Dacryocystitis: what it is, symptoms, causes and treatment

Dacryocystitis is inflammation of the lacrimal sac, the tube that carries tears from the glands that produce them to the tear ducts for release. Often, this inflammation is associated with blockage of the tear ducts (called canal stenosis), which may be caused by the presence of foreign objects or disease.

Dacryocystitis can be classified as acute or chronic depending on the symptoms an individual presents with, and in some cases may present with eye redness, swelling, fever, and localized temperature increase.

If dacryocystitis is suspected, consult an ophthalmologist for evaluation, confirmation of diagnosis, and initiation of the most appropriate treatment, which can be accomplished by using appropriate eye drops.

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The main symptoms

The main symptoms of dacryocystitis are:

  • The temperature of the affected area increases.
  • redness.
  • Fever may occur in some cases.
  • swelling.
  • pain.
  • tear.

With chronic dacryocystitis, symptoms evolve over time and the inflammation does not cause localized temperature increase or pain.

However, in addition to being associated with conjunctivitis, accumulation of secretions can also be observed near blocked tear ducts.

How to make a diagnosis

The diagnosis of dacryocystitis is made by an ophthalmologist by evaluating the symptoms the patient is experiencing. In some cases, the doctor may take a sample of eye fluid to send to a laboratory to identify the bacteria, which may lead to the use of specific antibiotic eye drops.

dacryocystitis treatment

Treatment of dacryocystitis should be recommended by an ophthalmologist and usually involves the use of eye drops depending on the cause. Your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory eye drops to relieve symptoms and, if necessary, antibiotic eye drops to fight the microorganisms present. Learn about the different types of eye drops.

Additionally, with acute dacryocystitis, it is recommended to apply a cold compress to the affected eye as this can help reduce swelling and relieve symptoms. In addition to avoiding touching and scratching your eyes with your fingers, it is also important to maintain good eye hygiene and clean your eyes with saline.

In more severe cases, your eye doctor may recommend surgery to clear the tear ducts.

Causes of dacryocystitis

The main cause of dacryocystitis is tear duct obstruction, which promotes the proliferation of bacteria, e.g. Staphylococcus aureusSFerrococcus Epidermis, Streptococcus, pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzacausing local inflammation and symptoms.

This blockage may be congenital, where the baby is born with blocked tear ducts, requiring treatment within the first few months of life, or it may be acquired, resulting from a blow or fracture to the nose, nasal polyps, e.g. Plastic surgery or regular use of eye drops to treat glaucoma.

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