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Watery Eye (Tear Duct Obstruction - Epiphora)


Tears of eye, which is continuously secreted on the surface of the eye, is regularly collected and flowed into the nasal cavity. This is done through very fine canals, the tear sac and the tear duct. If this system does not work properly, the tear will accumulate on the surface of the eye, overflowing from the lids, and will flow to the cheeks, causing the eyes to irrigate out.

This problem known as tear duct obstruction, It plays an important role in the practice of oculoplastic surgery and appears as two different clinical conditions: in infants and adults.

With no previous problems, eye tearing occurring in the middle age or older are usually seen due to blockages at the lower end of the canal. This problem is the most common cause of eye watering in adults. In such cases, treatment is usually surgery. The surgical intervention to be planned following a detailed history, examination and clinical tests is one of the most successful interventions for oculoplastic surgery.

Tearing is a common problem in infants as well as adults. In 30% of newborn babies, the tear duct is not yet open. At the end of the first month, this rate decreases to 10%. In these infants eyes begin to tearing where the tear duct is not opened, from the end of the first month, due to increased tear secretion.In 90% of the cases with tear duct obstruction, intervention is postponed since the canal opens spontaneously without any intervention until the end of the first year. An exception is frequent recurrent, severe inflammation of the tear sac. In such cases, the intervention can be performed earlier (when the baby is 6 months old).

While waiting for the opening of the canal itself, pressing and massaging the tear sac area will accelerate resolution process.

In cases where intervention is required, probing is performed under the mask anesthesia. In this case, parents are often afraid of interventions in their children. However, this intervention is very risk-free in eyes and the chance of success is very high in experienced hands. Since the amount of anesthesia administered during this procedure is in very low doses, the risk of anesthesia is negligible. In addition, delaying this intervention reduces the chance of success. 

For these reasons, it is useful to perform the probing procedure without any delay in cases where the duct is not expected to open spontaneously.

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