What is Dacryocystitis?

Dacryocystitis is a common eye infection caused by a blockage of one or both of the tear ducts in the eye. This causes pressure, swelling, and pain and infection deep within the eye. It often affects the inner corner of the eyelid near the nose.

The blockage of one or both tear ducts is called a dacryocystectomy. It can occur when overgrown mucous membranes become infected and swell, preventing the normal flow of tears from the eye. This can be caused by an infection or inflammation of the inner eye, an injury, or even a tumor.

Symptoms of Dacryocystitis

The most common symptom of dacryocystitis is a painful, red, swollen eyelid. Other symptoms may include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • A feeling of grittiness or irritation in the eye
  • A yellow or greenish discharge from the affected eye
  • Tear duct swelling

Treatment of Dacryocystitis

Treatment of dacryocystitis depends on the cause of the blockage, but usually involves antibiotics. In some cases, treatment may also include corticosteroid drops, topical antibiotic creams, or surgery.

Surgery, called a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR), involves creating a new passage for tears to drain from the eye. This may involve using tissue from the nose or creating an artificial tear sac. After surgery, it’s important to use antibiotic drops and ointment to prevent infection.

Prevention of Dacryocystitis

The best way to prevent dacryocystitis is to take care of your eyes and protect them from infection. Here are some tips to help you keep your eyes healthy:

  • Wash your hands (and your contacts) often and keep your eyes clean.
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
  • Do not share makeup, contact lenses, or eye drops.
  • See your eye doctor regularly for checkups.
  • Avoid contact with people who have eye infections.
  • If you wear contacts, wear protective glasses or goggles during activities that can irritate your eyes.