

Constant tear discharge

The condition results in discharge of tears from one or both eyes of the suffering individual.

Release of pus

In later stages, there may be release of pus and mucus from the tear duct instead of water. These viscous fluids may release in a spontaneous manner or may get discharged on applying pressure on the area.


Infection may give rise to redness in the area surrounding the tear duct. The white of the eye may appear red as a result.


Swelling of the region around the tear duct is a common symptom of the condition. The inflammation is observed under the eye. There may also be irritation of the eye.


There is pain in most cases of tear duct infection. Pain is usually experienced in the region around the eye. This may make opening eyes very difficult in some cases.


Individuals with blocked tear duct infection can also suffer from high body temperatures.

Chronic Dacryocystitis can lead to the rise of less serious symptoms. There is usually little or no ache, inflammation or inflammation although there may be some discharge of pus, mucus and tears.

Tear Duct Infection Causes

Some of the main causes of Tear Duct Infection are

  • Bacterial infection of the tear duct
  • Nasal Polyps or any other obstruction near the nose
  • Nasal or Sinus Infection (Particularly Chronic Nasal Infection)
  • Injury to the eye
  • Infection of the eye, such as Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye Infection)
  • Fracture of the facial or nasal bones
  • Abnormalities inherited through heredity
  • Broken nose

Tear Duct Infection Diagnosis

The diagnosis for Tear Duct Infection begins with physical examination of the eye. Doctors look for excess discharge of water from the eyes. Classic symptoms of this condition involve pain, inflammation and redness of the skin underneath the inner corner of the affected eye particularly towards the nose.

Doctors may gently press over the lachrymal sac of the affected eye to check whether mucus or pus comes out due to pressure. If pus is released, a sample of it may be collected and analyzed under microscope to check the type of bacteria that is behind the infection.

If physical examination and symptoms fail to help doctors identify the condition, a Dye Disappearance Test may be performed. This test involves placing a yellow fluorescent in the corner of the eye. The dye is permitted to combine with the tears present in the eye. If there is no obstruction in the tear gland due to infection, the dye may come out with tears and get cleared from eye within a few minutes. If this does not happen, a cotton swab may be inserted into the nose to check whether the dye has went through the tear duct. This examination helps doctors find out whether the tear duct obstruction is partial or complete.

Tear Duct Infection Treatment

The standard treatment of Tear Duct Infection is administering oral antibiotics. Antibiotics can clear up infections very fast and can even reduce the symptoms of Chronic Dacryocystitis. Acute Dacryocystitis treatment can also be carried out through use of antibiotics. Antibiotic eye drops or ointments may be prescribed in some cases. Over-the-counter ointments or eye drops are not effective in treating Dacryocystitis and can give rise to irritating symptoms instead.

If antibiotics are ineffective in resolving infection, a minor surgical operation may be required for Dacryocystitis cure. Tear Duct Infection Surgery is of several types. There can be surgical examination of the duct, a process that involves guiding a thin wire through the tear duct to remove any obstruction. This is the most common method used for treating Tear Duct Infection in infants.

Another common method is Dacryocystorhinostomy which involves expansion of the constricted or blocked lachrymal duct. The method generally needs removing the bone that has led to the narrowing of the duct. This operation is usually carried out with the help of laser beams.

There is another method that involves partial or complete removal of the lachrymal sac.

Tear Duct Infection Home Treatment

Some of the effective Tear Duct Infection home remedies are


Gently massaging the area around the eyes for two to three times on a daily basis can help remove blockage in the lachrymal duct.

Warm compress

Soak a clean towel or washcloth in hot water. Squeeze out the excess water and press the cloth against the affected eye and its surrounding area to remove obstruction and get relief from pain and inflammation.

Tear Duct Infection Prognosis

With effective treatment, the condition has an excellent prognosis. Recovery also depends on the severity of the infection.

What is Acute Dacryocystitis?

It is the name given to infection in tear duct that arises first. If the infection is not treated properly in time, it may give rise to minor symptoms that can last for a prolonged duration. It can be difficult to treat in such cases. Such a persistent eye tear duct infection is known as Chronic Dacryocystitis.

Tear Duct Infection in Infants

In case of Tear Duct Infection Infants are the major sufferers. The condition may affect individuals of any age group but is most common in infants who suffer from a congenital blockage of the Nasolachrymal duct. Infants suffering from a congenital defect have a constricted drainage passage that gradually widens as they grow up. Adults usually suffer from blocked tear duct infection because of unusual narrowing of the passage by persistent growth of the adjacent bone.

Tear Duct Infection Pictures

Are you curious about the appearance of infected tear ducts in the eye? Here are some tear duct infection images that you may find useful. Check out these tear duct infection photos to get an idea about the visual appearance of the condition.

Picture 1 – Tear Duct Infection | Source – eyes-and-vision Picture 2 – Tear Duct Infection Image | Source – bryanking

Tear Duct Infection is a curable condition and usually goes away in a short time with effective treatment. If you or any infant in your family is having this condition, try home remedies. Call a professional healthcare provider if the symptoms fail to improve. Early treatment will ensure a faster recovery from this condition without prolonged suffering and discomfort.


  1. LEE DELMORE October 25, 2012
  2. Caroline May 25, 2016

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