Lacrimal gland disorder

What is a Lacrimal Gland Disorder?

The lacrimal gland is an accessory organ of the eye that produces tears for the purpose of lubricating and cleansing the front surface of the eye. When a lacrimal gland disorder occurs, the gland’s functioning is either impaired or halted completely. This can lead to dry eyes or a continuous stream of tears.

Types of Lacrimal Gland Disorders

Common lacrimal gland disorders include:

  • Dacryostenosis, which is a narrowing of the duct that drains the tears into the nose
  • Dacryocystitis, which is an infection of the tear sac
  • A blockage in the tear duct
  • Infections of the glands themselves
  • Cancer of the tear sac


Signs and symptoms of lacrimal gland disorders may include:

  • Continuous or excessive tearing
  • Pain around the eyes
  • Swollen, inflamed eyelids
  • Twitching eyelids
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inflamed and red eyelids
  • Discharge that may be pus-filled


Treatment of lacrimal gland disorders depends on the underlying cause. Some of the treatments that may be used include:

  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Surgical repair of the tear ducts
  • Surgery to remove the gland
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Lubricant eye drops
  • Oral medications to reduce inflammation
  • Artificial tears
  • Punctal plugs to reduce tearing


Many lacrimal gland disorders are caused by trauma or infection and cannot be prevented. To help lower your risk, be sure to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your eyes, and practicing safe sex. If you have any symptoms, be sure to see an eye care specialist for diagnosis and treatment.